January - Garnet Garnets, meaning “pomegranate seed” in Latin, were exchanged as gifts during the Middle Ages to satisfy trust and display affection. The garnet signifies trust and friendship (which makes it the perfect gift) and is thought to protect people during travel. In other words, this is the stone everyone should have for protection.
February - Amethyst According to myth, the amethyst was the stone worn on a ring by St Valentine (patron of lovers), and was known as the birthstone of love. Associated with royalty and power, amethysts are thought to strengthen relationships and provide courage.
March - Aquamarine Aquamarine, from the Latin “aqua marinus” meaning “water of the sea”, was known to be powerfully connected to heaven, and reflected on the surface of the water (then called “the magic mirror”). Today, the stone is associated with youth, health, hope and love.
April - Diamond Diamonds, the hardest minerals on earth, have become a symbol of fidelity and enduring love. There are many kinds of diamonds, and their colour depends on the type of impurities inside. Today, diamonds are often present in engagement and wedding rings.
May - Emerald “All the green of nature is concentrated within the emerald”, St Hildegard of Bingen once said. The Greek “smaragdus” means “green stone”. Natural emeralds are one of the four precious gemstones, along with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Highly honoured in all religions for its spiritual power and beauty, the emerald symbolizes fertility, health and fidelity.
June - Alexandrite Discovered in Russia, Alexandrites were named after Prince Alexander of Russia, who later became Czar Alexander II. Almost magically, Alexandrites appear green in daylight, but change to a purple-red colour in artificial light. Being a relatively recent discovery, there are very few myths and superstitions connected to this stone. Today’s belief is that it stimulates pleasure and love.
July - Ruby Rubies are the most precious gemstones after diamonds. In the East, rubies have long been thought to contain the spark of life; “a deep drop of the heart’s blood of mother earth”. They were also thought to hold the power to warn their owner of oncoming illness, death and misfortunes by turning into a much darker colour. Today, rubies have become the symbol of love and passion.
August - Spinel Spinels have often been mistaken for other stones. It is thought that some of the most famous rubies in history turned out to be spinels. This stone was used to boost vitality and is also called “the stone of immortality”.
September -Sapphire Sapphires, from Latin “sapphirus” meaning “blue”, typically appear as blue stones, ranging from very pale to deep blue. Ancient warriors believed that the sapphire would change colour if the wearer was unfaithful, so the tradition was for husbands to give sapphire jewellery to their wives just before they left for battle. The magnificent sapphire, today holds the symbols of sincerity and purity of the soul.
October - Opal Opal, from Latin “opalus” meaning “precious stone” is a very fragile material. Its appearance changes depending on the heat, pressure and the amount of water within it. During the medieval period, an intense change of colour in the stone was believed to indicate the health of its wearer. Opal stones are now known to maintain a strong heart, and are given as a gift to celebrate the 14th year of marriage.
November - Topaz Often mistaken as diamonds when pure, topaz stones are very rare and therefore quiet an expensive gem. This gemstone was once know to heal and strengthen their mind and body as well as providing guidance through life.
December - Turquoise The most valued variety of turquoise is an intense sky blue colour, due to the presence of copper in the stone. There are many superstitions associated with turquoise. It was once believed to protect its owner from falling off horses, or to have a healing effect on the eyes. Today, turquoise is considered to be a symbol of good fortune and success and is believed to bring prosperity to its wearer.