Ultimate Guide to Birthstones

Updated: Jul 8

When shopping for birthstone jewelry gifts, always shop with professional jewelers -- look for jewelry stores that are Missouri Jewelers Association Members -- who can show you a range of options and explain any special properties of the birthstone jewelry.

All information adapted from Jewelers of America publications. All images from MJA vendors. Click on images for more information.

Jewelers of America helped develop the current birthstone list that dates back to 1912. With the most recent update being the addition of Tanzanite in 2002

Birthstone jewelry makes great gifts for any special occasion. Discover the unique aspects and special characteristics of each birthstone to help you purchase the perfect gift for your loved one or yourself.

History of Birthstones

The history of birthstones began many centuries ago with the connection between the 12 stones in Aaron's breastplate, the 12 months of the year and the 12 signs of the zodiac. The Biblical description states that the 12 jewels in the breastplate were to be made from specific minerals, each unique, which resulted in the birthstone gems.

The 12 birthstones were believed to hold special healing and therapeutic powers. Originally people would keep all 12 birthstones and wear one a month to gain their full beneficial effects. The current tradition of wearing your personal birthstone is only a few centuries old.


January - Garnet

Garnet gets its name from the word “pomegranate,” as the crystals bear a resemblance to pomegranate seeds and it is best known for its deep red hue. Garnet has been found in many regions around the world, including Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Garnets are believed to stimulate energy and promote true love. Garnet also has one of the most diverse color spectrums of all gemstones -- it comes in every color except blue. You’re sure to find a piece of garnet jewelry to match the birthday girl’s tastes. Browse our selections above for January birthday gift ideas.

February - Amethyst

Make her feel like a queen on her birthday with a birthday gift of amethyst jewelry. Amethyst gives women and men the look of royalty at affordable prices. Royalty and religious figures once wore amethyst as a symbol of their important stature in society. Ancient Greeks believed amethyst possessed mystical powers, like preventing drunkenness and conveying strength and wit when worn. Learn more of amethyst’s special characteristics here.

March - Aquamarine

Aquamarine gemstones get their name from the sparkling blue sea that their colors reflect. Its breathtaking colors, from light blue to blue green, glitter and gleam even in muted light conditions making them fantastic gemstones for evening wear. Aquamarine jewelry will make the birthday girl look dazzling on her special day and for every other occasion. Learn more about aquamarine’s special characteristics here.

April - Diamond

Show how much you care with diamond jewelry for April birthday gifts. While diamonds are found in all rainbow colors, they are most known for the brilliance of their clear white hues. Many diamonds are over three billion years old, making them the oldest of all gemstones. In Greek culture, diamonds were thought to be teardrops from the gods. Rare and fascinating, mysterious and magical, the diamond has evoked the feelings of romance and long-lasting love throughout history. Learn more about diamond’s special characteristics.

May - Emerald

Emerald is one of the most treasured gemstones of all time; the first-known emerald source was Egypt around 3500BC. Emeralds get their name from the Greek word “smaragdos,” which means "green stone." Its vivid color saturation gives prized emeralds the deep green hue that symbolizes renewal and spring, making it the perfect birthstone for the month of May. The May birthstone is a classic and eternal gemstone. No other green gemstone rivals emerald’s luxuriant green hue. Learn more about emerald’s special characteristics.

June - Alexandrite

June has three birthstones each showcasing nature’s magic with their unique formation and color properties.