- Ruby: July’s Gemstone
Rubies come from Burma, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and India. It is the accepted gemstone for July birthdays, also 15th and 40th anniversary.
The ruby is named because of its rich red color. The ruby is a very durable gemstone; its hardness is surpassed only by diamond. Large rubies are very scarce and costly, worth more than 2 to 3 times a diamond of equal size and quality.
Rubies were thought to contain a glowing spark struck from the planet Mars. Ancient lore held that the ruby was capable of curing illness and reconciling lovers quarrels. Hindus referred to the ruby as “The Lord of the Gems,” and believed its deep red color came from an inextinguishable fire which was capable of boiling water. It is said that a person should never make faces at a ruby in a museum, and never ignore it, for it was said to grow dull if slighted or not worn or seen.
- Peridot: August’s Gemstone
Peridot is the birth stone for August and 16th anniversary gemstone, and mainly in Burma and the USA.
Peridot is sometimes referred to as an “Evening Emerald” because under artificial light the stone glows as a brilliant green. Choice peridot is transparent and its color varies yellow green to brilliant light green. Peridot is the child of volcanic action, crystals are sometimes combed from the black sands of Hawaii. It is abundant and available in larger sizes.
The peridot symbolize eloquence and persuasiveness; it was dedicated to St. Bartholomew. Treasured peridots found their way into cathedrals during the Crusades. Many legends state that peridot was considered a powerful amulet against all evil, as well as a remedy for sinus problems. It is said that if the gem was set in gold, it had the power to protect its wearer from terrors of the night, fears and bad dreams. Peridot were especially favored by pirates.
- Sapphire: September’s Gemstone
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gemstone for 5th and 45th anniversaries. They are found in Sri Lanka, Australia, East Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Sapphire, a variety of corundum, comes in all colors except red, with the most popular being deep blue. Rare orange, pink and lavender varieties, along with rich velvety blue are the most expensive. Like ruby, its twin except for color, the sapphire is second only to the diamond hardness.
Some ancient writers claimed the Ten Commandments were written on sapphire. Ancient marriage partners had great faith in the stone, believing it would not shine if worn by wicked or impure. They were reported to be an excellent all-purpose medicine; and antidote against poison and having the power to stop bleeding and cure disorders of the eye. Sapphires were considered to be so powerful they continued to protect the original owner even after being sold.
- Opal: October’s Gemstone
Opal is accepted for October birthdays and is the gemstone for 14th anniversaries. Sources are Australia, Mexico, and The USA.
There are more than a dozen varieties of fiery and iridescent opals. In fact, its tremendous color spectrum is the major reason for the opal’s mysterious attractiveness. The most popular have a white body color with flashes of many colors or “fires.”
Opal has symbolized hope, innocence and purity through the ages. In the Middle Ages, young fair-haired girls, wore opals in their hair to protect its lovely blond color. Medieval writers believed the opal could render its wearer invisible when the need arose. The ancient Romans believed the opal was the king of gems because it held within itself all the colors of rainbow.
- Citrine: November’s Gemstone
Citrine is one of the accepted birthstones for November, as well as the anniversary gemstone for the 13th year of marriage. It is found mainly in Brazil.
Citrine is a variety of quartz; colors range from pale yellow to yellowish-brown and “Madeira” red. The most popular fashion colors are the vivid yellows and oranges. It is often mistaken for yellow or golden topaz. Citrine is readily available, very affordable in large sizes and stands up well to daily wear. Its earthy tones complement many wardrobes. Citrine is often seen in jewelry combined with amethyst, blue topaz and pink tourmaline.
Citrine’s name is derived from “citron,” a lemon like fruit. People once carried citrine as protective talisman against the plague, bad skin and evil thoughts. It was also used as a charm against the bites of snakes and other venomous reptiles.
- Blue Topaz: December’s Gemstone
Blue topaz is one of the accepted birth stones for December and anniversary gemstone for 4th year of marriage, and Imperial topaz for the 23rd. Topaz is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka.
Most people think of topaz as a transparent golden yellow gemstone. However, this gemstone also occurs colorless as well as orange yellow, red, honey-brown (dark sherry), light green, blue, and pink. The name topaz is derived from the Greek word meaning “to shine” and also implies “fire.” Orange-red “Imperial” topaz and pink colors are rare and most valuable.
The lore, magic and romantic of topaz goes back many thousands of years. It holds the distinction of being the gemstone with the widest range of curative powers. Ancient Egyptians thought its golden glow symbolized “Ra,” their sun god. The Greek felt it gave them strength. In addition, it supposedly cooled tempers, restored sanity, cured asthma, relieved insomnia and even ward off sudden death. Topaz is said to make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. It proved the loyalty of associates by changing color in the presence of poison.