Birthstone Jewelry
Birthstone Jewelry

Why We’re Loving Birthstone Jewelry This Year

Words by Hyla Bauer | 1.6.18
Since ancient times, gemstones have been believed to bestow mystical powers to those who wore them. Birthstones were thought to bring good luck and good health to the wearer. In this age of uncertainty, we could all use a little power boost. Why not try a piece of jewelry with your birthstone to help make 2018 the best year ever? Here, we explore each month’s stone, its meanings, and its unique beauty.

January Birthstone Garnet JewelryCartier Tank de Cartier Ring; Renee Lewis 18K Garnet Drop Earrings; 18K Garnet & Diamond Cocktail Ring

Kate Moss, Alicia Keys and Kate Bosworth are all born in the first month of the year, with the protective garnet as their birthstone. According to legend, garnet is believed to bring peace, good health, and prosperity to the wearer. It is also thought to keep its owner safe during travel and attract wealth. Garnets are most known for their deep red color, but can also be found in a range of other colors including yellow, orange and green.  

February Birthstone Amethyst JewelryGucci 18K Diamond & Amethyst Drop Earrings; Bvlgari Parentesi Pendant Necklace; Christian Dior 18K Amethyst & Diamond Cocktail Ring

Prince had it right — purple reigns. With Pantone declaring ultra-violet as the color of 2018, you’ll be on-trend wearing February’s stone. Amethysts can bestow courage, peace and stability, according to folklore. The stone is also associated with nobility, power, and ambition. Amethysts are a member of the quartz family, and are well known for their deep purple hue. Its color can span from a light violet pink to deep purple.

March Birthstone Aquamarine JewelryIppolita 18K Diamond & Aquamarine Drop Earrings; Temple St. Clair 18K Aquamarine Cabochon Necklace; Seaman Schepps 18K Aquamarine Ring

Is your ideal vacation a sandy beach on the shores of crystal-clear waters in Hawaii or the Caribbean? Wear a reminder of your escape every day with an aquamarine ring or pendant. The tranquil, soft blue-green color of the aquamarine inspired its name, which comes from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. It is cleansing, calming, and soothing, and believed to impart tranquility and healing to the wearer. Aquamarine ranges from a light greenish-blue to blue-green, most often relatively light in color. Very deep shades of aquamarine are more valuable. Blue topaz is sometimes passed off as aquamarine, so be sure to buy an authenticated stone.

April Birthstone Diamond JewelryCartier Maillon Panthère Ring; 14K Diamond Stud Earrings; Mattia Cielo 18K Diamond Bracelet

You don’t have to be Meghan Markle and proposed to by a prince to wear diamonds. A symbol of strength and everlasting beauty, diamonds are the hardest substance on earth. Thus a diamond imbues its wearer with strength and courage, and is a symbol of everlasting love. Diamonds are best-known for engagement rings, but are also an excellent accent for more informal daytime jewelry. Most common is the clear “white” diamond, but diamonds also occur in pink, yellow, blue and green shades.

May Birthstone Emerald JewelryAnita Ko 18K Emerald Ear Jackets; 14K Emerald Cocktail Ring; Jemma Wynne 18K Emerald Earrings

Emeralds have historically been treated as a “serious” gem set in formal, traditional jewelry. Recently, jewelry designers have given emeralds a more modern, informal  treatment with playful, imaginative pieces combining other colored stones and fanciful settings. Emerald, with its deep green color, is thought of as a symbol of rebirth, love, and fertility. It is also believed to give the owner good fortune and youth. It was one of Cleopatra’s favorite stones. Emeralds are generally a deep green color, and their clarity ranges from clear to cloudy, with the clearest stones being the most valuable. According to the Gemological Institute of America, “the intensity of the green in the finest emeralds might not be equaled by anything else in nature.”

June Birthstone Pearl JewelrySophie Bille Brahe 14K Dauphin Pearl Earrings; Cartier 18K Diamond & Pearl Lariat Necklace; 14K Diamond & Pearl Drop Earrings

Gucci’s Spring 2018 collection was bursting with pearls – from multi-strand necklaces to pearl-encrusted bags and jewelry. How to get the look with real pearl jewelry? Try a pearl drop earring or layer multiple pearl necklaces in varying lengths. Coco Chanel was also a big fan of pearls, featuring them prominently on the runway, a look that Karl Lagerfeld has favored since he started as creative director of the brand. Pearls are associated with purity, and ancient Greek myths say that pearls are the hardened tears of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Pearls grow in oysters, making them the only gemstone that is created by a living being. The vast majority of pearls are cultured in pearl farms in Japan and Australia. Pearls are valued by the amount of luster or “nacre” they possess, and also by their color. Japanese Akoya pearls are known for their rich luster and are the classic pearls used for necklaces and stud earrings. South Sea and Tahitian pearls are larger and considerably more expensive, and occur in a range of colors from white to gold to gray.

July Birthstone Ruby JewelryPlatinum, Diamond & Ruby Cocktail Ring; Buccellati 18K Ruby & Diamond Band; Cartier 18K Diamond & Ruby Ring

Rubies are mostly known for being set in formal jewelry pieces fit for a queen. In recent years, rubies of slightly lower quality, but still beautiful, have become available in a variety of designs and sizes at more approachable prices. Designers like Ippolita and David Yurman combine innovative cuts (think pear-shaped drop earrings) in modern, less-formal pieces in their collections. Rubies are known to bring success and love; their red color is a symbol of energy and passion. The ruby has been hailed as “the king of gems,” and also was believed to protect its wearer from evil. A ruby’s value is associated with the intensity of its color. Clearer stones will be cut into a faceted gem, while more milky rubies are cut in a rounded, cabochon style.

August Birthstone Peridot JewelryBvlgari 18K Peridot Stud Earrings; Nicholas Varney Chalcedony, Peridot & Diamond Ring; Pomellato Peridot Ring

For those born in August, the bright sunny green of peridot evokes a feeling of endless summer. If you are a lover of the outdoors, peridots are a great match for your personality. Peridots are said to promote peace and happiness in the wearer, boost confidence, and protect against nightmares and evil. In ancient Egypt, they were called “the gem of the Sun.” While many gems occur in a variety of colors, peridots are always a bright green-yellow. Peridot stones come in large sizes, making them ideal for oversized statement jewelry.

September Birthstone Sapphire JewelryJemma Wynne 18K Diamond & Sapphire Earrings; 14K Sapphire & Diamond Collar Necklace; 18K Victorian Sapphire & Diamond Cocktail Ring

When Javier Bardem proposed to Penelope Cruz, he chose a stunning blue sapphire ring to symbolize their love. But a large sapphire ring is not the only way to wear this versatile stone. Sapphire’s intense blue color makes it ideal for pave settings in earrings and rings, and as an accent stone combined with other colored gems. Sapphire has long been considered a gem of nobility, wisdom, and loyalty. Christian kings harnessed sapphire’s protective power by wearing it in ecclesiastical rings. The stone is said to focus the mind, encourage self-discipline and channel higher powers. Deep blue, clear sapphires carry the highest value, but lighter colored stones can be equally beautiful at a lower price point. Sapphires also exist in yellow, pink, purple and orange.

October Birthstone Opal Jewelry18K Opal & Diamond Cocktail Ring; Martin Katz 18K Black Opal, Diamond & Multistone Bracelet; 14K Opal Drop Earrings

Reflections of a multitude of vivid colors within a single stone make the opal a truly unique gem. Each opal has its own pattern of inner fire, making each stone one-of-a-kind. Opals are best set in simple jewelry designs, and look great against the backdrop of a little black dress. The name “opal” originates from the Greek word opallios, meaning “to see a change in color.” The stone symbolizes confidence and faithfulness, and is believed to repel evil and protect eyesight. Opals most commonly exist in white milky tones, and their internal structure enables the stone to diffract light in a multitude of colors, creating a kaleidoscopic effect. Black is the rarest opal color, and greens and whites are the most common.

November Birthstone Topaz JewelryPlatinum Three-Stone Topaz Cocktail Ring; 18K Topaz Drop Earrings; Topaz & Diamond Ring

The sunny yellow-orange color of Topaz can brighten spirits on the darkest days. Go for a big look with these (relatively) inexpensive gems and try a chunky ring or dazzling drop earrings. Topaz has long symbolized love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength, generosity and vibrancy. It increases intellect and calms tempers, according to legend. Topaz stones range in color from clear to yellow to brownish orange. Imperial Topaz is the most valuable, and is a vibrant orange with pink undertones.

December Birthstone Turquoise JewelryVan Cleef & Arpels Sweet Alhambra Stud Earrings; Jennifer Meyer 18K Turquoise Leaf Pendant; Pomellato 18K Turquoise & Diamond Ring

December’s birthstone is probably best known for its use in Native American-designed  jewelry — ornamental necklaces, bracelets and even belt buckles. But turquoise is also a favorite of jewelry designers including Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany & Co., who often pair the soft blue-green stone with other colored gems. Turquoise is regarded as a powerful love charm, a symbol of success and good fortune. The stone is believed to protect its wearer from harm and relax the mind. Long used by Egyptian, Aztec and Persian warriors for its powers of protection, turquoise has been incorporated into ceremonial masks and weapons. Turquoise is an opaque, blue-green stone that can be evenly hued or have inclusions of pyrite, calcite, or other minerals. Often set in silver in traditional Native American designs, turquoise is also combined with diamonds, sapphires and other stones in fine jewelry pieces.
Ready to find you own special power piece? Shop our editors’ jewelry picks here.
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