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A gemstone popularly associated with the month or astrological sign of one's birth.
History of birthstones
The first century Jewish historian Josephus believed there was a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate, the twelve months of the year, and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Translations and interpretations of the passage in Exodus regarding the breastplate have varied widely, however, with Josephus himself giving two different lists for the twelve stones (Kunz argues that Josephus saw the breastplate of the Second Temple, not the one described in Exodus). St. Jerome, referencing Josephus, said the Foundation Stones of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19–20) would be appropriate for Christians to use. In the eighth and ninth century, religious treaties associating a particular stone with an apostle were written because the book of Revelation stated "their name would be inscribed on the Foundation Stones, and his virtue". Practice became to keep twelve stones and wear one a month. Wearing a single birthstone is only a few centuries old, although modern authorities differ on dates Kunz places the custom in eighteenth century Poland, while the Gemological Institute of America starts it in Germany in the 1560s.

JANUARY




Garnet, the birthstone of January, is mined in a rainbow of colors. From the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the rich green of Tsavorite Garnet and to the most widely recognized color of Pyrope Garnet, it is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust.
Geological information:
Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives.
All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, but differ in chemical composition. The different species are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular (varieties of which are hessonite or cinnamon-stone and tsavorite), uvarovite and andradite. The garnets make up two solid solution series: pyrope-almandine-spessartine and uvarovite-grossular-andradite.
Formula:X3Z2(SiO4)3
Mohs scale hardness:  6.5–7.5
Crystal system: isometric

FEBRUARY

Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of Quartz that carries a spectacular purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset.
Geological information:
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The range of colour includes reddish-violet tints of pale or almost colourless shades, and deep, rich tones of pure violet.
Formula:SiO2

MARCH



 

Aquamarine, the birthstone of March, has a rich color and has long been a symbol of youth, health and hope. Its mesmerizing color ranges from pale to deep blue and are reminiscent of the sea. A perfect birthstone for March, the Aquamarine creates a beautiful accent to spring and summer wardrobes.
Geological information:
Aquamarine (from Latin: aqua marina, "water of the sea") is a blue or cyan variety of beryl. It occurs at most localities which yield ordinary beryl. The gem-gravel placer deposits of Sri Lanka contain aquamarine. Clear yellow beryl, such as that occurring in Brazil, is sometimes called aquamarine chrysolite. The deep blue version of aquamarine is called maxixe. Maxixe is commonly found in the country of Madagascar. Its color fades to white when exposed to sunlight or is subjected to heat treatment, though the color returns with irradiation.
Formula: Be3Al2Si6O18
Colour:Blue
A variety of Beryl






APRIL



 

Diamonds, the birthstone of April, are commonly associated with love which make it the perfect gift for a loved one. While white diamonds are most common, fancy colored diamonds can be found in various colors including yellow, blue, pink and a variety of others as well.
Geological information:
Diamond is a metastable allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at standard conditions. Diamond is renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities, most of which originate from the strong covalent bonding between its atoms. In particular, diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material. Those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools and the scientific applications in diamond knives and diamond anvil cells.

MAY

 

Emerald, the birthstone of May, carries the rich green color of Spring and radiates a beautiful vivid tone. They are considered to be a symbol of rebirth and love. Emeralds are the rarest gemstones and are typically mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia.
Geological information:
Emerald is a gemstone and a variety of the mineral beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the Mohs scale. Most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor. It is a cycosilicate.

JUNE

June birthdays claim two birthstones; pearl and Alexandrite. Pearls have been wildly popular in jewelry for centuries because of their natural beauty. Alexandrite gemstones are extremely rare and desirable since they change color based on the lighting
Geological information:
The alexandrite variety of Chrysoberyl displays a color change (alexandrite effect) dependent upon the nature of ambient lighting. Alexandrite effect is the phenomenon of an observed color change from greenish to reddish with a change in source illumination. Alexandrite results from small scale replacement of aluminium by chromium ions in the crystal structure, which causes intense absorption of light over a narrow range of wavelengths in the yellow region (580 nm) of the visible light spectrum. Because human vision is more sensitive to light in the green spectrum and the red spectrum, alexandrite appears greenish in daylight where a full spectrum of visible light is present and reddish in incandescent light which emits less green and blue spectrum.
Formula:  BeAl2O4
Mohs scale hardness : 8.5


Read the rest:Birthstones’ Meaning & Significance by Month2

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dobarah said... September 3, 2016 at 4:36 PM

I'd really love to get to page 2 of this article...but sadly, I'm stuck on the first 12 gem stones. Help?

28105wsking said... October 17, 2016 at 10:30 PM

Deborah, scroll back up just a little. Right above where you see the 'like', 'tweet', 'share' boxes you will see a sentence that says, 'See the next section." Click on that and it takes you to page 2. :)

 
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