Posts

, ,

A Trio of Gemstones in December

Turquoise is the birthstone for those born in December, and the astrological birthstone for those born under the zodiac sign of Capricorn (December 22-January 19) – the alternative gemstone for December is Zircon.

Did you know there are also flowers associated with birth months?  December’s flower is Holly.

Holly Blossoms

Turquoise

The word Turquoise comes from the Anglo-French turkeise.

The color of Turquoise has a range of color from hues of green to blue.  I love wearing this stone when the weather begins to warm – it just feels earthy and organic against your skin!

turquoise
For centuries, the most valuable turquoise came from Iran (Persia) but today some specimens mined in the southwestern United States compete with it. Currently, “Persian Turquoise” is generally used to designate any stone without the black or brown veining commonly found in turquoise mined in the United States.

Native Americans believed Turquoise to have many protective and healing properties including a positive healing energy, good fortune, and strength.  Other cultures believe Turquoise to enhance creativity, communication, serenity and wisdom.  Turquoise is also believed to foster empathy, loyalty, courage, confidence, and personal power.  A dream of Turquoise is thought to signify prosperity.

Zircon

The Zircon was one of the earliest, if not the first, gems used by man.  Zircon gems come in a range of colors from red to yellow, brown, blue and green.  It has a high refractive index – which gives it brilliance and sparkle.

In the Bible, zircon is noted by its ancient name, ‘jacinth‘ – a term used to describe the pale yellow to clear zircon.  Ancient travelers wore Zircon to protect themselves from the plague, wounds and injuries.

Zircon is credited with guarding sailors from lightning and expelling evil spirits with its brightness. It is an alternative birthstone for December, as well as one of the stones for the 4th year of marriage.

zircons
Zircon is thought to bestow wisdom, honor and wealth to those who possess it. It is especially prized for protecting travelers from harm, and even today, the Hindus believe zircon can stimulate spiritual growth. The name, Zircon, originates from the Persian word zargun which means “gold-colored.”

In the Middle Ages, this gem was thought to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, and promote riches, honor, and wisdom.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a newer stone and was added to the official birthstone list in 2002 by the American Gem Trade Association as an additional birthstone for December.

With a chemical composition of calcium aluminum silicate is a member of the Zoisite mineral family, Tanzanite is found only in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, East Africa. This sole source for the supply of Tanzanite makes it a gemstone rarer than diamonds.

Uncut blue Tanzanite
Pure tanzanite can be a blue color when first mined, but is also found in brown hues and is typically heat-treated to create the sought-after bluish-purple color.

Being a new and rare stone – Tanzanite has little folklore other than the folklore from the Maasai tribe that lives in the area of the Tanzanite source. The Maasai tribe believe tanzanite to be a magical stone.  Their story tells of the ground being set on fire by a bolt of lightning,  whose heat altered the color of the stones into what is now known as Tanzanite.

Tanzanite is believed to be a stone of good fortune, and is thought to activate one’s psychic abilities, and provide wisdom and balance.

linethin

Aside from charts and articles I have collected over the years, the majority of the information for this post (and future posts) comes from a wonderful used book I found on gemstones by George Frederick Kunz.

In his book, turquoise is listed as the gemstone for July, while ruby is listed as the birthstone for December.  In all my other references – this is the complete opposite – as ruby is listed for July, turquoise for December – eeeek – time for some chocolate!!!!.  I will leave you with the poem for Turquoise from July:

‘Sentiments of The Months’:

July

The heav’n-blue turquoise should adorn

All those who in July are born;

For those they’ll be exempt and free

From love’s doubts and anxiety.

No other gem than turquoise on her breast

Can to the loving, doubting heart bring rest.

 

Gemstones of April

Next up in the birthstone series – diamond – the birthstone for April and the astrological birthstone for those born under the zodiac sign of Taurus.  

diamond

Derived from the Greek word ‘adamastos’ the word ‘diamond’  means unbreakable.

With a reputation as the hardest substance on earth, the diamond remains a symbol of power and wealth.

di2

In ancient times, diamonds were thought to possess magical qualities and superpowers.  A person who wore diamonds would be protected from harm, and would also possess charm, luck and success.

The Romans believed that Cupid carried diamond-tipped arrows, and that diamonds came from the tears of the gods.

di1

While birthstone gems are commonly known, there are flowers associated with one’s birth month as well.  The flower associated for those born in April is the daisy.

Aside from charts and articles I have collected over the years, the majority of the information for this post (and future posts)  comes from a wonderful used book I found on gemstones by George Frederick Kunz.  My  favorite section of this book contains short poems for each month – ‘Sentiments of The Months’:

April

She who from April dates her years

Diamonds should wear, lest bitter tears

For vain repentance flow.  This stone

Emblem of innocence is known.

Innocence, repentance – sun and shower –

The diamond or the sapphire is her dower.

 

What’s your favorite gemstone???????

Aquamarine for Aries

Happy Birthday to all those born in March!

The next stone up in my birthstone series is  the gemstone Aquamarine.

Aquamarine, the birthstone for March, is also the astrological birthstone for those born under the zodiac sign of Aries.

 

aquamarine

Derived from Latin word aqua = water,  and marina = the sea, Aquamarine is known as the sailors’ lucky stoneLegend has it that aquamarine was originally found in the treasure chest of mermaids  So, this gemstone was believed to protect sailors and guarantee safe travels.

Aquamarine comes in a range of colors with the most common ranging from almost colorless to pale blue to sky blue.  Folklore indicates that this serene blue stone keeps the wearer calm. Aquamarine is also thought to empower those who wear the stone with intelligence, courage, and happiness.

According to the folklore of sailors, the aquamarine originated in the treasure chest of mermaids, and has, since ancient times, been regarded as the sailors’ lucky stone and protected against the dangers of the sea.  Some even thought that the mermaids’ tails were made of aquamarine.

Bloodstone – the alternative birthstone for March

bldstone

A dark-green jasper flecked with vivid red spots of iron oxide, bloodstone (also known as heliotrope) was believed to have healing powers and was often used in the making of amulets. The bloodstone was also thought to generate a change in one’s life.  The bloodstone is also known as a symbol of justice.

While birthstone gems are commonly known, there are flowers associated with one’s birth month as well.  The flower associated for those born in March is the ipomea (morning glory) as well as the violet.

‘Sentiments of The Months’ from a book on gemstone lore by George Frederick Kunz  focuses on the birthstone of bloodstone for this month:

Who on this world of ours her eyes

In March first opens may be wise,

In days of peril firm and brave

Wears she a bloodstone to her grave.

Who wears a jasper, be life short or long,

Will meet all dangers brave and wise and strong.

Which stone do you prefer – aquamarine or bloodstone?

Amethyst & Pisces

Happy Birthday to all those born in February!  The next stone up in my birthstone series is  the gemstone Amethyst.

Amethyst, the birthstone for February, is also the astrological birthstone for those born under the zodiac sign of Pisces.

The word  ‘amethyst’  comes from the Latin word – amethystus –  not intoxicated (or ‘not drunk’ – which led to crushed amethyst being used as a charm to ward off intoxication.

amethyst geode

Amethyst is believed to be a meditative and calming stone.  It can bring the wearer emotional stability and inner strength, as well as courage, freedom, enhanced intuition, and, spiritual nourishment.

This gemstone is also thought to be beneficial when dealing with problems of money, which can lead to prosperity and abundance.

While birthstone gems are commonly known, there are flowers associated with one’s birth month as well.  The flower associated for those born in February is the primrose.

amy collage birthstone-001
 

  ‘Sentiments of The Months’ from a book on gemstone lore by George Frederick Kunz:

The February-born may find

Sincerity and peace of mind,

Freedom from passion and from care,

If she an amethyst will wear

Let her an amethyst but cherish well,

And strife and care can never with her dwell.

Garnet – The Protector

Being totally obsessed with gemstones, (and anything that sparkles for that matter) it seems only natural to start a blog post series on gemstones and their folklore.  So….here we go!

garnetgem
 

Garnet, the birthstone for January,  is also the astrological birthstone for those born under the zodiac sign of Aquarius.

The word  Garnet  comes from the Latin word – granatum (seed), or granatus (having many seeds) – due to the gem’s strong resemblance to pomegranate seeds.

shutterstock_67434730
 

Folklore surrounds the Garnet – some believed the stone to be a talisman and protector – illuminating the night, and protecting the wearer from evil – and so, it became a common amulet for travelers.

Garnet is also said to provide strength, inspiration, compassion, creativity & rejuvenation.    In earlier times, garnets were exchanged as gifts between friends to demonstrate their affection for each other and to insure that they meet again.

While birthstone gems are commonly known, there are flowers associated with one’s birth month as well.  The flower associated for those born in January is the snowdrop.

Aside from charts and articles I have collected over the years, the majority of the information for this post (and future posts)  comes from a wonderful used book I found on gemstones by George Frederick Kunz.  My  favorite section of this book contains short poems for each month – ‘Sentiments of The Months’:

January

No gems save garnets should be worn

By her who in this month is born;

They will insure her constancy,

True friendship and fidelity.

The gleaming garnet holds within its sway

Faith, constancy, and truth to one always.

Up next for this series is Amethyst – my favorite stone – I love, love, love purple!

What are your favorite gemstones?  Let me know in the comments below… they may show up in my spring gemstone jewelry line (coming soon)….