Friday, January 16, 2009

Precious Birth Gems

  • Garnet: January’s Gemstone

Garnet is the birth stone for month of January and the anniversary gemstone for second year of marriage. Garnets are found in Brazil, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, Siberia, Africa, and the USA.
Nearly everyone thinks of garnet as a red gem. In fact, this family of gemstones is available in all colors except blue. Garnets offer enough variety in appearance to suite every taste.
There are many ancient traditions and legends about garnets. Some Hebrew writers include it as one of the 12 gems in Aaron’s breastplate. Christian tradition long considered the blood red garnet symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice. The Koran holds that it illuminates the Fourth Heaven of the Moslems. Garnet was said to give its guidance in the night allowing him to see when others couldn’t. Legend claims that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination. According to the Egyptians, garnet is an antidote for snake bite and food poisoning.

  • Amethyst: February’s Gemstone

Amethyst is the birth stone for February and the anniversary gemstone for sixth year of marriage. It is found mainly in Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, the Ural Mountains of Russia, Madagascar, and Zambia.
Amethyst is a variety of quartz, ideally deep medium purple with rose colored flashes, however it ranges from pale lilac to nearly black purple shades.
The ancient Greeks believed that whoever wore an amethyst or drank from an amethyst chalice would not fall victim to intoxication. It is also said to have a sobering effect on those over excited by love’s passion. It has symbolized peace, protection and tranquility. Some say it will prevent baldness and improve complexion, while protecting from treason and deceit. Because royalty has always adored the color purple, amethysts abound in the ornaments of ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and in the British Crown Jewels.

  • Aquamarine: March’s Gemstone

Aquamarine is one of the traditional birthstone for March. It is also the anniversary gem for the 19th year of marriage. Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, and Zambia.
The ideal color of aquamarine is a refreshing sea blue. If you are looking for a big, durable gemstone, aqua is readily available in larger sizes and is truly dramatic when cut in rectangular or oval shapes. It is a member of the important beryl family, which also includes emerald.
Derived from the Latin meaning “sea water,” aquamarine was said to aid seafarers; thus it makes an excellent gift for sailors or those who travel frequently by sea. To dream of aquamarine signifies the making of new friends. To wear aquamarine brings love and affection. They are thought to give the wearers knowledge, foresight and assist in an individual’s inspiration. It is a universal symbol of youth, fidelity, hope, and health.

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