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February Birthstone – Amethyst


Amethyst is the official birthstone for the month of February, according to the National Jewelers Association (USA).

Amethyst is associated with spirituality, piety, wisdom, sobriety, and security. It has been used to ornament churches and crosses, and worn in rings and on rosaries by bishops and priests.

Amethyst is often given as a symbol of protection and the power to overcome difficulty. It is also given as a representation of a strong bond in a love relationship.

Amethyst, as a precious stone, carries the following meanings:

  • Calmness
  • Peace
  • Inner Strength
  • Courage
  • Balance
  • Sincerity
  • Stability

Having a distinct gemstone assigned to each month of the year can be traced back to the Breastplate worn by Aaron, which is described in the book of Exodus.

“And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.” Exodus 28:17-21 KJV

The first century Jewish historian Josephus proclaimed a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate and the twelve months of the year.


The idea of wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of a person’s birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders in the region. The modern list of birthstones has been unchanged since its initial definition in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.

Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz, which occurs naturally as crystals within rocks. Deposits of this popular gemstone are found in Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States. An amethyst is always purple, but it occurs in a wide range of purple shades.

The Gregorian calendar has poems (of unknown author) matching each month with its birthstone:

The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear.

To learn more about gemstones, visit the website for the Gemological Institute of America, http://www.gia.edu/

Celebrate Your Faith has many popular items in Amethyst. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there are many great gift ideas in Amethyst available.

Search Amethyst Gifts

February Gift Ideas

January Birthstone – Garnet


Garnet is the official birthstone for the month of January, according to the National Jewelers Association (USA).

Garnet, as a precious stone, carries the following meanings:
• Purity
• Truth
• Faithfulness
• Friendship
• Awareness
• Commitment
• Regeneration

Garnets have a history of being exchanged as gifts between friends to demonstrate their affection for each other and to insure that they would meet again.

Having a distinct gemstone assigned to each month of the year can be traced back to the Breastplate worn by Aaron, which is described in the book of Exodus.

“And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.” Exodus 28:17-21 KJV

The first century Jewish historian Josephus proclaimed a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate and the twelve months of the year.

The idea of wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of a person’s birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders in the region. The modern list of birthstones has been unchanged since its initial definition in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.
Garnet is the only recognized birthstone for January, but the garnet family encompasses a diverse range of colors. The color red occurs most frequently, but there are also garnets showing different shades of green, pale to bright yellow, fiery orange and fine earth- and umbra-shades. Blue is the most rarely seen garnet color.
The Gregorian calendar has poems (of unknown author) matching each month with its birthstone:

By her who in January was born
No gem save garnets shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.

September birthstone ~ sapphire

The idea of “birthstones” or a gemstone for specific months made its way into the Judeo-Christian tradition through the description of the breastplate of Aaron, the High Priest, in Exodus 28 and 39. Over the centuries theologians have debated the importance and symbolism of these gems, and even the identity about what specifically some of the gems may have been. (Read more about this in our post on the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.)

September’s birthstone is the sapphire. Like the ruby, the sapphire is a form of the mineral corundum.  The presence of trace oxides determines the color of the stone.  Sapphires come in many colors, but blue is the most well-known and valued.

Sapphires are the stone of truth and fidelity. This historic association with faithfulness is one of the reasons why sapphires are second only to diamonds in their popularity in engagement rings.  The heavenly blue color of sapphires is also symbolic of a joyful devotion to God.

See our selection of sapphire items on CelebrateYourFaith.com.

August birthstone ~ Peridot

The idea of “birthstones” or a gemstone for specific months made its way into the Judeo-Christian tradition through the description of the breastplate of Aaron, the High Priest, in Exodus 28 and 39. Over the centuries theologians have debated the importance and symbolism of these gems, and even the identity about what specifically some of the gems may have been. (Read more about this in our post on the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.)

If your birthday is in August, you have lots of company – it’s the month in which more people celebrate birthdays than any other.

The birthstone for August is the peridot, a gem variety of the mineral chrysolite or olivene (chrysolites are the name by which peridots are mentioned in the Bible). Peridots are a beautiful, almost glowing green color, ranging from leafy green to olive, which in the past have often been mistaken for emeralds; it’s now believed that Cleopatra’s famous emeralds may actually have been fine dark green peridots.

Peridots were often used for decoration in medieval churches and reliquaries; they may have been brought to Europe by the Crusaders. Peridots, along with enamel and  other gemstones, can be seen adorning the 12th-century Shrine of the Three Magi in  Cologne Cathedral.

Historic lore associates the peridot with healing, probably due to its verdant color; it is also associated with marital happiness and is the theme for the 16th anniversaries.

You can view our selection of peridot gift suggestions on CelebrateYourFaith.com.

July birthstone ~ Ruby

The idea of “birthstones” or a gemstone for specific months made its way into the Judeo-Christian tradition through the description of the breastplate of Aaron, the High Priest, in Exodus 28 and 39. Over the centuries theologians have debated the importance and symbolism of these gems, and even the identity about what specifically some of the gems may have been. (Read more about this in our post on the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.)

One gem about which there is no confusion is the ruby, or Stone of Judah, which has been recognized for milennia. Rubies are a variety of corundum, the second-hardest mineral after the diamond. When corundum is any color other than red, it is considered a sapphire. (The word ruby comes from the Latin, ruber, which means “red”.)  Rubies range in color from an orangey-red to almost purple, but the most valued rubies are a deep, true red.

The Bible refers often to rubies, considering them to be beautiful, precious items of the highest value, for example:  Job 28:18; Proverbs 3:15; Proverbs 8:11; Proverbs 31:10.

Due to the Bible’s description of rubies it became a favored gemstone among the hierarchy of the church; Martin Luther’s engagement ring is said to have contained a ruby.  According to a 14th-century gemology text, a ruby “acquires and maintains the power of rulers, it procures peace and agreements, it makes man devoted to God, it appeases anger and maintains seductions, it makes the person wearing them safe from all dangers.”

There is a history beautiful symbolism embodied in the ruby. See our selection of birthstone gift suggestions for July.

June birthstone ~ Pearl & Moonstone

June’s birthstone, the pearl, is the only birthstone that is of organic origin. The nacre that forms a pearl is made of aragonite (a form of calcium).

Pearls have been cherished for millennia. They were particularly popular throughout the Roman and Byzantine empires, and were used to embellish the robes and cloaks of the nobility. Sets of matched pearls were so rare and expensive they were usually only available to royalty. The Kingdom of Heaven itself is likened to a fine pearl in Matthew 13:44-46.

At some point the moonstone also became associated with June birthdays, probably because it shares with the pearl a certain luminance, luster, and milky-white color. The moonstone is an opalescent stone which is part of the feldspar family of gemstones.

Both pearls and moonstones are beautiful in settings of either gold or silver, and they have a flattering effect on the skin tones of all who wear them.

See our beautiful selection of birthstone gift suggestions for June,  or read more about the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.

May birthstone ~ Emerald

Emeralds, like aquamarines, are a variety of the mineral beryl. One of the most precious and highly-valued gemstones, fine emeralds are rarer than fine diamonds.  This is due in part to the limited geological environments in which they are found; most emeralds were formed in areas where hot lava came into contact with sedimentary rocks.

Emeralds are mentioned in several places in the Bible.  First, in the Breastplate of the High Priest in Exodus 28; in a listing of the gems of the King of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28; and (my favorite) as decorating the foundations of the city walls of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21.

With their beautiful green color, it is to be expected that emeralds would be associated with Spring.  In many cultures emerald represents immortality. In the Christian tradition, emeralds are a symbol of faith and hope.

See our beautiful selection of gift suggestions for May birthdays, and read more about the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.

April birthstone ~ Diamond

Spring has sprung, and we’re coming up on April!   We’d like to be sure time doesn’t slip away before you remember friends and family whose birthdays fall early in the month.

The birthstone for April is the diamond, the “gem of light”.

“The diamond. . .  like light itself when broken into a spectrum, gives us all known colors, and by combining all these colors gives us white.”

- George Frederick Kunz, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, 1913

A diamond symbolizes everlasting love, which is why it is so often chosen for engagement and wedding rings.

According to legend, the qualities and virtues symbolized by the diamond are only obtainable by gift, not by purchase.

See our beautiful selection of gifts commemorating April birthdays, and read more about the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.

March birthstone ~ Aquamarine

March is just around the corner!  Act now so you don’t forget your loved ones whose birthdays fall on the first or second day of the month.  (Written by one who gets a raft of calls and cards on the 2nd and 3rd when friends and family realize the new month snuck up on them.)

The birthstone for March is the aquamarine (a form of beryl, the name by which it was known in ancient times).  The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin words for “water of the sea” due to its color.  Different cultures have attributed symbolic meanings to this gemstone, which include happiness and understanding, the making of new friends, and the re-awakening of love in long-married couples. The aquamarine is also used as a symbol of beauty, honesty, and loyalty.

See our beautiful selection of gifts commemorating March birthdays, and read more about the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.

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