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Birthstones

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Some Interesting Information About...

Birthstones

Just about everyone knows what his or her birthstone is.

Why is that?

Because people still enjoy the folklore associated with the tradition of the birthstone. They like believing that wearing a birthstone brings them "good luck" and protects them. As a Christian, I do not believe in "luck", good or bad. I place my faith in the future in God, and Him alone. Birthstones, a beautiful part of His creation, have been used for centuries to honor those who were born in the corresponding month of the traditional semi-precious stone.

The following list of birthstones, which is the one commonly used today, was adopted in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers, which later became known as the Jewelers of America.

January Garnet
February Amethyst
March Aquamarine
April Diamond
May Emerald
June
Pearl
July Ruby
August Peridot
September Sapphire
October
Opal
November Topaz
December
Turquoise

The following information includes the fascinating facts and folklore attributed to each birthstone.

~January~
Garnet

Garnet is the accepted birthstone for the month of January. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the second year of marriage.

When most people think of garnet, they picture the dark red bohemian garnet that was popular in Victorian times. You may be surprised to learn that garnets are found in every color except blue, including brilliant green tsavorite garnet, raspberry pink rhodolite garnet, and orange malaya garnet. Bright red "anthill" garnets are found in Arizona. The Tsars of Russia favored rare green damantoid garnets.

Garnets are found in the U.S., Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and India.

The garnet is Caleb's birthstone! Although the term "garnet" is not found in the Bible, the sardius, which is in the Bible, is believed to be a ruby or garnet...it is a red stone. When I looked up garnet in the Webster's Dictionary, I was sent to "pomegranate" because of the same root word, meaning red. Pomegranates are in the Old Testament, mostly used in decoration of the Temple of God.

~February~
Amethyst

Amethyst is the recognized birthstone for February and the accepted anniversary gemstone for the sixth year of marriage.

Amethyst is a variety of quartz, and comes in pale lilac to rich, deep purple shades. Ideally, it is a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes that give amethyst its beauty and fire.

It is found mainly in Brazil, Uruguay, Korea, and Zambia.

Because royalty has always adored the color purple, amethysts abound in the ornaments of ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and in the British Crown Jewels.

The amethyst is Lydia, Caleb's little sister's, birthday *_* And deep purple is Caleb's Mommy's FAVORITE color!! The color purple is used throughout the Bible. Purple is one of the main colors used in decorating the Temple (Exodus 25:4, 16:1, ETC.). It is also the color used for royalty, and a robe of purple was placed on the Lord Jesus Christ in mockery during His scourging before the crucifixion. (Mark 15:17 & 20). The amethyst is in the Old Testament as part of the High priest's apparel (Exodus 28:19), and also in the New Testament in describing the walls of Heaven (Revelation 21:20)!

~March~
Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the traditional birthstone for March. It is also the accepted anniversary gem for the 19th year of marriage.

The ideal color of aquamarine is a refreshing pastel sea blue. Stones with a clear blue color without green or gray are generally the most valuable. It is a member of the important beryl family, which also includes emerald.

In ancient times, the stone was said to "aid" seafarers; thus it is a traditional gift selection for sailors, fishermen, or anyone who takes frequent cruises!

Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar, and the Ukraine.

The stone aquamarine is not found in Scripture. The seafarer theme surely is, though!

~April~
Diamond

Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April. Besides being the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, diamond is the accepted anniversary gem for the 10th and 60th years of marriage.

The name diamond comes from the Greek word "adamas" meaning unconquerable-suggesting the eternity of love. In fact, diamonds have been the traditional symbol of love since ancient Greece. Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from the stars, perhaps crystallized lightening or hardened dewdrops.

Although diamonds are associated with being a colorless stone, they are occasionally found with a strong, bright color-green, red, pink, blue, canary yellow and amber. These "fancy" colored diamonds are highly-prized.

The diamond is Caleb's Daddy's birthstone! Diamonds are in the Bible, listed among the gems in the priest's breastplate (Exodus 28:18), and also mentioned in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

~May~
Emerald

Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 20th and 35th years of marriage.

Emerald is one of the most highly-prized of all the gems. The name comes from the Greek "smaragdos" which means green stone. The most prized is pure grass green.

Emeralds are often characterized by a garden of included crystals trapped within, known as the "jardin", because under magnification you will see all sorts of lovely patterns resembling foliage in a garden. A flawless, clear emerald is very rare and is usually found in only small sizes. Small to medium sized stones are often faceted in the rectangular or emerald cut.

Emeralds are found mainly in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The emerald is found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, also included in the priest's breastplate in Exodus 28:18. The throne of Heaven is also described as being "in sight like unto an emerald" in Revelation 4:3, and emeralds are also used as one of the "layers" of the wall about Heaven.

~June~
Pearl

Pearl is the birthstone for the month of June. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 3rd and 30th years of marriage.

A pearl is the product of an oyster's defense mechanism. When a foreign irritant is introduced either by man (cultured) or naturally, the oyster immediately surrounds it with layers of a substance called nacre. This forms the exquisite gemstone know as pearl.

Pearls come in a wide range of colors. They should be relatively free from skin blemishes. The more perfectly round the shape the better. The higher the luster, the more valuable the specimen. The larger the pearl, the greater the value.

Pearl is Caleb's sister's middle name; as she was born in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and we chose Bible names.... Pearls are found throughout the Bible, both in parables such as that of the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:46, and also in Heaven...each of the twelve gates in Heaven is a single pearl!



Of course, some prefer the durability of the alexandrite and choose it for the June birthstone *_*

~July~
Ruby

Ruby is the accepted birthstone for July. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 15th and 40th year.

Ruby is known as the "Lord of the Gems" because of its rarity and beauty. Derived from the Latin word "ruber", it simply means red. Ruby, like sapphire, is a variety of corundum and only exists as a true red in color. The finest color is a vivid, almost pure spectral red with a very faint undertone of blue, as seen in Burmese rubies which are considered the finest.

The finest rubies emanate from Burma, having been mined there since ancient times. Other sources include Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and India.

Rubies have beautiful significance in the Bible...both wisdom & virtue are compared to the incomparable value of the rare ruby. Solomon in his God-given wisdom uses this comparison, and also is well-known for his passage on the virtuous woman. There he is quoted as saying, under Divine inspiration, "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies" (Proverbs 31:10). It is because the significance that my husband chose the ruby for the stone in my engagement ring *_*

~August~
Peridot

Peridot is the accepted birthstone for August. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage.

Peridot should be a lively lime green, without a brownish or olive cast.

Peridot is produced by volcanic activity. Tiny peridot crystals are sometimes combed from the black sands of Hawaii.

The peridot is abundant, and is available in larger sizes. It is found in Burma and the U.S. The most important source of peridot in the world is the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation near Globe, Arizona, where it is mined by native Americans.

The peridot is not found in Scripture.

~September~
Sapphire

Sapphire is the September birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary gem for the 5th and 45th years of marriage.

Sapphire, a variety of corundum, comes in all colors except red (the red variety being known as ruby), but is especially popular in deep blue.

Sapphire is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Kasmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China, and the U.S.

The sapphire is Caleb's Mommy's birthstone *_* The gem is found throughout the Bible, again in the breastplate of the high priest (Exodus 28:18), and also is one of the layers of the wall of Heaven (Revelation 21:19)! It is also used in various places throughout the Old Testament, such as Job, Lamentations, Ezekiel, & Isaiah.

~October~
Opal

Opal is the October birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 14th year of marriage.

The well-known Roman naturalist Pliny described opal as "made up of the glories of the most precious gems... the gentler fire of the ruby, the rich purple of the amethyst, the sea-green of the emerald, glittering together..."

White opal has a white or light body color with flashes of many colors. Black opal has a black, dark blue, dark green, or gray body color with vivid flashes of color such as red, pink, and bright green.

Opal sources are Australia, Mexico, and the U.S.

Sometimes tourmaline, a pink stone, is used as a birthstone for October. Tourmaline spans the spectrum from red to violet. It also occurs in color combinations in one stone which accounts for its popularity. It is not as fragile as opal and is sometimes selected by those who prefer faceted stones.

Neither tourmaline nor opal are in the Bible

~November~
Topaz

Topaz is the accepted birthstone for November. Blue topaz is the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 4th year; Imperial topaz for the 23rd year of marriage.

Most people think of topaz as a transparent golden yellow gemstone. However, this gemstone occurs colorless as well as orange-yellow, red, honey-brown(dark sherry), light green, blue, and pink.

The name topaz is derived from the Greek word meaning "to shine" and also implies "fire". Orange-red "Imperial" topaz and pink colors are rare and most valuable.

The romance of topaz goes back many thousands of years. The Greeks believed it gave them strength. It proved the loyalty of associates by changing color in the presence of poison.

Topaz is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and China.

The topaz is in Scripture, again in the high priest's breastplate and in the wall of Heaven! Another Bible word for topaz is "carbuncle".

~December~
Turquoise

Turquoise is the accepted birthstone for December and is the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 11th year of marriage.

Colors in turquoise range from sky blue (most desirable color) to blue green and apple green.

The name means "Turkish stone" because the trade route that brought it to Europe used to come via Turkey. The best qualities are found in northeast Iran (Persian turquoise). However, the United States southwest is now the world leader in production.

The deposits in Sinai were already worked out by 4,000 BC. At that time the stone was used for jewelry, amulets, and in the preparation of cosmetics.

Blue topaz has become a popular alternative in recent years for those who prefer faceted stones.

The turquoise is not mentioned in the Bible. I found this rather interesting. In the cases of every other birthstone that was not found in the Bible, they are not indiginous to Bible lands. Turquoise however was in Egypt...?

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Birthstone Traditions provided by:
~Jewelers of America~

Bible verses about the gems were found in
~Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible~

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