Guide to Autumn and Winter Birthstones

A birthstone is a gemstone that represents a person’s period of birth that is usually the month or zodiac sign. The list of traditional or ancient birthstones most well-known in the United Kingdom but actually originated in Poland between the 16th and 18th centuries.

In this guide, we cover Autumn to Winter Birthstones

July – Ruby

The rosy red ruby is the perfect stone for passionate people who were born in July. It’s one of the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the world. Symbolic of passion, protection, and prosperity, ruby gemstones have been revered since ancient times. Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 BC. Chinese noblemen adorned their armour with rubies because they believed the gem would grant protection.

August – Peridot

Peridot is another green birthstone – but this one is formed in the volcanic fire! In days gone by it was believed to symbolise fertility and healing. These ancient Egyptian gemstones came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad.

Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” believing it protected its wearer from terrors of the night. Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famed emerald collection may have actually been peridot.

September – Sapphire

September’s Sapphire has a deep, rich blue colour. The stone has recently come back into fashion after Prince William gave Kate Middleton a sapphire engagement ring. The celestial blue colour of this gemstone symbolized heaven and attracted divine favour and wise judgment.

Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle. Buddhists believed that it brought spiritual enlightenment, and Hindus used it during worship. Early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings.

October – Opal

Opal can be said to be the most unique of all of the birthstones, as its milky colour radiates a combination of all of the colours! Rumour once had it that wearing opal when it wasn’t your birthstone could bring you bad luck, but most people now think that this is just folklore! Centuries of legends surround opal gemstones. During the Middle Ages, opal was thought to bring the wearer luck.

November – Citrine

Citrine is the only yellow stone in the birthstone family – its name is derived from citron which means lemon in French. It is a variety of quartz said to protect against evil. Citrine quartz has been adored since ancient times. The name “citrine” was used to refer to yellow gemstones as early as 1385 when the word was first recorded in English. However, since the gemstone’s colour closely resembled topaz, these two November birthstones shared a history of mistaken identities.

December – Blue topaz

December’s birthstone is blue topaz, a popular stone that comes in a variety of shades of blue. It’s one of the most commonly available stones and is known for restoring order and calm to stressful situations. During the Renaissance in Europe, people believed that topaz could break spells and quell anger. Hindus deemed topaz sacred, believing that a pendant could bring wisdom and longevity to one’s life. African shamans also treated the gemstone as sacred, using it in their healing rituals.

Remember, wearing your birthstone is meant to bring you luck, happiness and prosperity – so it’s a great excuse to invest in some new jewellery!

In Part 1 of the Hatton Garden guide to birthstones, we filled you in on all of the gemstones from January until June. Here in Part 2, we look at the stones that represent July until December.

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