BIRTHSTONES

BIRTHSTONES BY THE MONTH

Birthdays are important to us at Skatell’s.  The celebration of life makes our hearts and faces smile.

 

Garnet January Birthstone

Garnets are a set of closely related minerals forming a group, with gemstones in almost every color. The garnet group of related mineral species offers gems of every hue, including fiery red pyrope, vibrant orange spessartine, and rare intense-green varieties of grossular and andradite.

Amethyst February Birthstone

The essence of the color purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings. Amethyst is a purple variety of the mineral quartz, often forms large, six-sided crystals. Fine velvety-colored gems come from African and South American mines. Amethyst is always in demand for jewelry at all price points.

Aquamarine March Birthstone

Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool. Aquamarine is blue to slightly greenish-blue variety of the mineral beryl. Crystals are sometimes big enough to cut fashioned gems of more than 100 carats. Well-formed crystals might make superb mineral specimens.

Diamond April Birthstone

Diamonds are among nature’s most precious and beautiful creations. This hardest gem of all is made of just one element: carbon. It’s valued for its colorless nature and purity. Most diamonds are primeval—over a billion years old—and form deep within the earth.

Emerald May Birthstone

Emerald is the bluish green to green variety of beryl, a mineral species that includes aquamarine. The most valued variety of beryl, emerald was once cherished by Spanish conquistadors, Inca kings, Moguls, and pharaohs. Today, fine gems come from Africa, South America, and Central Asia.

Pearl June Birthstone

Perfect shining spheres. Lustrous baroque forms. Seductive strands, warm to the touch. Pearls are simply and purely organic. They are produced in the bodies of marine and freshwater mollusks naturally or cultured by people with great care. Lustrous, smooth, subtly-colored pearls are used as jewelry staples, especially as strands.

Ruby July Birthstone

Ruby is the most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species, which also includes sapphire. Traces of chromium give this red variety of the mineral corundum its rich color. Ruby is long valued by humans of many cultures. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby was called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.”

Peridot August Birthstone

The birthstone for August this gemstone is thought to strengthen life, bring about prosperity, growth and increase openness. Peridot is also believed to help one understand relationships, and to alleviate depression, anger, fear, jealousy and anxiety. Found in lava, meteorites, and deep in the earth’s mantle, occasionally as crystals lining veins in mountains of Myanmar and Pakistan, and occasionally inside meteorites. Peridot is a yellow-green gem variety of the mineral olivine.

Sapphire September Birthstone

The name “sapphire” can also apply to any corundum that’s not ruby, another corundum variety. Depending on their trace element content, sapphire varieties of the mineral corundum might be blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, purple or even show a six-rayed star if cut as a cabochon.

Tourmaline October Birthstone

Tourmalines have a variety of exciting colors with one of the widest color ranges of any gem. Tourmalines come in many colors, including the remarkable intense violet-to-blue gems particular to Paraíba, Brazil, and similar blues from Africa. It’s also a favorite of mineral collectors.

Opal October Birthstone

Fireworks. Jellyfish. Galaxies. Lightning. Opal’s shifting play of kaleidoscopic colors is unlike any other gem. Opal’s microscopic arrays of stacked silica spheres diffract light into a blaze of flashing colors. An opal’s color range and pattern help determine its value.

Topaz November Birthstone

Topaz comes in a variety of colors such as Honey yellow. Fiery orange. Cyclamen pink. Icy blue. In warm or cool tones, topaz is a lustrous and brilliant gem. Colorless topaz treated to blue is a mass-market gem. Fine pink-to-red, purple, or orange gems are one-of-a-kind pieces. Top sources include Ouro Prêto, Brazil, and Russia’s Ural Mountains.

Citrine November Birthstone

Citrine is the transparent, pale yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz. Citrine’s color comes from traces of iron. It’s perhaps the most popular and frequently purchased yellow gemstone and an attractive alternative for topaz as well as for yellow sapphire.

Tanzanite December Birthstone

Lush blue velvet. Rich royal purple. Exotic tanzanite is found in only one place on earth, near majestic Kilimanjaro. Named for Tanzania, the country where it was discovered in 1967, tanzanite is the blue-to-violet or purple variety of the mineral zoisite. It’s become one of the most popular of colored gemstones.

SHOP SKATELL’S BIRTHSTONES

Why do some months have more than one birthstone? Different traditions are often cited, but the most significant reason is that some gemstones are too rare and expensive to be attainable for a majority of people, and others just aren’t that popular.   

Birthstones have been around in one form or another nearly as long as people have. Most gem historians believe our ancestors regarded gems as sacred gifts from the heavens.

gemstonesSome people theorize that the earliest associations between gemstones and months of the year evolved from the twelve stones mentioned in the Bible as being on the breastplate of the high priest, while others attribute the development of the birthstones to the Twelve Apostles. Still other religions have produced quite different beliefs.

Needless to say, all of this created quite a controversy as the world of gemstones began to develop. Better means of gem identification, more modern interpretations of various religious writings, and various transformations in the world have all played a pivotal role in the evolution of the birthstone. Finally, in 1912, in an effort to resolve this issue, the American National Retail Jewelers’ Association adopted a list of so-called accepted birthstones. (Other groups have issued their own lists since then.) We have designated these gems “traditional birthstones.”

However, many different cultures and religions have held to their own beliefs and traditions right up to the present, and we support them wholeheartedly. We feel that too often in the hustle and bustle of our modern world, we put aside traditions and compromise our beliefs just so we can fit in with the rest of society. This in itself is a shame.

Therefore, we have decided to honor every alternative birthstone we could find, in the hope of keeping all the traditions alive. You will find some gems listed several times; though this seems to be a contradiction, remember that the various different lists that inspired this one alternative list evolved over many hundreds or thousands of years. Only for the sake of reference, the gems on this second list are classified as “nontraditional birthstones.” This is in no way intended to relegate these gems to a secondary status. We feel that when a governing body decides to establish a tradition, it shouldn’t be at the expense of other people’s beliefs. Feel free to accept the ones you want.