A Guide to Gemstones and Birthstones to Help Find the Perfect Gift
In Latin, garnet translates to pomegranate seed. This often deep-red gem symbolizes affection, trust, sincerity, and spiritual devotion. Depending on the type, garnet may also be purplish, orange, green, or yellow.
An amethyst’s soothing purple hue brings about a natural sense of calmness. The ancients believed it protected them from drunkenness; Leonardo da Vinci believed it could increase intelligence. Others have associated it with healing, spirituality, and mental clarity.
A member of the beryl family, this blue-to-blue-green stone is named for the color of seawater. It was once thought to protect seafarers, but today many appreciate its association with marital happiness.
The most popular ring stone, diamond is associated with strength, beauty, and eternal love. Although there are red, blue, and other fancy-colored diamonds, most wearers seek the colorless, high-clarity variety.
Emerald stones are admired for their deep green color. Many legends associate them with heightened intelligence, healing, and predicting the future. But the beauty an emerald adds to nearly any jewelry is undeniable.
Pearls are unique in that they’re formed by living mollusks. Their association with nature calls on qualities like purity, honesty, and wisdom. Today, most pearls are cultured and can be found in white and a range of other colors.
A conundrum gem, a ruby always has a dominating red hue. Some stones feature pink or orange undertones. Rubies are associated with strength and stamina; the finest quality ones are among the most expensive gemstones.
Formed deep under volcanoes, peridot is a bright, yellow-green stone that brings elegance to any piece of jewelry. In ancient times, it was associated with the sun. Thus, it is thought to protect a wearer during the night; but it’s also connected with fortune and prosperity.
Its pure blue color and durability make sapphire a highly desirable gemstone. But not all sapphires are blue; they’re found in almost every color except red. Sapphire is associated with everything from wisdom and clarity to protection against physical harm and bad intentions.
Opals are unique gemstones that may display flashes of color as they’re turned. While not all opals show this play of color, the gem has a long association with light and magic. Some associate it with healing and good luck.
A yellow-to-red-orange variety of quartz (and also related to amethyst), citrine blends well with “earth tone” fashions. Some stones have subtle brown hues. Citrine is generally associated with healing, calmness, and happiness.
Blue Topaz is naturally colorless or pale blue. However, it takes on a vivid greenish-blue when treated in a laboratory. Traditionally associated with wealth, Blue Topaz has also been thought to represent wisdom, longevity, and in modern times, strength and generosity.