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The Birthstones of June

As I mentioned last month, we have four birthstones associated with this month – pearl, alexandrite, moonstone, and agate.

Before we get into the 4 gemstones for month of June, let’s start with the other basics.

The astrological birthstone for those born this month falls under the zodiac sign of Cancer.

The flower for those born in June is the honeysuckle.

Now, onto the gemstones!

First up – Pearls!

Pearls begin to form in oysters when a foreign substance gets inside the oyster’s shell – so they differ from all other gemstones & minerals due to their organic origin (vs being embedded in rock).

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Just like our own bodies mounting a repair/attack on invading substances, the oyster starts its own attack on this foreign matter that has become an unwelcome guest inside of the oyster’s shell.  The oyster begins its attack by covering the unwelcome guest with layers of the same substance used to create its own hard shell – a substance called nacre.  Over time, layer after layer of nacre, a lustrous pearl is formed.

In ancient times, pearls were thought to come down from heaven into the sea. Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought (who knew?!?).

Pearls symbolize wealth, power, and longevity as well as purity, generosity, love, and integrity.

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The next stone up is Alexandrite – it is a more modern stone and also very rare. (PS if someone tries to sell you one, it is very likely a lab-created, synthetic stone !)

Alexandrite has chameleon-like personality. In daylight, it appears as a beautiful green color, possibly with a bluish cast or a brownish tint.

However, under artificial lighting, the stone turns reddish-violet or violet.

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Alexandrite was discovered in 1839 on the birthday of Prince Alexander of Russia – in an emerald mine in the Ural Mountains of Russia – and the stone was subsequently named after him.

A dream of alexandrite was once thought to signify the approach of hard times.

It is believed that when an Alexandrite gemstone is worn close to the heart, it will bring love, energy, and harmony.  Alexandrite is also thought to impart wisdom and creativity, as well as strengthen an individual’s insight.

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Next up – Moonstone!

The moonstone is believed to bring good fortune, victory, health, and wisdom to those who wear it.  These stones show off an array of colorful light – a bluish-white sheen – when under different light sources.

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Moonstone is also thought to enhance intuition, and is associated with mystery, magic, and dreams.

Many believe the moonstone to be associated with the moon. During a full moon, the moonstone’s power reaches its peak – so it is said to be especially powerful at this time to reunite lovers, heal the wearer, and promote inner emotional healing.

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And now, for the grand finale – Agate.

Agate is shown in one of my books to be the birthstone for June, although its mention in other birthstone lists for this month is missing.

Formed from layers of quartz which usually show varicolored bands, agate usually occurs as rounded nodules or veins.  It is a more common stone and has many varieties of color/striations – some more common names include moss agate, lace agate; and plume agate.

agates

Agate is thought to improve memory, perception, and concentration, and encourage honesty.   It is also thought to provide a calming influence, and will also enhance creativity, strengthen the intellect, and offer protection from harm.

So there you have it for this month’s big party of birthstones – whew –  I need some chocolate after that!

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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 the most charming short poems for each month – ‘Sentiments of The Months’:

 June

Who comes with summer to this earth,

And owes to June her hour of birth,

With ring of agate on her hand

can health, long life, and wealth command.

Thro’ the moss-agate’s charm, the happy years

Ne’er see June’s sunshine turn to tears.

So we went through more stones than normal this month – did you find a favorite?  Let me know in the comments below!

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.  

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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  ‘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!

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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.

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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)….