Birthstones

Monday, August 20, 2007

Last night, my friend and I were browsing the jewelry department at Wal-Mart. When we got to the counter where the birthstone jewelry was displayed, we began chatting and wondered about the origins and properties birthstones, so I decided to look them up this morning and what I found was quite fascinating. I thought my readers here may also be interested in learning about them, so here are some interesting tidbits I found at Indya.com:

Birthstones - Rocks that spark up your life

Gemstones Thousands of years ago, early civilizations in India and Babylon strongly believed that gemstones possessed many mystical and magical powers. As time passed by, the idea of birthstones were introduced and specific gemstones were considered lucky for specific months in a year.


Without any further ado, Indya.com presents the twelve birthstones:

Garnet
Garnet - The January Birthstone
Often confused with rubies, garnets are deep red in colour and are regarded as the gems of faith, truth and constancy during the Middle Ages. Their deep red colour is significant as they are associated with blood related issues, such as remedies for haemorrhages. Considered as the protective gem for all travellers, a gift of garnet symbolizes love and the desire for a loved one's safe travel and their speedy return home.


Amethyst Amethyst - The February Birthstone
An amethyst is a beautiful purple form of the mineral quartz. The intensity of the colour purple can range from a light pastel shade to a deep royal violet. Quite rare and costly, amethysts have always been linked to the cognitive process, ensuring clarity of vision and creativity. This gemstone was once associated with the Greek God of wine, and it was a common practice to serve this beverage in amethyst goblets in the belief that it would prevent overindulgence. The gift of an Amethyst symbolizes protection and the power to overcome difficulties.


Aquamarine Aquamarine - The March Birthstone
Derived from the Latin words for water and sea, an aquamarine is aptly named for its pastel greenish-blue colour. Sailors often wear aquamarine pendants to protect themselves from the perils of the sea. In ancient times it was believed to heal a variety of illnesses of the heart, liver, stomach and mouth. Today, the stone symbolizes happiness, security, and eternal youth. A gentle and peaceful gemstone, it is said to fortify one's self esteem.


Diamond Diamond - The April Birthstone
Diamonds come in a variety of colours and are considered to be talismans by the ancient Hindus of India, where they were first discovered. Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man. The most pure and flawless diamonds which are the naturally occurring octahedrons of exceptional clarity is said to bring the owner power, wealth and everlasting youth. A gift of a diamond symbolizes everlasting love.


Emerald Emerald - The May Birthstone
Claimed to be Cleopatra's favourite gemstone, emeralds are deep green in colour. Egyptians were known to engrave the symbol of foliage on emerald tablets to represent eternal youth. The ancient Romans associated this gemstone with fertility and rebirth, and dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today it is regarded as the stone of the heart. A gift of an emerald symbolizes love and fidelity.


Pearl Pearl - The June Birthstone
Once believed to be the hardened tears of joy that the Greek goddess of love shook from her eyes as she was born from the sea. Resembling the moon, a pearl is said to have been ground up and used in cosmetics and medicines to treat heart and stomach conditions in the ancient times. They come in a variety of colours from pure white to pink, grey, yellow and black. A gift of pearl symbolizes purity, beauty and are generally gifted to celebrate the birth of a child.


Ruby Ruby - The July Birthstone
Considered as the Rajnapura or The King Of Gems by ancient Hindus, July's birthstone is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history. A ruby's red colour was thought to grow darker when there was danger nearby and to return to its original colour when the danger passed and hence was commonly worn by royalty as a talisman against evil. Rubies were thought to represent heat and power. It was said that a pot of water would boil if a ruby was tossed into it. A gift of a ruby symbolizes everlasting love and if worn on the left hand, could bring good fortune to its wearer.


Peridot Peridot - The August Birthstone
A yellowish green stone, peridots have always been associated with the sun. In fact, the Egyptians called them the "gem of the sun" because of their dazzling brilliance when held up in the desert sun. They also believed that the peridot also glowed with light even in the dark. A gift of a peridot symbolizes vitality and strength.


Sapphire Sapphire - The September Birthstone
Blue as blue can be, sapphires were a big favourite among kings and priests who considered them symbolic of wisdom and purity. This royal gemstone was thought to be protective against envy, and even against poisoning. It was also believed to cure colic, rheumatism and mental illness and to strengthen eyesight. A gift of sapphire represents sincerity and faithfulness.


Opal Opal - The October Birthstone
Opals come in a variety of colours and are prized for their unique ability to reflect and refract light. These fiery gemstones were also ground and ingested for the healing properties and to keep away nightmares. Ancient kings and noblemen treasured opals, both for their beauty and for their presumed protective powers. A gift of an opal is said to symbolize faithfulness confidence.


Citrine Citrine - The November Birthstone
A yellow or golden variety of quartz, citrines have been credited with treating urinary tract infections, jaundice and kidney ailments. Indian culture views citrines as uplifting, bright, energizing and inspirational stones It encourages the flow of Chi and activates intuition. A gift of an citrine symbolizes hope and strength.


Blue Topaz Blue Topaz- The December Birthstone
A cold blue coloured gem, December's birthstone was considered by ancient civilizations to have cooling properties. Not only was it believed to cool boiling waters when thrown into the pot , but also to calm hot tempers as well. The gemstone was said to possess other healing powers like curing insanity, asthma, weak vision and insomnia. One of it's magical properties also included its ability to make its owner invisible in a threatening situation. A gift of blue topaz is symbolic of love and fidelity.

1 comments:

morinn said...

mine is the amethyst! :P a small one was gifted to me by my grand mother was i was quite small! :P

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