What is my birthstone?

What is my birthstone?

The fascination with coloured gemstones dates back to the beginning of civilisation. The origin of the belief that a particular gem is dedicated to a birth month goes back to at least the first century.

birthstone chart by month

Whatever your beliefs, there is no doubt that the owner of a treasured item of jewellery set with their “birthstone” is impressed by the idea of possessing something more intimately associated with his or her personality than any other gemstone.

The following modern birthstone chart was accepted in 1952 by the major jewellery industry associations. Some later additions were added as ‘alternative’ birthstones. For example, Tanzanite was only included as a December birthstone after its discovery as a valuable gemstone in 1967.

Birth Month

Traditional Birthstone

Alternative Birthstone


















Moonstone or Alexandrite



















January Birthstone – Garnet

The garnet is perhaps one of the most exciting families of gems in the world. It is available in many colours including greens, reds, yellows and oranges. Some red garnets can be mistaken for rubies whilst the green garnets, for example Tsavorite, look very similar to emeralds.

garnet january birthstone

One of the rarest green garnets is called ‘demantoid’. It has more fire than a Tsavorite and can command very high prices.

Historically, the garnet was believed to guarantee true friendships to the wearer. Perhaps this was because garnets were known to promote sincerity and cure anger and discord. All in all, it is a wonderful stone to own!

February Birthstone – Amethyst

The Amethyst is a transparent purple variety of quartz and is one of the most popular coloured gemstones. Once believed to bring peace of mind to the wearer, it was also thought to prevent the wearer from getting drunk!

Amethyst February birthstone

This February birthstone is relatively hard (7 on Mohs’s scale) and is readily available, making it more affordable. Colours can vary from a pale purple to a lovely, deep intense colour - though large stones with a deep colour are more scarce these days.

March Birthstone – Aquamarine

Aquamarine is now the birthstone for March (although over six centuries ago it was the birthstone for October). Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family of gemstones which includes emerald. They range in colour from a pale blue, or bluish green, to a deep blue. The deeper and purer the blue the more valuable the stone becomes.

Aquamarine march birthstone

It was believed that wearing aquamarines would bring love and affection. In fact this March birthstone is a universal symbol of youth, hope and health.

Bloodstone is the alternative birthstone which was considered by the Greeks to have curative properties. It is an opaque, dark green variety of quartz with specks of red jasper.

April Birthstone – Diamond

The diamond has been one of the most coveted gems in history! Today it is the internationally recognised symbol of love and betrothal. In ancient times it was believed that the possession of a diamond would endow the wearer with superior strength, bravery and courage.

Diamond april birthstone

Diamonds are usually thought of as being colourless but in fact they occur naturally in every colour of the rainbow. It is perhaps the most valuable of all gemstones and for that reason it is of interest as a means of investment.

May Birthstone – Emerald

Emerald is a green variety of the mineral beryl and is the rarest. Its distinct, rich green colour makes it one of the most prized of all gemstones.

emerald May birthstone

Apart from being the birthstone for May, it was historically believed to bestow on its wearer faithfulness and unchanging love. It was also thought to enable the wearer to forecast events!

It is important to wear and handle emeralds with some degree of care as they can be more brittle than other gemstones.

June Birthstone – Pearl

After the diamond, no gem has held as much fascination as the pearl which is today’s birthstone for June. The pearl has acquired strong associations with love, success and happiness and the virtues of modesty, chastity and purity – which makes it a popular choice for brides on their wedding day.

pearls june birthstone

Pearls offer more versatility than possibly any other gem as they can be worn with casual or formal attire during the day or in the evening. Most pearls today are ‘cultured’ having been grown in saltwater oysters or freshwater molluscs.

Natural pearls, or ‘Oriental’ pearls as they are called, are very rare and expensive. Moonstone (a good luck birthstone for lovers) or Alexandrite (a birthstone of very good omen) are both alternatives gems for the month of June.

July Birthstone – Ruby

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum and is the birthstone for the month of July. Historically, it has been the symbol for love and passion and was believed to ensure beauty.

Ruby july birthstone

The colour of ruby varies from bluish red to yellowish red. The finest colour is a vivid almost pure spectral red with a hint of blue. It is a very hard and durable gemstone, ranking 9 on the Mohs’s scale.

August Birthstone – Peridot

Peridot is the modern birthstone for the month of August. It is a distinctive and lovely transparent yellowish green colour. Peridot, the Ancients believed, would free the wearer from any evil spell. It was also considered to be an aid to friendship.

Peridot august birthstone

Some caution should be exercised wearing peridot as it is moderately hard (around 7 on Mohs’s scale) and can be scratched. Carnelian is an alternative birthstone for August. It is an opaque reddish orange variety of quartz. It was believed to give the wearer the courage to speak both boldly and well.

September Birthstone – Sapphire

Sapphire is the birthstone for September. It was considered to be the symbol of the heavens, guardian of innocence, bestower of truth and good health and preserver of chastity. Like ruby, it is a variety of the mineral corundum.

Sapphire september birthstone

Although we normally associate sapphire with the colour blue, it comes in a rainbow of different colours. The most valuable blue colours are sourced in Burma and Kashmir while Ceylon (Sri Lanka) sapphires have become especially popular in more recent times as they have a pleasing ‘cornflower’ shade of blue. A beautiful variety of sapphire is known as ‘padparadscha’ which is also in much demand. These display and lovely peachy pink colour with orange flashes.

October Birthstone – Opal

Opal is the birthstone for October. Among the Ancients, opal was a symbol of fidelity and assurance. It was believed to have therapeutic values for any complaints of the eye. The valuable black opal was considered the luckiest gemstone of all and was highly prized.

Opal october birthstone

Opal is unique among gems having a colour like no other. It displays an array of vibrant miniature rainbow effects with flashes of blue, green and red colour that reflect the light beautifully.

Tourmaline is a modern alternative birthstone unknown to the ancient world as it is a gem of modern times. Nevertheless, it is highly prized and comes in a variety of colours making it a versatile gemstone to own. You can learn more about opals here.

Browse our collection of blue opal jewellery and pink opal jewellery.

November Birthstone – Topaz

Topaz was considered to be the symbol of love and affection and is the birthstone for November.

Topaz november birthstone

Topaz, not to be confused with Citrine (which is the alternative birthstone), is a rare and very beautiful stone. Its colour varies from a transparent yellow-brown to shades of light blue not dissimilar to aquamarine (and an affordable alternative). The blue variety are most often treated and there is no way of telling which are natural.

December Birthstone – Turquoise or Tanzanite

The original birthstone for December is Turquoise, an opaque light to dark blue or aquamarine colour, highly prized throughout Asia and Africa. It is considered to be a symbol of courage and success.

In 1967 Tanzanite (the mineral zoisite) was discovered in Tanzania. Tanzanite possess a rich sapphire blue colour with some violet and red flashes. It was added as an alternative birthstone for the month of December and has become one of the most popular gemstones in the market place.

 Tanzanite December birthstone

When shopping for a suitable birthstone for yourself or a loved one, you will find yourself immersed in a world of colour – every hue, every shade of the spectrum. There has never been a more exciting time to search for a coloured gemstone because there have never been so many wonderful gems available.

Whatever your birthstone and whatever your budget, there is a sparkling and natural gem awaiting your discovery – a birthstone that possesses something indefinable but inherently significant just for you! Discover that perfect gift for someone born in October with our blue opal collection here.