The Ultimate Birthstone Jewellery Guide
What is my birthstone? Some might find it frustrating that there isn’t just one simple birthstone for each month. Here at Larsen Jewellery, we actually think it’s fabulous that you get to choose the best birthstone for the type of jewellery you want to create. Who doesn’t love options!
There are three per month, the traditional birthstone, secondary birthstone, and astrological birthstone. Now we all know that star signs don’t line up exactly with the calendar, so I’ll pop the specific dates for those in too.
Custom made birthstone jewellery is a fabulous gift idea for Mother’s Day, birthdays, a new baby and so much more. For mums, you can choose to feature the birthstones of her children. For lovers, pair your two birthstones together in a personal piece of jewellery for eternity, oh so romantic!
Primary birthstone – Garnet
Secondary birthstone – Rose Quartz
Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19) birthstone – Ruby
Those born in January have a definite colour theme to their collection of birthstones. You may well look at the list above and roll your eyes at the whole 50 shades of pink scenario. Well despair no more, I’m going to introduce you to the oh-so-versatile beauty of the garnet. This gemstone comes in every colour of the rainbow, it’s bright, resilient and a great choice for jewellery.
Somehow, the garnet has gained notoriety as a low priced alternative to ruby but it is so much more than that. Some of the most sought after garnet varieties include the tsavorite garnet which is a breathtaking emerald green colour. The Malaya garnet, which we used in the Bachelor Australia ring in 2018, is a seductive peachy hue. You’ll also find Mali (yellow) garnets, Spessartine (orange) garnets, even purple and ultra-rare blue varieties.
If you’re looking for a special gift for someone born in January, garnet jewellery will never disappoint!
Primary birthstone – Amethyst
Secondary birthstone – Onyx
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18) birthstone – Garnet
Amethyst, the birthstone for February, is purple coloured quartz variety. You may well have seen it displayed in its stunning geode form some of which are big enough to stand inside.
Amethyst can be bright and clean or have a cloudy appearance. It is not an expensive gemstone and is available in many shapes and sizes. You can buy it as a faceted gem, beads, rough crystal, or polished into a cabochon cut. A skilled jeweller can fashion any of these styles into a striking piece of jewellery.
Amethyst is a softer gemstone. It has a hardness of 6 on the Moh’s hardness scale which means it is quite easy to scratch. If you are wanting amethyst to be set into a ring, it shouldn’t be an everyday piece as you will need to wear it with care. Amethyst is a great choice or pendants or earrings, where there is less exposure to wear and tear.
Primary birthstone – Aquamarine
Secondary birthstone – Jade
Pisces (Feb19-Mar 20) birthstone – Amethyst
The birthstone of March is Aquamarine. If you are familiar with this gemstone then you will know how fortunate those born in March are. With an unmistakable, beautiful ocean blue colour, Aquamarines brighten up any jewellery design.
Aquamarine gets its name because of its colour. In Latin, it translates to ‘water of the sea’. The Aquamarine belongs to the Beryl family of gemstones which also includes Emerald. Aquamarine comes in a range of blue colours from light, to dark and also shades of blue-green.
Like many gemstones, Aquamarine has an interesting history. Rumoured to reawaken love, assist in fortune-telling and provide security for travellers. Aquamarine has many roles in many cultures. The Greeks and the Romans would wear aquamarine to protect themselves when crossing the sea. In the Middle Ages, it was considered to be the superior gemstone for fortune-telling and was cut into fortune-telling balls. Today the belief in the healing and metaphysical properties of the stone is still very much alive. One of the most popular beliefs is that Aquamarine provides mental clarity.
Who suits Aquamarine?
If you love the colour blue, then there is no doubt that you will find a beautiful Aquamarine to suit your taste. The beautiful, lighter shades of blue look wonderful with fair skin and fair hair. The darker blue shades look stunning on darker skin and darker hair. And for those with blue-green eyes why not consider a matching coloured Aquamarine?
Can I set an Aquamarine into an engagement ring?
Aquamarines are not as durable as a Diamond or Sapphire. In saying that, they do have a rating of 7.5 – 8 on the Moh’s hardness scale, still making them a fairly durable stone. Depending on the Aquamarine you choose, it may not be ideal for an engagement ring. Your jeweller will be able to determine if a stone is right for your engagement ring.
The most attractive thing about the Aquamarine is its affordability next to a Diamond or even a Sapphire. Aquamarines are stunning and will certainly not disappoint. Larsen Jewellery can source a range of beautiful Aquamarines for you to choose from. We can help you come up with a unique custom-made piece for you or your loved one.
Primary birthstone – Diamond
Secondary birthstone – Sapphire
Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19) birthstone – Bloodstone
If you are born in April, then you, my friend, have won the birthstone lottery! Your birthstone is diamond, the most desired gemstone on the planet. Diamonds are perfect for any type of jewellery and will always impress the most discerning critics.
Now, if you’re looking for a low priced birthstone gift, you may be thinking you’re out of luck. But fear not, low priced diamonds do exist! You can buy small colourless diamonds can be for under $100, these can be set into a disc pendant or a simple ring. Some coloured diamonds are also very budget-friendly. Black or cognac coloured diamonds are well below the price of colourless varieties and can be equally as beautiful.
Primary birthstone – Emerald
Secondary birthstone – Chrysoprase
Taurus (Apr 20-May 20) birthstone – Sapphire
If you are born in May, then you are lucky to be blessed with the Emerald as your birthstone. Emeralds are up there with Diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies as the most sought after gemstones. It is the exquisite vivid green colour of emeralds that makes people fall so in love with them. Take a look at Halle Berry’s jaw-dropping engagement ring to see why they are some of the most popular stones of all.
Emeralds have possessed a magical, desirable quality for thousands of years. Look through the history books and you will see their popularity as the stone chosen by many Royals throughout the ages. Cleopatra’s love of Emeralds is particularly well recorded. It isn’t only the natural beauty of an Emerald that has made them so popular. Like many other gemstones, the metaphysical qualities and folklore attached to them as well. In some cultures, Emeralds bring the wearer good fortune and health, representing rebirth. Combine these beliefs with the spiritual meaning of green: fertility, new life, nature and wellbeing and you have the perfect gift.
What colour is Emerald green?
The shade of an Emerald can vary and many experts around the world argue over exactly which shade is the best. The blue-green to pure green Emeralds are the most desirable. How does one decide if a stone is an Emerald or not? Generally, when a stone’s hue is too yellow or blue in colour it will not be an Emerald, instead, it will get the label, Green Beryl, Yellow Beryl or Aquamarine. One of the Emerald’s most recognisable features is that they are often full of inclusions. A perfectly clean Emerald is ultra-rare hence they are the most sought after. The often included nature of an Emerald is something to consider when choosing a stone for an engagement ring. Or, for that matter, other pieces that you will wear every day and receive knocks and bumps.
Emeralds have been mined for thousands of years. Emeralds were first mined in Egypt, possibly as early as 330 BC and continued to be mined into the 1700s. Nowadays, Emeralds come from all over the world, the most prized being Colombian Emeralds followed by Brazil and Africa.
Emeralds make a wonderful choice for any piece of jewellery especially if your loved one has a birthday in May! Custom designing a piece ensures you create a unique and individual piece. Whether it is a ring, a pair of earrings or a pendant, your jeweller will be able to help you create a beautiful piece.
A Few Things to Consider About Emeralds:
What should you consider when purchasing an Emerald?
It is important to consider the use of your Emerald. If you are purchasing an Emerald for an engagement ring it is important to consider the fragile nature of these stones. Emeralds can have significant inclusions, making them more vulnerable to everyday knocks and bumps. Your jeweller will be able to assist you in choosing a suitable Emerald for your ring.
What are the world’s most famous Emeralds?
Halle Berry’s stunning Emerald and yellow gold engagement ring is one of the most famous and recent Emeralds. Elizabeth Taylor’s Emerald pendant is one of the most expensive Emerald jewels. In 2011, Taylor’s pendant fetched an amazing $6,578,500 at auction.
There are many Royal Emerald Jewels around the world. One of the most famous and expensive being the Emerald and Diamond Tiara that belongs to the Swedish Royal Family worth $12.76 million.
Can I afford an Emerald regardless of my budget?
Whether you have a $1,000 or $100,000 to spend, it will be possible to find an Emerald to suit your budget. A tiny Emerald set into a yellow gold ring is a beautiful, classic and affordable choice.
What metal suits Emerald best?
Emeralds look just exquisite with yellow gold, making the perfect combination to create a vintage style look. For a more modern and contemporary style consider white gold. Rose gold is a less popular choice, but still looks beautiful with Emeralds and is a great choice for all skin types.
Primary birthstone – Moonstone
Secondary birthstone – Pearl
Gemini (May 21-Jun 20) birthstone – Agate
If you are born in June, you really have two primary birthstones, moonstone and pearl. In this post, we decided to put the pearl second simply because it technically isn’t a gemstone. Having said that, pearl jewellery is more common than moonstone jewellery and is thought by many to be more precious.
Moonstones are often associated with bohemian style jewellery, often set in silver with some kind of wave or dolphin motif. This typecasting of moonstone is somewhat unwarranted. Moonstones also featured in the jewellery of the Art Nouveau era and can be striking in precious jewellery.
They are a softer gemstone so are not ideal for engagement rings. You should wear moonstone jewellery with care as they are quite easy to damage. We would suggest considering them for earrings or pendants.
Your options for pearl jewellery
Pearls, interestingly, were one of the first embellishments to be used in jewellery and adornments by various cultures around the world. Why were they one of the first? The answer is that they were much easier to find and they are easy to prepare for jewellery purposes in comparison to other gemstones. The beautiful, desirable lustre of a pearl does not need cutting or polishing like most other gems.
Pearls are the only gemstone that grows in a living sea creature. Oysters create pearls as a natural reaction to detecting a foreign substance in their shell. Since the 1900s in Asia, Pearls are grown by inserting a nucleus into a living oyster. Over time the oyster would coat the nucleus with layers of ‘Nacre’ and a Pearl would form in the exact same way a naturally occurring pearl would. Nowadays, the farming of cultured Pearls is a large industry, especially in Australia and throughout Asia.
Like all gemstones, Pearls are also believed to have metaphysical powers. In Ancient Chinese culture, it is believed that wearing pearls you will protect the wearer from fire and dragons. Other cultures wore pearls as mourning jewellery as they represented small tears.
No matter what your partner’s style is, there is a pearl to suit everyone. Select from natural or cultured, freshwater, saltwater or a stunning dark Tahitian pearl. Available in a range of colours and with each one being completely unique, Pearls truly make a perfect gift for your loved one. Whether it is a ring, a pendant, earrings or something more extravagant, your options are endless and you will be sure to make your loved one happy!
What should you consider before purchasing pearl jewellery?
First, consider your girlfriend’s style; what colour jewellery does she love to wear? Does she love feminine and pretty coloured things? Or does she like dark, clean, strong contemporary pieces?
Is a pearl suitable for an engagement ring?
Pearls are easy to damage, so they are not an ideal choice for an everyday ring. Pearls make a great choice for occasional rings or dress rings.
Are pearls easy to look after?
Yes! Keep the beautiful lustre of your pearls by avoiding any contact with harsh chemicals or cosmetics. Make sure your pearls are the last item that you put on and the first item you take off. Washing with mineral or distilled water and polishing with a soft cloth is the best way to clean pearls.
Primary birthstone – Ruby
Secondary birthstone – Carnelian
Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22) birthstone – Emerald
If you are born in July you are lucky to have Ruby as your birthstone. Red is the colour of love, passion and romance so it is no wonder rubies are one of the most desirable and precious gemstones. This makes them the perfect choice of stone for a gift or engagement ring!
Many cultures believe each type of gemstone will have various health benefits. It is said by many that rubies ward off danger and bring the wearer health, wealth and love. In ancient Sanskrit text, rubies were given the name ‘King of Precious Stones’.
What many do not realise is that rubies are technically a sapphire. Both sapphires and rubies come from the same gemstone family of corundum. Only the corundum gems that are beautiful rich pinks to deep reds in colour are fortunate enough to get the ruby label. Like sapphires, they have a hardness rating of 9 on the Moh’s hardness scale. When choosing a ruby for an engagement ring it is important to be aware of the differences between a sapphire and a ruby. Even though they have the same hardness as a sapphire, lower quality rubies can be brittle due to inclusions within the stone. This can make them more fragile when handling and setting.
The world’s most desirable colour for ruby is as “pigeon’s blood red”, renowned for its deep pure red colour with a slight hint of blue. This colour of ruby synonymous with the famous Burmese Ruby, the most sought after variety.
Rubies come in the most beautiful shades of dark pinks, magentas, crimsons, and reds from all over the world. So, if you are lucky enough to be born in July, you must be worthy of wearing this precious stone!
Primary birthstone – Peridot
Secondary birthstone – Aventurine
Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22) birthstone – Onyx
August, if you’re born during the last month of the Australian winter, you’re lucky to have Peridot as your birthstone. This beautiful green gemstone reminds us that spring is right around the corner!
Peridot is a fantastic choice for engagement rings, dress rings and other jewellery. Unlike other gemstones that come in many colours, Peridot only exists in the beautiful olive green that it is so famous for. Depending on the amount of iron present in each stone, the shade of olive green will vary from darker brownish greens to yellowish greens. The rich olive green is the most prized type of Peridot.
Like many precious gemstones, Peridot has an interesting history. Even though it is unclear where the name ‘Peridot’ came from, its history goes right back to the Middle Ages. During this time, Peridot was worn to ward off evil spirits. It also continued to be one of the most popular gemstones during the Baroque period. For over 3000 years Peridot mining operations took place on the island of Zabargad, also known as ‘St John’ in Egypt. This mine is the largest deposit of Peridot to date. There are also Peridot mines are Burma, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and there are deposits throughout Africa.
Many believe gemstones have healing properties, they believe Peridot protects from respiratory illnesses. On top of this, it promotes love, truth and loyalty.
Peridot is a stunning, vibrant and refreshing gemstone. Available in a large variety of shades of green, it should not be too difficult to find the perfect one for you.
Primary birthstone – Sapphire
Secondary birthstone – Lapis
Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22) birthstone – Carnelian
If you are born in September you are lucky to have the sapphire as your birthstone. After diamond, Sapphires are the superior gemstone of colour for engagement rings. Their hardness is just below diamond meaning they have the durability to stand the test of time. The best thing about sapphires is that there is one for everyone. Sapphires come in all colours of the rainbow, not just the vibrant and deep blues they are so famous for. In fact, they even come in black and colourless white.
The word Sapphire is derived from the Latin word “Saphirus” and the similar Greek word “Sapheriros”. Both words meaning blue. In ancient Greek and Roman mythology, it was believed that Sapphires had the power to protect against evil, harm and envy.
One of the many appealing things about sapphire is the price, in comparison to a diamond, they are considerably less expensive. This allows the size to become a major element in the design process. If you desire a large stone that is going to make a statement then sapphires are a great option.
Blue sapphires are the most popular, the two main ones are the prized Ceylon type sapphires and the inky blue Australian sapphire. Pinks and yellows follow blue in popularity and then the shades of green, orange, purple, black and colourless. One of the most exquisite types is the peachy colour sapphires, the rare Padparadscha sapphire predominantly comes from Sri Lanka.
We take great pride in sourcing the very best sapphires available on the market. Whether it be a stunning blue or a playful pink we will search high and low for the right stone for you.
Primary birthstone – Opal
Secondary birthstone – Tourmaline
Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22) birthstone – Peridot
October babies have a stunning selection of gemstone options in their birthstone collection. They have the iconic Australian opal, the mesmerising tourmaline and the Librans among them also have the peridot.
Opal is the primary birthstone for October. It is available in many varieties and can range in price to suit every budget. Be careful though because opals are one of the most unstable of all the birthstones. They can fracture easily and scratch easily. They are even slightly porous meaning they can absorb all sorts of potentially damaging substances.
If you have your heart set on an opal, consider a pendant or earrings over a ring. The wearer will still need to be careful when wearing perfume or sunscreen but the risk of damage is greatly reduced.
If you want to buy a birthstone ring for someone born in October, we would recommend looking at their secondary birthstone, the tourmaline. Tourmalines come in a range of colours from pink to champagne and a variety of greens. Black tourmaline is also popular along with the rarest variety, the Paraiba tourmaline. Paraiba tourmaline is a striking peacock blue and is on the wish list of many gemstone collectors worldwide.
Another rare and colourful Tourmaline is the beautiful bicolour or parti variety. Gemmologists appropriately refer to these as ‘Watermelon’ Tourmalines. These look exactly as you may imagine; a beautiful combination of green and pink. A typical Watermelon Tourmaline crystal, when sliced, will appear green on the outside with a pinkish-red centre.
The vibrant and colourful nature of Tourmaline lends itself perfectly to dress rings or any other colourful, custom-made fine jewellery item.
The history of tourmaline
Tourmalines were first discovered in Brazil in the 1500s but were mistaken for Emeralds. They gained the identity Tourmaline in the 1800s. It is also quite likely that due to the array of colours available they were confused for other gem varieties. This mistaken identity had an influence on its name, which is derived from the Sri Lankan word ‘toramalli’ meaning ‘confused gems’.
It is interesting to note that Tourmaline is one of the most significant gemstones for metaphysical use. Because Tourmaline can be found all over the world, there are numerous records throughout history that speak of its use in healing a variety of ailments; specifically to support the nervous system, blood and lymph nodes. In India Tourmaline was used to promote insight into the good in one’s life and to identify evil and trouble. African and Native American cultures wore Tourmaline as a talisman to ward off evil and protect against danger. On top of all this, perhaps because of the beautiful range of colours Tourmaline comes in, it is also believed to promote creativity.
Tourmaline is clearly a wonderful choice of gemstone for any custom-made jewellery piece. With such a wonderful assortment of colours, there is one for everyone! If you are looking for a birthday gift for someone special, or perhaps yourself, contact us at Larsen Jewellery to view a selection of these wonderful gems!
Primary birthstone – Topaz
Secondary birthstone – Citrine
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21) birthstone – Aquamarine
November’s birthstone is the topaz and if you love colour, then this is the right gemstone for you! Topaz comes in a huge variety of colours, from yellows, vibrant pinks, and soft violets, through to all shades of blue. The most common topazes are the yellows and the most sought after and rare are the beautiful pinks, reds and oranges. The most popular varieties are the blues, which come in a range of stunning shades.
Topaz mines have existed throughout the world for centuries. Today the world’s largest supply comes from Brazil, with other smaller deposits found scattered around the globe. Different colours of topaz are more dominant in certain areas. For example, a large quantity of the beautiful rare pink topaz, come from Russia.
A brief history of topaz
According to Roman history, the name ‘Topaz’ comes from an island in the Red Sea called ‘Topazos’, now known as Zabargad. The stories from Ancient Roman times also suggest that topaz gave great strength to the wearer when travelling. Like many other gemstones, topaz carries different meanings and healing properties. In India, many believe topaz protects the wearer against sudden death, providing strength, good health and long life. Interestingly, during the Middle Ages, topaz was worn to balance the wearer’s state of mind. If you follow crystal healers, it also drives away depression promotes happiness and assists in curing illnesses such as asthma and insomnia.
With a hardness of 8 on the Moh’s scale, topaz truly is a wonderful choice. Topaz is a perfect stone for jewellery, we suggest a beautiful set of earrings or a fabulous cocktail ring!
Primary birthstone – Tanzanite
Secondary birthstone – Turquoise
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) birthstone – Blue Topaz
If you are born in December you are lucky to have a selection of stunning birthstones. Traditionally, the birthstone of December is Turquoise but over the years other gemstones have moved in. In 2002, December’s birthstone became Tanzanite. Turquoise became secondary along with Topaz Zircon and Lapis Lazuli.
Tanzanite is one of the more recent gemstone discoveries, with the first recorded discovery in 1954. As the name suggests, Tanzanite comes from Tanzania.
Tanzanite is highly desirable due to its beautiful deep violet colour. Good quality tanzanite displays colours ranging from vivid blues to rich purples. Interestingly, Tanzanite looks bluer under natural light and more purple under artificial light. It is important to note that nearly all Tanzanites receive heat-treatment to enhance the violet-blue colour that makes them so desirable.
Many believe the colour of tanzanite brings the wearer good fortune and success. Linking the heart and mind, allowing the wearer to live a more compassionate life. Tanzanite strengthens the wearer’s immune system promoting a positive and healthy life. When you consider the natural beauty, awareness, Tanzanite is truly a special gemstone. Add to that the belief that it will bless the wearer with good fortune, it’s a fabulous gemstone to set into a custom made piece of jewellery for your loved one.
How to design birthstone jewellery
if you’re looking for gift ideas, consider a beautiful piece of birthstone jewellery, it’s one of the most beautiful and sentimental gifts you can give. Each month has a respective birthstone and every gemstone holds special energetic qualities; many promote good health, prosperous lives, balance and positive energy. Whether you believe in the energetic qualities a gemstone holds or not, there is no denying that a piece of custom made gemstone jewellery is a thoughtful gift that will be cherished for years to come.
At Larsen Jewellery, we can source birthstones such as Aquamarines, Rubies, Sapphires and more. We can then help you create a beautifully designed, meaningful piece of jewellery. The chosen gemstone will determine which type of jewellery is most suitable. Some gemstones such as Sapphires are a more suitable choice for rings, whereas others with a lesser hardness may be more suitable in earrings or pendants.
Ask your jeweller to advise you as to whether a specific gemstone can be set into a certain design. What to be mindful of when choosing gemstones for rings is whether they will hold up to everyday knocks and bumps. A beautiful dress ring worn on special occasions is an example of the perfect piece to include a fabulous, vibrant gemstone with a lesser hardness.
Creating a piece of birthstone jewellery is an opportunity to let your creative juices and your imagination run free. If you could have a piece of birthstone jewellery made for you, what would you choose? Let us know in the comments below!