SET IN STONE
Complied by Bridget Williams
The ancient origins of birthstones, as described in the Book of Exodus, are widely linked to the twelve stones in the prophet Aaron’s ceremonial breastplate. The stones are said to symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel, and later, the 12 signs of the zodiac. Birthstone traditions in Eastern culture include the ancient Tibetan Mythical Birthstone List, and the Indian Ayurvedic Birthstone List, which dates to 1500 BC.
Over time, associating a particular stone with each month evolved to suit secular accessorizing and commercialization. What is considered to be the definitive chart of astrological birthstones was adopted by members of the National Association of Jewelers (now the Jewelers of America), in 1912. Today, the list continues to expand, with the American Gem Trade Association adding Tanzanite as an additional December birthstone in 2002, and Jewelers of America listing spinel as another August option in 2016.
When a particular month has more than one gemstone listed, birthstone purists should opt for the “ancient” option. In use for thousands of years, ancient stones are believed to possess healing powers. Further superstitions surrounding where the stone is worn are said to affect its impacts.
A symbol of faith, love, and constancy, Garnet is a stone of regeneration and energizing.
Moonface Nebula Cluster Ring with Garnet, Tsavorite, and Diamonds by Anthony Lent ($1,955)
Tresor Mandarin Garnet Beads Necklace ($4,500)
Faceted Green Garnet Necklace from Clara Williams ($695)
Eclat Jewels Mandarin Garnet and Diamond Flower Ring (price upon request)
Once reserved for royalty, amethyst is a symbol of strong relationships and courage.
Bespoke Sahasrara Pendant from Noor Fares with 30.8-Carat Amethyst ($18,000)
Margot McKinney Amethyst Ring ($11,500)
Picchiotti Amethyst, Green Tourmaline and Diamond Ring (price upon request)
Aquamarine’s soothing blue color is said to bring mental clarity and release negative energy.
Assael South Sea Pearl and Trillion Aquamarine Earrings (price upon request)
Melis Goral Harmony Statement Ring with Aquamarine Center Stone (price upon request)
King Baby Armor Sterling Silver & Aquamarine Beaded Bracelet ($145)
Nadine Aysoy Tsarina Triple Flake Amethyst Ring ($5,280)
A recognized symbol of everlasting love, the diamond is also believed to be an energy amplifier.
Selim Mouzannar Fish for Love Earrings in Pink Gold and Burgundy Enamel Set with Diamonds (price upon request)
Claw Hand Bracelet from Yeprem ($17,200)
Tiffany T Two Diamond and Black Onyx Circle Bracelet ($1,800)
Kataoka Jewelry Iris Marquise Ring-Supreme Wedding Set (price upon request)
One of Cleopatra’s favorite gemstones, emeralds are associated with fertility, rebirth, and love.
B-Beautiful Pendant with Emerald and Diamonds from Tabayer (price upon request)
Extraordinare Ring from Antonini Milano with 6.27-Carat Center Emerald and Pavé Emeralds (price upon request)
Ara Vartanian Emerald and Diamond Earrings ($63,800)
Gismondi Essenza Collection Necklace with Colombian Emeralds and Diamonds (price upon request)
A favorite accessory of style icon Grace Kelly, pearls are said to calm a restless mind and to control anger.
Mike Joseph Jewellery Flamingo Feathered Choker with 25 carats of Diamonds and 62 Freshwater Pearls (price upon request)
Federica Rettore Earrings with Pearl, Watermelon Tourmaline, Diamonds, and Emeralds (price upon request)
White/Space Double Baroque Pearl Necklace ($685)
Conch Pearl Drop Earrings from Karen Suen's Perfect Pearl Collection (price upon request)
While the ruby’s deep-red color signifies love and passion, those who believe in its healing properties say that wearing it detoxifies the body and overcomes exhaustion.
Bespoke Emerald, Ruby and Diamond necklace from Ananya (price upon request)
Elena Votsi Ruby Drop Earrings ($5,280)
King Baby Lion's Head Ring with Ruby Eyes ($3,670)
A symbol of strength, peridot is believed to banish lethargy and strengthen the immune system.
Nicole Rose Jewelry Peridot and Diamond Stud Earrings ($650)
Reinstein Ross Shimmer Ring with Peridot and Rubies
Gumuchian Tiny Hearts Tassel Necklace with Peridot Beaded Tassel ($8,000)
Interlace Eternity Band with Peridot from Gemvara ($890)
Believed in ancient times to guard against evil and poisoning, sapphires symbolize loyalty, purity, and wisdom.
Alishan Jewelry Cuff with Multi-Color Sapphires, Diamonds and Green Tourmaline (price upon request)
Maya Gemstones SONYA 3 Earrings with Triangle-Cut Sapphires (price upon request)
Amaterasu Mokume Gane Diamond and Sapphire Pendant from Jaume Labro (price upon request)
Ruchi New York Baguette Sapphire Drop Earrings ($7,500)
OCTOBER: Opal & Tourmaline
Opals represent hope, creativity, confidence, and innocence. They are said to strengthen memory and ease childbirth. Widely recognized for its pink hue, tourmaline can come in many colors of the rainbow.
Ara Vartanian Necklace with Rubellite, Pariba Tourmaline, and Black and White Diamonds ($194,730)
Aisha Baker Galaxy Earrings with Opal, Yellow Sapphire, Aquamarine, Pink Sapphires, and White Topaz ($11,200)
VRAM Chrona Triple Band Ring with Peach/Brown Tourmaline Cabochon (price upon request)
Aida Bergsen Lizard Brooch with Opals, Diamonds and Rubies (price upon request)
NOVEMBER: Topaz & Citrine
Topaz, believed to impart the wearer with increased strength and intellect, is also a symbol of love and affection. Citrine’s orange hues are representative of its healing properties.
Jaipur London Topaz Ring from Marco Bicego (price upon request)
Gumuchian B Collection Honey Pot Charm with Engraved Citrine ($2,400)
Suzanne Kalan Cluster Citrine Necklace ($858)
DECEMBER: Turquoise, Tanzanite & Blue Zircon
An ancient talisman used to protect the wearer from harm, turquoise is said to enhance the immune system, aid in the absorption of nutrients, and alleviate pain. Tanzanite is one of the only gemstones to exhibit trichroism, or the ability to show three separate colors when viewed from different angles. As far back as medieval times, zircon was believed to aid sleep, bring prosperity, and impart wisdom.
Cirari Turquoise and Diamond Pendant (price upon request; cirari.com).
Lalaounis Turquoise and Diamond Ring (price upon request; iliaslalaounis.eu/).
Kassandra Nicholson Tanzanite Tears Drop Earring ($1,120; kassandranicholson.com).
Nina Nguyen Angel Wings Convertible Earrings ($3,690; nina-nguyen.com).