What is my birthstone?

What is my birthstone?

Although some historians attribute the creation of birthstones to the twelve gemstones of the breastplate of Aaron, a birthstone is a relatively modern creation. The list of ‘traditional birthstones’ was established in between the 16th and 18th century Poland where it became a common practice for women to wear the stone associated with their birth month. The traditional list remained canon for a long time – however as it contained opaque gems such as opals, pearls and turquoise it was changed.
From a jeweller’s perspective, transparent gems are much easier to mix and thus a new list was created. The ’modern birthstone’ list was formed by American Jewellers in 1912. Through this guide, we will be looking at both the traditional and modern birthstones associated with each month – and the attributes they are said to hold.

What is a birthstone?

A birthstone is a gemstone that is associated with the month you were born in. Similar to horoscopes, people are generally aware of their birthstone but, unlike zodiac signs, they do not connote a particular behaviour or outlook on life. However, wearing your birthstone is often seen as a symbol of wellness and good fortune.
Birthstones are a great way of honouring an important birthday or simply giving your loved one a personalised and meaningful gift. Find out what you and your loved ones’ birthstones are below.

What are all 12 birthstones?

What’s the birthstone for January?

Name: Garnet
Colour: Although this gemstone is traditionally thought to be red, it can actually come as most colours.
Crystallography: The Garnet stone can appear in many forms but predominantly takes on an isometric form with trapezohedron and dodecahedron forms being common. Cube and octahedron form, however, are extremely rare.
Hardness: 6.5-7.5
Where is it sourced from? Brazil, India, Madagascar, and the United States.
Unlike some months, January only has one birthstone – the Garnet. Jewellers curating the modern birthstone list felt that Garnet perfectly embodied January.

What’s the birthstone for February?

Name: Amethyst
Colour: An amethyst is traditionally purple, but the shade can range from a pale lilac to deep reddish purple. Amethysts are often prone to colour zoning.
Crystallography: The Amethyst is always hexagonal.
Hardness: 7
Where is it sourced from? United States, Canada, Brazil and Zambia
Similar to January, the Amethyst is the only birthstone for February. With high hardness and a stunning colour, the Amethyst stones can brighten up any decolletage that it sits on.

What’s the birthstone for March?


Traditional Stone Name: Bloodstone
Colour: A bloodstone is a dark green jasper with spots or larger areas of red hence the name ‘bloodstone’.
Crystallography: The Bloodstone is likely to be Trigonal
Hardness: 7
Where is it sourced from? India, Brazil, Australia, Germany, the United States, Italy and South Africa


Modern Stone Name: Aquamarine
Colour: Unsurprisingly considering the name, an aquamarine is blue to blue green, similar to the ocean.
Crystallography: The Aquamarine is always hexagonal.
Hardness: 7.5 – 8
Where is it sourced from? Brazil, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique
The traditional birthstone for March was the bloodstone but, unlike other months with multiple birthstones, this is no longer really publicised – most jewellers would tell you your birthstone was an Aquamarine if you were born in March.

What’s the birthstone for April?

Name: Diamond
Colour: A diamond is known for its colourless nature – the more pure a diamond is, the less colour it shows. You can read more about diamond colour in our 4Cs guide.
Crystallography: A diamond tends to be isometric however, they can also come in octahedra and dodecahedra forms.
Hardness: 10
Where is it sourced from? Australia, Botswana, Canada, South Africa and Russia
Those born in April are lucky to have a diamond as their modern and traditional birthstone. Although this opens them up to some of the most stunning pieces of jewellery, it also means their pockets may be a bit lighter! Browse our range of diamond rings here.

What’s the birthstone for May?

Name: Emerald
Colour: An emerald in its purest form is a rich green but the stone can range from anywhere between yellow-green to blue-green.
Crystallography: An Emerald is always hexagonal.
Hardness: 7.5 – 8
Where is it sourced from? Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia
The traditional and modern birthstone for May is the Emerald. As one of the ‘Big 4’ – Ruby, Diamond, Sapphire and Emerald – Emerald jewellery is some of the most beautiful created.

What’s the birthstone for June?


Traditional Stone Name: Pearl
Colour: Pearls come in a range of colours from the standard white to the more rare and exotic black Tahitian pearls and pink Conch pearls.
Crystallography: A pearl is amorphous.
Hardness: 2.5 – 4.5
Where is it sourced from? China, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia


Traditional Stone Name: Moonstone
Colour: The moonstone is composed of microscopic layers that scatter light. Thinner layers of moonstone are blue whereas thicker layers look whiter.
Crystallography: A moonstone is monoclinic.
Hardness: 6 – 6.5
Where is it sourced from? Sri Lanka, India and Australia


Modern Stone Name: Alexandrite
Colour: The alexandrite is unlike any other stone and changes colour based on the light – in the light of day it is green, but in incandescent light it is red.
Crystallography: A pearl is Orthorhombic.
Hardness: 8.5
Where is it sourced from? Russia
June babies are very lucky with three birthstones to choose from: pearl, moonstone and alexandrite. The pearl is the only gem, found in nature, made by another living creature while an Alexandrite is so unique it changes colour depending on lighting.

What’s the birthstone for July?

Name: Ruby
Colour: A ruby is known for its deep and rich red colours. Rubies have a variety of undertones including those of pink, orange, purple, brown and, of course, the one it is known for, red.
Crystallography: The ruby is always hexagonal.
Hardness: 9
Where is it sourced from? Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Middle East, East Africa and the United States
The ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and because of its beauty, it remains the birthstone for the modern list. In ancient times it was worn to ward off evil and protect the wearer from harm.

What’s the birthstone for August?


Traditional Stone Name: Sardonyx
Colour: Sardonyx is a very original stone. Sardonyx stones are a straight white band of onyx with zebra like stripes of brownish red.
Crystallography: A sardonyx stone is trigonal.
Hardness: 6.5 to 7
Where is it sourced from? India, Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay and the United States


Modern Stone Name: Peridot
Colour: A peridot can be any shade of green from deep woodland-esque greens to brighter, lime like greens – the colour depends on the iron level of the stone.
Crystallography: A peridot stone is Orthorhombic
Hardness: 6.5 – 7
Where is it sourced from? Arizona, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa


Modern Stone Name: Spinel
Colour: Unlike other gemstones, the spinel isn’t known for a certain colour, it comes in a range. However, the most common colours are red, pink, blue and black.
Crystallography: A sapphire stone is Isometric.
Hardness: 8
Where is it sourced from? Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Australia
Despite having a range of birthstones, August babies have adopted the Peridot as their main birthstone. Traditionally, peridot was seen as a mark of strength. Those who wore it claimed it could ward off nightmares, evil, and enchantments.

What’s the birthstone for September?

Name: Sapphire
Colour: Sapphires are traditionally thought of as blue and although the blue is certainly the most popular, sapphires can actually be every colour except red. When the sapphire mineral corundum is red, it is actually a ruby.
Crystallography: A sapphire stone is hexagonal (trigonal).
Hardness: 9
Where is it sourced from? Kashmir, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and India
Like all other Big 4 stones in this list, Sapphire has remained the modern and traditional birthstone for its month. September babies can adorn themselves with their stunning, blue gemstone.

What’s the birthstone for October?


Traditional Stone Name: Opal
Colour: An opal stone comes in a variety of colours including but not limited to colourless, white, yellow, orange, red, green, blue, black, grey and violet. There are also precious opals which create a kaleidoscope of colours.
Crystallography: An Opal is likely to be Amorphous
Hardness: 5.5 – 6.5
Where is it sourced from? Australia, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, and Czech Republic


Modern Stone Name: Tourmaline
Colour: The tourmaline gemstone is most traditionally known for being green, however, it can be a variety of colours from black to pink. Those that go from green to pink are quite aptly called the watermelon tourmaline.
Crystallography: A Tourmaline is a trigonal stone
Hardness: 7 – 7.5
Where is it sourced from? Brazil, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mozambique, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States
The traditional birthstone for October is the opal but, as an opaque stone, the modern birthstone tourmaline is more usable in jewellery. The opal, however, is one of the most unique stones with its own grading system. The variety of colours and the way it catches the light makes it one of the most stunning and delicate of all birthstones.

What’s the birthstone for November?


Traditional Stone Name: Topaz
Colour: We normally associate Topaz with a rich orange of Imperial Topaz, however, pure Topaz is actually colourless. It is impurities in the stone that the tint its colour.
Crystallography: The Topaz stone is likely to be Orthorhombic
Hardness: 8
Where is it sourced from? Brazil, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Nigeria, Germany, and the United States


Modern Stone Name: Citrine
Colour: Citrine, much like its traditional birthstone counterpart, is a yellow to red-orange colour. It can be a deep orange and, in some cases, even an orangey brown.
Crystallography: A Citrine gemstone is always hexagonal.
Hardness: 7
Where is it sourced from? Brazil, Africa, Madagascar, France, and the United States
Although those born in November have the choice of two stones, one thing is certain – jewellers feel that November is an ‘orange month’. Interestingly, before modern gemmology, all yellow stones were considered Topaz – so it is likely that many people were wearing citrine as their birthstone before it became official.

What’s the birthstone for December?


Traditional Stone Name: Turquoise
Colour: Unsurprisingly, the colour of the turquoise stone is of course turquoise – the colour ranges from a light blue to a green with a bluish tinge.
Crystallography: Turquoise stones are Triclinic
Hardness: 5 – 6
Where is it sourced from? Iran and the United States


Modern Stone Name: Tanzanite
Colour: A good quality tanzanite is deep royal blue or violet colour. Low quality tanzanites can be slightly lighter in colour.
Crystallography: A Tanzanite is always Orthorhombic.
Hardness: 6.5 – 7
Where is it sourced from? Tanzania
As with other traditional stones that have been updated, turquoise is completely opaque. Tanzanite is blue like its predecessor and creates a more wintery piece of jewellery to complement its December born wearer.
Are you looking for a stunning piece of unique jewellery with your birthstone incorporated in the design? Browse our gemstone rings or gemstone pendants here. Come and visit our Hatton Garden Jewellery store or contact us for more information regarding birthstones.