However, modern birthstones are linked to calendar months, and each month has its own unique birthstone, with its own fabled properties. Many people love to wear jewellery set with their birthstone, as the ancient meanings and associations with these stones still intrigue them.
You can get many types of jewellery containing birthstones, such as birthstone rings, a birthstone pendant and birthstone earrings. Giving someone an item of jewellery set with their birthstone is a touching and wonderful gift, and whether you give them a birthstone ring, a birthstone pendant or a birthstone brooch, it is something that they are likely to treasure forever because it has real meaning and significance.
Below you will find a listing of each of the birthstones used today.
The birthstone for this month is the garnet, which was once thought to be connected with the blood. This stone is supposed to protect the wearer from nightmares and offer guidance through the dark.
Garnets are long lasting and durable gems, with a fiery, ravishing beauty. This is type of gem that the wearer will treasure forever, no matter what item of jewellery it is set into. Garnets are traditionally thought of as deep red, but actually come in a wide range of colours, so there is something to suit every taste for this month.
The birthstone for this month is the amethyst, and the folklore attached to this gem associates it with sobriety, tranquillity, protection and peace. This birthstone as also been linked to improving the skin and preventing baldness, as well as protection from deceit, so it has a lot to live up to!
The amethyst birthstone comes in varying shades of purple, and can be a pale lilac in colour. On the other end of the scale, you can also get deep violet amethysts, which means that you can enjoy a birthstone that is as subtle or as rich as you like. This birthstone is very hardwearing, and its strength and durability will ensure that it lasts for a very long time.
This month's birthstone is aquamarine, which has been linked to the making of new friends as well as affection and love, hope and health. This stone was once also thought to protect those at sea.
As the name of this birthstone suggests, it is a green-blue in colour and has a rich, sparkling look. You can get aquamarine birthstones in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you can also get this stone in varying shades of green-blue.
One of the most popular gems throughout history, diamonds are the birthstone for this month, and these stones are linked to love, eternity and strength. This has contributed towards diamonds being the most popular gems of all time when it comes to romance, such as engagement rings and wedding bands.
Diamonds are very strong and hardwearing, making them the perfect birthstone to wear on a daily basis. You can enjoy many different cuts of this stone, and the fiery, glamorous sparkle given off by diamonds is positively captivating.
This month's birthstone is the beautiful emerald, once linked to health and the curing of ailments, as well as being associated with the ability to see in to the future, giving them an almost bewitching, magical reputation.
These fiery green gems are amazing to look at, and can be found in a variety of shapes and cuts. The beauty and richness of this stone makes it the perfect gem for birthstone jewellery, and is something that the wearer can show off and take pride in for a long time.
The elegant pearl is the birthstone for the month of June, and this gem has been linked with chastity and modesty, making it something of an angelic, pure birthstone. They are also linked to successful and happy marriages.
These round, stunning birthstones come in a variety of colours, and a range of sizes. Pearls can look spectacular yet modest in all manner of jewellery from birthstone rings, to earrings and necklaces, making them a perfect gift.
The birthstone for this month is the ravishing ruby, a stone traditionally linked with protection and harmony. This birthstone has been mined since ancient times, and boasts a spectacular beauty.
Deep red in colour, rubies are stunning birthstones that will liven up and enhance any piece of jewellery. These gems have a unique, vivid and fiery appearance that would delight anyone.
The birthstone for the month of August is peridot, which was commonly linked with protection against evil and night terrors, as well as a gem that enhanced the properties of healing drugs.
Lime green in colour, this birthstone is a by-product of volcanic action, and comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This birthstone gives off its own unique energy, and is strong and durable.
Sumptuous sapphire is the birthstone associated with September, and this gem has been linked with faith and purity, as well as foresight. It was thought that the stronger the sparkle of the gem, the more faithful and honest the wearer.
These birthstones look stunning in all types of jewellery, especially in white gold and platinum metal. However, sapphires can come in other colours as well as blue. These are strong and durable gems that will last for years to come, and can be passed down to future generations.
The birthstone of October is the opal, a stone that has been linked to purity, hope and innocence. This gem has also been linked to healing forces, friendship and emotion, so it has experienced its fair share of folklore over the years.
This type of birthstone comes in white or black, and both variations have remnants of other colours within them. Opals have a unique look and beauty, making them a very interesting birthstone with a strangely exquisite appearance.
The birthstone for this month is topaz, once linked with sanity, healing, and life, as well as being connected to strength by the ancient Greeks. This stone has even been linked to an ability to make the wearer invisible in dangerous situations.
This birthstone comes in a range of colours, all of which will enhance any jewel with a fiery sparkle. Colours include golden, blue, pale green, pink and red, as well as some other rare colours. A stunning gem, topaz boasts both beauty and strength.
The given birthstone for December is turquoise, and this precious stone was once linked to happiness, fortune and luck, making it a very popular gem in centuries gone by.
Turquoise can range in colour from mid-blue to a green-blue or light green colour, and this birthstone is unusual and beautiful, making it a very distinctive and unusual addition to any jewellery collection.
Giving a birthstone to someone special as a gift means giving so much more than just a piece of jewellery. The ancient meanings associated with each of these birthstones make them extra-special, giving them a quality that is impossible to achieve with any other gem.
Whether you decide to give a birthstone ring, necklace earrings or any other piece of jewellery, you will always find stunning pieces where the precious metal and the birthstone complement one another perfectly. Birthstone jewellery makes a unique, beautiful, and affordable gift with real sentiment behind it.
About the Author
Antigone Arthur is an award-winning author and freelance writer providing consumer information on such topics as birthstones and gemstones, promise rings, and celtic wedding rings.