Not everyone was born in April, (I am an October baby) but my favorite gemstone is Diamond, April’s birthstone. Actually, the evidence is overwhelming that most people’s favorite gemstone, engagement ring stone, birthstone, anniversary stone, 1st prize award stone, make-me-explode from excitement stone, is a diamond. And if one happens to buy a gorgeous colored gemstone like a Burmese sapphire, which is September’s birthstone, she will probably surround it with diamonds.
What are birthstones, anyway? They are specific gems that are associated with months. The gem of the month you were born is supposed to be your birthstone, but lists of birthstones tend to disagree and change over time (sounds like style). The gems on those lists were credited with special powers and qualities such as “fearlessness” and “serenity” and are said to endow their wearers with those attributes. If you wear your own birthstone, you get the power supercharged. The story is that birthstones had their origin with Moses and the Breastplate of Aaron.
In any event, I have come to two conclusions while researching birthstones.
- The first is that there will always BE birthstones because the whole concept is rooted in our sense of specialness. We reinforce that when we give a little girl her first ring and set it with her birthstone.
- My second conclusion is that anyone can and should wear any stone of any month if they like it. The Jewelry Fairy won’t curse you for wearing light green peridot set in yellow gold if you are a redhead with freckles. You are going to look fantastic in that gemstone; it’s going to come to life on you. Yes, Peridot, August’s birthstone, is great for redheads, as are yellow and brown diamonds.
Birthstone or not, some colors just look alive on some people, right? The market is reflecting this, too. For the first time, colored gemstones have popped over that 10% of the gem market that has always been dominated by diamonds.
Keeping it chronological, September is the most popular month for Americans to be born and conveniently, Sapphire is its birthstone, which is the most popular of all colored gemstones. You can read all about sapphires on our website’s blog "The In-depth Guide to Sapphires". Sapphire is sturdy and great for a man’s ring as well as women’s jewelry; its magical quality is tranquility and clarity of mind. My own October has opal and tourmaline, and if you have never seen a great black opal or a screamin’ neon Paraiba tourmaline you have never seen an opal. Check out the magenta-colored rubellite tourmaline. OMG. November is another month that has confused clients for years and we don’t believe in confusing our clients here. Topaz is November’s original birthstone and if it’s large and of the pink or orangey color, it can put a dent in your wallet. Topaz has been substituted with the less expensive smoky quartz and orange quartz, called citrine, and by blue topaz. Tanzanite is now the birthstone for December along with blue zircon and turquoise. Beautiful stones. Both tanzanite and zircon scratch if you even look at them the wrong way, so think about them for earrings or a neckpiece rather than a ring. Did you know that December 25th and January 1st are the two most unlikely days for Americans to be born? A day off for ob-gyns, perhaps?
January and February are the two months with the lowest birthrate in the US. January gets garnet, which sports an entire family of related gems in case you don’t like the warm red we usually see. There are orangey-yellow garnets that are extremely brilliant. The green, tsavorite garnets look like Ireland or like lighter emeralds without inclusions, and you can hear them beg to be surrounded by diamonds. For February we have always had amethyst, which supposedly has the magical property of protecting one from getting drunk and breaking bad habits. Please consult your doctor because I only dispense gemological, not medical, advice. For jewelry purposes, get the largest amethyst that you can wear comfortably that is dark, strongly colored, purple to bluish purple in daylight and you’ll have something beautiful on your finger (while you are holding that glass of cabernet).
March’s Aquamarine has had a surge in popularity in the last few years. If the wearer was born in March, she is imbued with courage! You’ll want a medium-light, greenish-blue with no hint of gray. We have them; you don’t want a washed-out looking aquamarine. Diamonds on the side are a must.
April. Its birthstone is diamond. YES! Finally! You April babies or gift-givers to April babies, just come see me and I will show you everything you want to see and learn about diamonds. We carry little diamond studs for children all the way up to ten carat and larger, GIA certified stones. If you were not born in April, so what! Don’t wait to be reincarnated in April. Buy a diamond if you want. Buy two. Wear diamond stud earrings. Get engaged with a diamond. We have them in all shapes and sizes, for all budgets.
May’s Emeralds run the gamut from too dark to too light to just right. Ours are just right and are certified. It’s not so bad being born in May. Columbian emeralds are breathtaking; they come to life on the hand! We sell them certified, of course, and a few diamonds on the sides help protect them from everyday wear. Think of a vivid, slightly bluish-green and you’ve got it. Emeralds are said to be very good for the eyes and there is actually a solid, physiological basis for this nutty fact, so go ahead and ask your accountant if emeralds are a deductible medical expense. They are said to attract riches so you will be able to afford matching emerald earrings and a pendant.
June has two widely different birthstones: pearl and alexandrite, and alexandrite has a psychotic personality because it is a color-change stone, meaning under cool light or daylight it looks green, and under warm, incandescent light it looks red. Natural alexandrite is seen, well, not so much, because it is running upwards of $50,000 a carat. There is synthetic alexandrite, but what is most often seen is - get ready – big ole round, synthetic sapphires that color change, and are worth only a few dollars. They are interesting, but sorry, they’re not worth much. Every family seems to have one and claims it must be real because it’s old. That may have been what Grandpa was told, yet these man-made stones have been around for over a hundred years, so don’t plan on retiring on this one. Just come see me and I’ll let you know what you inherited.
July is the killer ruby, the gemstone of love. Look for a stoplight red, because color is everything. Burmese rubies are the finest and still available; I’ll show certified rubies to you and again suggest a diamond for side stones to contrast with the rich red color.
You’ll see an array of color in our showcases, and all sold at broker prices. No matter what your birth month, I can’t guarantee the magical superpowers of the gems but I can help you pick one out and help you design a fabulous mounting to go with it! Come visit me and my team only at Green Hills Diamond Brokers, Nashville's Premier Diamond Broker!