Birthstones Meanings, Magic, and Dazzling Legends

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend — but so would be a collection of other fabulous gems that are considered birthstones. Some people would disagree of the type of gem associated with birthstones. Some say Ruby is January’s gem, or that Alexandrite is June’s gemstone.

I prefer Pearls for June, perhaps because that is my gemstone; I love Pearls and everything associated with them, including the beach.

Birth gems have power! Not only do they provide the owner healing powers, but they dazzle the imagination with the stories, myths and legends behind these special stones.

Below is a look at birthstones and why they are so special:

garnet-redJanuary — Garnet:
This gem brings to the cold winter month a spark of fire. This gem represents friendship, loyalty and sincerity, it is a month where people get together to bond and gain warmth from each other.

It is said it has the power to ensure good health throughout the winter and to protect its owner during a long journey.

There are several ancient legends surrounding the garnet. In medieval times it was believed to cure depression/sadness or grief and to protect against nightmares. It was also believed to relieve liver diseases as well as hemorrhages.

It is believed that Noah used a finely cut, glowing garnet to light up the ark during those dark wet days. In old Christian traditions, the garnet was considered a symbol of Christ’s blood-red sacrifice. The gem was also thought to be potent against poisons.

amethystFebruary – Amethyst:  It is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning “sober.”

According to legend, the amethyst originated with Bacchus, the God of Wine, grew angry at mortals. He vowed the next mortal that crossed his path would be eaten by tigers. At that time, a beautiful young maiden named Amethyst was on her way to worship the Goddess Diana.

Diana, knowing of Bacchus’ vow, turned Amethyst into a pillar of colorless quartz to protect her from the tigers. Bacchus witnessing the miracle, backtracked and poured wine over Amethyst staining her purple.

aquamarineMarch — Aquamarine: Aquamarine was thought to cure heart, liver, and stomach diseases—all one had to do was drink the water in which the gem had been soaking. Early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans, etched with the likeness of the sea god Neptune, protected them against ocean dangers. Particularly seasickness.

It is said the gem originated in the ancient treasure chests of timeless mermaids. Chests would overflow with the aqua blue brilliance and light up the mermaid caverns.

It is called the sailor’s lucky stone because it has spent so much time at sea. The Greeks and Romans believed the stone ensured a safe and prosperous journey and passage through stormy seas.

diamondApril – Diamond: The diamond, originally thought to have exceptional healing abilities, was considered by some in past millenniums to be a “miracle stone.”

A large variety of healing properties have been attributed to the diamond, including the ability to cure stomachaches, memory loss, depression, physical tiredness, infections, mental illnesses, nightmares, skin diseases, and many other head and heart ailments.

The ancient Romans and Greeks had a lot of powerful beliefs about diamonds, including ideas that diamonds were the tears of the gods or possibly even splinters that had broken off of falling stars. Roman literature, which first made mention of diamonds in the first century AD, also stated that Cupid’s irresistible arrows were tipped with diamonds.

Classical Greek philosopher Plato went even further to write about diamonds as living beings that embodied celestial spirits.

emerald-gemMay — Emerald.
I consider this to be a ravishing gem. It was considered to be one of Cleopatra’s favorite. (It probably went well with all her gowns).

This birthstone has been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love. Ancient Romans went so far as to dedicate this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

Today it is thought that emeralds signify wisdom, growth, and patience.

Legends say that whosoever wears the emerald has the ability to see the future by placing the gem under the tongue. This practice reveals truth and protects the owner against evils spells and hexes.

This gem was hailed for curing diseases like cholera and malaria, at least that is what the ancients believed. It is also believed that when you wear an emerald it cures you from stage fright and makes you an eloquent speaker.

pearlJune –The Pearl: I personally believe this is one of the most elegant gems. A good set of pearls could dress up a tie-dyed T-shirt and torn jeans.

Long known as a symbol of purity. It represented the magical moon in little pockets of darkness. The Ancient Greeks believed, that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Some believed they were the hard tears of mermaids who wanted to explore land and have legs.

An ancient Chinese tale tells of a boy who found a miraculous pearl. He would place the pearl in a jar with just a little rice and the next day the jar would be full of rice.

When the neighbors found out about this and tried to force their way in to steal the pearl, the boy swallowed the pearl to protect it. He was turned into a dragon. To this day, dragons in Chinese art are often depicted with pearls, the jewels that they are protecting.

ruby-gemJuly –The Ruby: This dazzling red gem was regarded by ancient Hindus as the “king of gems.” It was believed to protect its wearer from evil. It is a gem of opulence and it was believed the owner created even more wealth when he possessed this gem. Today, the ruby’s deep-red color signifies love and passion.

According to legends, if you placed a ruby into water it was thought to make the water boil. If you hid it in a wrap, it would shine through and show its presence. Many felt that a ruby could serve as a torch and light up in the darkness.

The darker rubies were considered to be male, while the lighter rubies were female. It didn’t really matter the sex of the ruby, the fact was the owner would feel physically and mentally healthy wearing it. He would have power as all evils are controlled and wearing it gave the body warmth.

peridotAugust — The Peridot: This brilliant stone is known for symbolizing strength. It is sometimes called the evening emerald for its light green olive color. It was once believed that the green Peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele.

When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares. The advantages of the Peridot is that it attracts love, sooths the nerves and calms anger.

Egypt’s national gem, the Peridot was brought to Europe by the Crusaders to decorate cathedrals. One famous large Peridot gem adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in the cathedral at Cologne was for centuries, believed to be an emerald, and only identified as Peridot late in the last century.

A few jewelry historians are now convinced that some, maybe all of the emeralds Cleopatra was famous for wearing, were not actually emeralds, but Peridots from Egypt.

SapphireSeptember — The Sapphire: The name alone, “Sapphire” bring sweet images of magic, or sensuality. I think anyone wearing sapphires must be feeling pretty sexy, yet, the gem symbolizes purity and wisdom and was a favorite of priests and kings. It was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning. It was believed that a venomous snake would die if placed in a vessel made of sapphire.

The Greeks identified the sapphire with Apollo. If you were going to consult one of the Oracles of Delphi (psychic readers of the times) it was believed you would have a powerful reading if you wore a sapphire.

The gem had the power to tap into the “third eye.” A wizard or magician was thought to be found of this stone for it’s ability to influence spirits or make something more clear. So if you are going to go to a séance bring a sapphire for a more powerful experience.

opalOctober – The Opal: This gems shows all its colors. It’s like the tie-die of all gems. It comes in a rainbow of colors. It symbolizes faithfulness and confidence. The word comes from the Latin opalus, meaning “precious jewel.”

Necklaces with opals set in them were worn to repel evil and to protect eyesight.

Throughout the world the opal has been credited with supernatural origins and powers. In Arabic legends, they say it feel from the heavens in flashes of lightning.

The ancient Greeks believed opals gave the owner the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. Europeans, starting with the Romans consider the gem one of hope, purity and truth.

topazNovember — The Topaz: Just the name alone invokes excitement, anticipation. It’s an inviting gem, a sort of “open says-a-me” of all gems. It symbolizes love and affection.

It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect.

It was believed that if you wore a Topaz it would make you invisible, you could conquer your enemies or hide, while being able to watch what is going on around you.

Worn on the left arm, a topaz amulet protected its wearer from dark magic and greed of others, relieved the pain of arthritis, regulated the digestive system, aided in weight loss, and attracted love.

In potions, it was thought to cure a wide range of ailments.

turquoiseDecember – The Turquoise: Do not underestimate the power of the turquois, it is regarded as a powerful love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success, and it is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm.

Turquoise rings, in particular, are thought to keep away evil spirits.

Aztec kings, Arabic royalty and the Afghanistan Empire all valued the royal blue and softness of this gem. There are many Native American tales about turquois.

A Zuni legend relates the story of Turquoise Man and Salt Woman. They went away from the People, because they did not feel they were valued enough.  Turquoise Man said, “His flesh was simply given out to women for sexual favors.”

He was offended that he was being used for trade or money, particularly among the white strangers that took over the land. Salt Woman had bigger issues, which culminated in an annual pilgrimage by her people to retrieve salt from the sacred lake where she ultimately hid out.


Resource: International Gem Society

This article also appears on my website, Ask Cristina





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Cristina is a gifted fifth generation light-worker and best-selling writer and author of "Gypsy Wisdom and Ancient Magic for the Modern Witch."

She is also a master Tarot Reader and has been reading cards and practicing in the metaphysical arts for more than 40 years.