Don’t let anyone ever tell you that a birthday is just a single day. Au contraire — your special time deserves a whole month of celebration! We’re talking birthday advent candles for an exciting countdown, a destination party weekend for a milestone birthday, and zodiac-inspired gifts for a cosmic celebration. Another way to pay tribute to your birth month? Rock your birthstone or, if you’re feeling nest-y, decorate with it! Birthstones are more than just pretty gems though; each has a distinct meaning and history.
While the modern iteration of the birthstone list is a product of a 1912 meeting of the National Association of Jewelers to standardize the gems, their folkloric start is a bit more romanticized. It seems that first-century historian Josephus wrote that Aaron from the Book of Exodus wore a breastplate encrusted with 12 stones — one for each month and corresponding zodiac sign. Additionally, it was common practice (up until only a few centuries ago) that people would collect all 12 stones and wear each month's stone for those 30ish days, regardless of when their own birthday fell. Read on for more fascinating deets about each individual birthstone!
Anytime you're traveling, be sure to pull out your birthstone, because garnet has a history of protecting those on long journeys. It's a stone known to promote courage and clarity in a crisis and apparently can even assist a widow with finding a new partner, since it helps alleviate grief and loneliness. Noted!
Looks like you're in luck for your next birthday party! The ancient Greeks believed the amethyst helps keep you from getting too drunk — in fact, the word "amethyst" comes from the Greek word amethystos,
which means "sober."
Well, this is cool — turns out you get the mermaid stamp of approval. Ancient maritime lore says that mermaids kept aquamarine stones as treasure and that sailors used aquamarines as talismans for safe travels on the open sea. On a more practical note, aquamarine is also supposed to help relax its wearer and help facilitate open, clear communication.
You win the birthstone battle, April babies! But diamonds are cool for more than their carats. These brilliant beauties are said to be energy amplifiers (both good and bad), so thinking positive thoughts while wearing one will help spread that good juju outwards. You can also use diamonds to clear negative energy, keep nightmares away, and attract wealth (seems about right).
Associated with both Roman love-goddess Venus and Egypt's Queen Cleopatra, the emerald has some seriously badass history. It should be no surprise then that the green stone represents unconditional love, fertility, an open heart, and emotional calm. It's also said to ward off spells and enhance psychic abilities. We love those witchy vibes!
These classic orbs aren't just for oysters. The ancient Greeks believed pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, and they carry on as a symbol of love and purity today.
Did you know that ancient people coveted the ruby even more than the diamond? It's true — your fiery gem has long been hailed as the stone of royalty and acts a symbol of romantic passion, financial prosperity, and abundant wealth. It's also believed to activate the base chakra, which opens up a person's life-force energy, imbuing the wearer with a clear mind and open heart.
Apart from the diamond, peridot is the only gem formed from molten rock in the Earth's mantle and brought to the surface through a volcano or some other violent terrestrial event. As such, it's long been associated with the sun and light and is believed to ward off darkness and evil spirits. It's also said to help alleviate fear, nervousness, and stomach butterflies by placing it on your solar plexus — an awesome addition to a daily meditation practice!
You get major spiritual vibes with the sapphire, September ladies. This often-blue gem has a long history with the celestial, from warding off evil spirits in ancient times to bringing about enlightenment for some Buddhists. And if that's just not your thing? The sapphire is also said to be a stone of wisdom and manifestation, helping the wearer achieve goals and expand their consciousness.
It's no coincidence that you're feeling confident when you wear your opal, October babies. The iridescent stone is said to increase self-worth, ward off bad vibes from those around you, and even calm a racing, restless mind. In fact, it's been suggested you should even sleep with an opal under your pillow for a nightmare-free (and decidedly luxe) rest.
Expand your squad with the help of your birthstone. As it turns out, topaz is a symbol of friendship, generosity, and faithfulness. You'll attract all the right people with topaz and be given greater clarity in your own life through its influence.
A symbol of strength, peace, and wisdom, turquoise holds a powerful place in many communities both ancient and modern. It's meant to keep its wearer from harm, attract friends, promote mindfulness, ease anxiety, and enhance leadership abilities. No matter when you were born, we're pretty sure you can benefit from a little turquoise in your life.
Do you wear your birthstone on the regular? Tweet us @BritandCo to tell us about your baubles!
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