Garnet - The birthstone for January. Garnet is found in Brazil, Russia, East Africa and India, with the best Garnets being found in Sri Lanka. Garnet is a very popular jewel. It is used for jewelry such as rings, necklaces and bracelets. Garnet can be red (which is the most popular), pink, green, gray and yellow.
Amethyst - The birthstone for February. Amethyst is probably the thirteenth most popular stone in the world. Amethyst is purple colored quartz. When heated, amethyst can be yellow which produces citrine. Amethysts are found in geods of which most are found in Brazil. The deep purple color of amethyst has been known for centuries as the color of royalty and is even part of the British Crown Jewels.
Aquamarine - The birthstone for March. Aquamarine actually means seawater. You can almost hear the roaring waves when you stare into the shimmering facets of aquamarine. It is said that it's brilliance even rivals that of a diamond's. Gem quality aquamarine is found as hexagonal crystals which may be up to thirty-nine inches long (1 meter) and flawless. Aquamarine in the 19th century was preferred to be green in color.
Diamond - The birthstone for April. It is the ultimate gemstone. When they said they are forever, they were not kidding. The only way that a diamond can be cut or chipped is by getting hit with another Diamond. These stones are so clear that Loose Diamonds can be cut to the point that they emit a certain 'fire' in their radiance. Because of their characteristics, they are the most used gems for engagement rings.
Emerald - Emerald is the birthstone of May, the month of rebirth and celebration of life. An emerald pendant are traditionally given to moms on Mother's Day. Emerald is a very transparent green. Emeralds are very rarely flawless. The stones are often oiled to fill in the cracks of imperfect emeralds. When they oil the emeralds they often help enhance color. The finest emeralds come from Columbia, but there are other good sources like Australia, India, Austria, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, U.S.A., Norway, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.
Pearl - The birthstone for June. Well, a Pearl isn't actually a gemstone. A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, hence, the word being used as a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable.
Ruby - Ruby is the brirthstone of July, and is so durable and strong, it is second only to diamonds. A perfect gem for everyday wear as a ruby ring or ruby pendant. A pure flawless red ruby is valued more than a diamond. Ruby is one of the best jewelry settings. It may be red, pinkish, purplish or brownish. The color depends on the iron content of the stone. If rubys fracture it may be because of constant twining. Crystal prisms are hexagonal with tapering or flat ends. As rubys grow they form more layers.
Peridot - August's birthstone. A Gem-quality of the mineral olivine are called peridot by gemologists. Peridot has an olive or bottle green color that is due to the presence of iron and a distinctive oily or greasy luster. It has a high birefraction. So doubling of the back facets can easily be seen in larger specimens. When viewed from the front, good quality crystals are very rare.
Sapphire - The birthstone of September. The deep blue colors of twilight are captured in the intense vivid tones of sapphire. Extremely durable and always in fashion, a sapphire ring in white or yellow gold will never go out of style. All quality corundum that is hot is sapphire yet this name is popularly associated with blue. Variation in color that is due to iron and titanium impurities spans many shades but the most valuable is a clear deep blue. Some stones called color change sapphire exhibit different shades of blue in artificial and natural light. Good quality sapphire is found in Mynmew, Sri Lanka and India.
Opal - The birthstone for October. Opal has been a treasured gemstone around the world from the beginning or recorded history. Cultures throughout time have revered opal as a symbol of hope and purity. The shimmering rainbow of colors inside every opal has inspired the imagination from the ancient Romans to the sonnets of Shakespeare. Opal is hardened silica gel usually containing five to ten percent water. It is therefore non crystalline unlike most other gem stones. It may even dry out and crack. There are two varieties of precious opal which flashes of color iridescence. Depending on the angle of viewing a common or potch opal, which is often opaque, opal displays no iridescence.
Topaz - The stone for November. In a range of different colors topaz varies of deep golden yellow and pinks are often the most valuable of topaz. A blue topaz is almost indistinguishable from an aquamarine from the naked eye. Some topaz have a bubble in the center. When a gas bubble is in a topaz in can cause damage such as cracks to occur, so you better pick a good loose Topaz before having it set.
Turquoise - The birthstone for December-borns. Turquoise was one of the very first of gem stones to be mined. Because of the deep blue to green color turquoise is highly valued. Turquoises color vary due to how much iron or copper is in the stone. As turquoise ages it may develop cracks. If you wax Turquoise after it cracks it can maintain its appearance. Although the best sky blue turquoise is from Tibet, the turquoise from Iran is more durable.
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