Birth Stone Jewelry
Schmidt's Gems & Fine Jewelry - Great Gifts for Any Occasion
January - Garnet
Garnet is the traditional birthstone for the month of January. Its rich, burgundy red color and inner fire have helped make it a favorite addition to jewelry for more than 5,000 years. High-quality garnets have vivid, saturated color and good translucency.
February - Amethyst
Brilliant purple amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February. These vibrant gemstones have long been part of crown jewels and remain very popular today because of their beauty and availability. Amethyst is a variety of quartz, and high-quality specimens will have saturated color and pure purple hues.
March - Aquamarine
The birthstone for the month of March is aquamarine. These light to very light blue gemstones are a variety of beryl, like emerald. They've long been associated with water, and are especially treasured by seafaring people. A high-quality aquamarine will have clear, bright colors and lighter tones.
April - Diamond
Diamond is the traditional birthstone of April. Treasured for their fire and brilliance, diamonds have been prized for a wide variety of jewelry for centuries. Look for high-quality diamonds that have a good balance of the Four Cs; cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
May - Emerald
Rich green emerald is May's birthstone. Emeralds have been prized in cultures around the world for centuries, and their color is the definitive green. Emerald, like aquamarine, is a variety of beryl and truly flawless specimens are exceptionally rare. Finest-quality emeralds have vivid, saturated color.
June - Alexandrite
Alexandrite has always been hard to find. India is the main source for current production but some stones from Tanzania and Madagascar are also finding their way to the market. Brazil produced some amazing stones in the 1980´s but this production seems to have dwindled and few new Brazilian stones have been available in recent years and some dealers claim that this deposit is finished. The majority of the finest stones from Brazil were sold in Japan between 1980 and 2000. The USA is currently the largest market for alexandrite.
June Alternative - Pearl
The traditional June birthstone is pearl. Pearls are an organic gem, and only about one in 20 pearl growing mollusks will produce gem quality pearls. The unique iridescent luster of pearls have helped make pearls a jewelry essential for generations of women around the world.
July - Ruby
Because of its fiery crimson color, ruby continues to make an eye-catching choice for jewelry. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July. It's a variety of corundum, like sapphire, and shares sapphire's natural vibrancy. While flawless examples are extremely rare, the best examples have good translucency and color depth.
August - Peridot
Bright, green peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. Peridot's unique vivid green will add a lively sparkle to any piece of jewelry. Peridot has been treasured from Egypt to Hawaii for thousands of years. The finest peridot has bright yellowish-green hues and good translucency.
September - Sapphire
Sapphire, the September birthstone, is most well-known for its velvety blue hues and dramatic highlights. However, pink sapphire is also a popular choice for jewelry. A variety of corundum, sapphires are in the same gemstone family as ruby. High-quality examples of sapphire have good translucency and vibrant color.
October - Pink Tourmaline
Tourmaline's name comes from the Sinhalese word turmali, which means "mixed." Occurring in more colors or combinations of colors than any other gemstone variety found in nature, this gem lives up to its name. Perhaps this is why ancient mystics believed tourmaline could encourage artistic intuition: it has the palette to express every mood.
Dark blue, blue-green, and green tourmalines are occasionally heated to lighten their color. Red tourmalines, also known as rubellites, and pink varieties are sometimes heated or irradiated to improve their colors. Heat and irradiation color enhancement of tourmalines are permanent.
Occasionally, some tourmalines may have surface-breaking fissures filled with resins, with or without hardeners. Care must be observed with these gems, since this process is not permanent. Avoid exposing them to harsh abrasives and strong chemical solvents.
October Alternative - Opal
Opal is the birthstone for October and its fiery incandescence produces an endless variety of color flashes. A high-quality opal offers a unique experience every time you look at it. Opals are cut into rounded cabochons to enhance their exceptional play of color. Never clean opals with an ultrasonic cleaner.
November - Citrine
Golden yellow-orange citrine is the traditional November birthstone. This fiery gemstone gets its name from the French word for lemon. Citrine is a variety of quartz, like amethyst, and high-quality examples will add a bright warm splash of color to any piece of jewelry.
December - Blue Zircon
In the middle ages, zircon was said to aid sleep, bring prosperity, and promote honor and wisdom in its owner. The name probably comes from the Persian word "zargun" which means "gold-colored," although zircon comes in a wide range of different colors.
There is a beautiful natural gemstone called zircon. Zircon occurs in a wide range of colors but for many years, the most popular was the colorless variety which looks more like a diamond than any other natural stone due to its brilliance and dispersion.
Today the most popular color is blue zircon. Most blue zircon, which is considered an alternate birthstone for December, is a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue color.
Zircon is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, and other countries. Zircon is one of the heaviest gemstones, which means that it will look smaller than other varieties of the same weight. Zircon jewelry should be stored carefully because although zircon is relatively hard, it can abrade and facets can chip. Dealers often wrap zircons in individual twists of paper so that they will not knock against each other in a parcel.
The wide variety of colors of zircon, its rarity, and its relatively low cost make it a popular collector's stone. Collectors enjoy the search for all possible colors and variations.
December Alternative - Tanzanite
Tanzanite, the ultimate prize of a gem safari, has a mesmerizing blend of rich purples and blues with a velvety deepness of color unlike any other gem. Mined only in Tanzania at the foot of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, virtually every tanzanite is heated to permanently change its color from orange-brown to the spectacular violet-blue color for which this precious gemstone variety is known.
Legend has it that the effect of heat was first discovered when some brown gem crystals lying on the dry earth were caught in a fire set by lightning that swept through the grass-covered hills. The Masai herders driving cattle in the area noticed the beautiful blue color and picked the crystals up, becoming the first tanzanite collectors.
December Alternative - Blue Topaz
Radiant blue topaz is the traditional birthstone for the month of December. This dramatic gemstone has given jewelry designs a unique blue fire for thousands of years. It is well-known for its dynamic color and range of vivid blue hues. High-quality blue topaz has bright color and good transparency.