Feeling witchy? Or fancy some new bling? If gems are your thing, we’ve got all you need to know about traditional and modern birthstones for each month and zodiac sign.
Birthstones are gemstones associated with the time of year when you were born.
While scientists aren’t convinced that wearing crystals or gems can influence your energy or life, many people believe that wearing the stone associated with your birth month or zodiac sign can promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
And even if you’re not a believer, birthstones can be an interesting, sentimental, and beautiful addition to your jewelry box.
So let’s find out where you should start.
In this article: 📝
- Are birthstones by month or zodiac?
- Birthstones by month
- Why do I have 3 birthstones?
- How do I figure out my birthstone?
- Birthstones by zodiac
- What is my zodiac birthstone?
Are birthstones by month or zodiac?
Actually, it’s both!
As far back as the very first century, people made a connection between the biblical description of the jewels of Aaron’s breastplate (see Exodus 28, if you’re interested) and the months of the year.
This tradition gave rise to the idea of birthstones as we know them today.
But there’s also a set of birthstones for each star sign, so you get to choose which of the options speaks to you.
Birthstones by month
Why are there two birthstones for each month?
Turns out there are two lists of birthstones for each month.
The traditional list was drawn up in Poland centuries ago but was altered in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers.
They amended the list to include some more modern gems.
This made it easier for them to make so-called “mother’s rings”, which are set with the birthstones of a mama’s child or children.
(Psst — a modern mother’s ring makes a meaningful mothers’ day memento).
And, if you’re buying something based on your birthstone, these modern additions also give you a little wiggle room to pick a stone that you truly love.
Why do I have 3 birthstones?
Over the years, jewelers have added a couple more options, so those of us born in June or August have three birthstones to choose from.
And if you were born in December, you get to take your pick of a whopping five different stones.
How do I figure out my birthstone?
Here’s the complete list of traditional and modern birthstones and their meanings by month.
- Traditional: Garnet
- Modern: Garnet
You might think of garnet as a red stone, but it occurs in a range of colors.
They’re associated with protection and vitality as well as love and light.
- Traditional: Amethyst
- Modern: Amethyst
Amethysts can be found in a range of purples, from soft lilac to a deep reddish shade.
It’s a very scratch-resistant stone, so it’s a great choice for jewelry you want to wear every day.
Purple has long been considered a regal color, and it’s associated with spirituality and healing.
Aquamarine is not just the blue-green of the ocean but also the name of a gem of the same color.
Ancient fishermen used it for protection, safe travel, and a great catch of fish.
Bloodstone is a striking dark green stone speckled with red spots of iron oxide.
It’s said to fortify the blood and give the wearer courage.
- Traditional: Diamond
- Modern: Diamond
Diamonds are loved the world over for their sophistication.
Extremely durable, they have become synonymous with strength and neverending love, which is why they feature so often in wedding and engagement rings.
- Traditional: Emerald
- Modern: Emerald
In the northern hemisphere, May is the most lush and verdant month of Spring, so the gorgeous green of an emerald is perfect for those born during this month.
Emeralds are associated with rebirth and are thought to give the wearer good fortune and foresight.
- Traditional: Pearl/Moonstone
- Modern: Alexandrite
Pearls are often linked to purity, honesty, wisdom, and power.
They’re the only gems made by living creatures, so naturally occurring pearls are very rare.
Most new pearl jewelry is made with cultured pearls.
Alexandrite, named for the Russian Tsar Alexander II, was discovered in 1834.
Incredibly rare, Alexandrite is crazy expensive but very beautiful.
Its colors change under different lights, shifting from blue and green to red and even purple.
Moonstone became the official state gemstone of Florida in 1970 to celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing.
It was popular with ancient civilizations who believed it was formed by moonbeams.
- Traditional: Ruby
- Modern: Ruby
Rubies are beloved for their deep red color.
They’re associated with strength and stamina.
- Traditional: Sardonyx
Sardonyx is an affordable layered stone.
It’s reddish with white stripes.
Peridot is a green stone that appears in many shades.
Thought to protect the owner at night, this pretty stone is also associated with good fortune and prosperity.
Finally, Spinel is often confused with rubies or pink sapphires but comes in a variety of colors, including cobalt blue, bright orange, and lavender.
Sapphires are the rarest of the cardinal gemstones (the others are diamonds, amethysts, rubies, and emeralds).
A spiritual stone worn by priests, sapphires were thought to have both medicinal and protective qualities.
Opals are unique stones often connected with light and magic.
From the Greek word meaning ”to see a change in color”, opals are a kaleidoscope within a gemstone.
Tourmaline is a very durable birthstone and comes in a range of colors.
It’s thought to calm negative emotions and encourage love.
Historically, all yellow gems were thought to be Topaz but it occurs in all sorts of colors.
It’s sacred in many cultures and often used for healing and to break spells.
It’s also thought to encourage truth and forgiveness.
Citrine is yellow to red-orange crystalline quartz, thought to heal stomach aches and relieve insomnia.
Traditional: Turquoise/Lapis lazuli
Modern: Blue zircon/Blue topaz/Tanzanite
This distinctive blue turquoise stone was used for protection by the Persians and thought by Native Americans to improve a hunter’s aim.
Lapis lazuli has an intense blue color and is believed to bring power and wisdom and stimulate psychic abilities.
Zircon can be found in various colors and is thought to aid in mediation, clear negative energy, and give the wearer a protective aura.
Blue topaz is rare in nature and can be created by heating colorless topaz. Often associated with love and loyalty, it’s also said to alleviate fear.
Tanzanite is a gorgeous blue-purple stone found only in Tanzania.
It’s thought to detoxify the body, stimulate intuition, and improve vitality.
Birthstones by zodiac
Every culture finds deeper meaning in the time of year when a person is born, and it’s very common to honor that in a symbolic way.
Among the many birth month symbols, the zodiac is one of the more commonly known.
And when it comes to birthstones, there’s also a gem associated with each of the twelve zodiac signs.
They’re said to protect the wearer and bring them stability and good luck.
What is my zodiac birthstone?
Looking for a piece of jewelry to bring out your best?
These zodiac birthstones might give you a boost when you need it.
Bloodstone to enhance their leadership qualities.
Check out our Aries baby names here.
Sapphire for patience and commitment.
Check out our Taurus baby names here.
Agate to bring luck and improved focus.
Check out our Gemini baby names here.
Emerald for self-assurance and wisdom.
Check out our Cancer baby names here.
Citrine for a warm and positive boost for the apprehensive Leo.
Check out our Leo baby names here.
Carnelian for financial prosperity and to promote passion and courage.
Check out our Virgo baby names here.
Tourmaline for peace and protection.
Check out our Libra baby names here.
Beryl (Aquamarine) brings positive energy, courage, and protection.
Check out our Scorpio baby names here.
Topaz for boosting focus and calming energy.
Check out our Sagittarius baby names here.
Ruby for calm and promoting love and health.
Check out our Capricorn baby names here.
Garnet to build self-confidence, inspiration, and creativity.
Check out our Aquarius baby names here.
Amethyst for calm and rejuvenation.
Check out our Pisces baby names here.
So there you have it, the 411 on birthstones and their meanings.
And if you’re after more shining crystal-inspired baby names, we’ve got you covered.
Whether fact or fiction, they’re a beautiful way to make your jewelry more personal and meaningful.
Have you found any gems or crystals meaningful to you?
Let the Peanut community know. 💎