Birthstones have been a popular addition to jewellery for centuries, and a wide variety of precious stones have been used in them. These stones have been used to express love, honour, or celebrate birthdays, from emeralds to diamonds. The meanings of these stones have changed over time, so it’s not uncommon to see birthstones with different meanings in different cultures. For example, in the United States, the most popular birthstone is the garnet (red) stone, but in Japan, it’s the ruby (red).
If you’re interested in learning more about birthstones, here are 12 facts you may not know about them.
The value of Tanzanite has skyrocketed since 2012.
In 2012, the beautiful gemstone Tanzanite was valued at under $3 per carat. In 2014, it was worth over $300 per carat, and in 2015 it was valued at over $12,000 per carat! Now, the most expensive known Tanzanite crystal has been sold for a whopping $2.5 million.
Ancient Greeks used to believe that Topaz could cause someone to turn invisible.
Although there are many myths regarding the gemstone, it is one of the few gems that have been used to protect a person against evil. The gems were worn by the god Thoth, who was believed to make anyone invisible.
No 2 pearls are alike.
The first rule of pearl collecting is that not all pearls are the same. There are hundreds of species of freshwater pearls, each with its own unique size, shape, colour, and luster, and each one is born of a unique animal.
Ruby was believed to make a woman beautiful.
The word “ruby” is derived from the distorted version of “Rhodon,” a flower named after the Greek Titan of the sea, known for its red petals. The Romans believed that the red colour of this flower made the woman more beautiful.
Leonardo da Vinci believed amethysts quicken the intelligence.
Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant man who thought that amethyst might have helped his mind. While most may not agree with his beliefs, it does not change that he had some interesting ideas about the history of amethyst or what it did to his brain.
Garnet is believed to cure depression.
In the late 1970s, garnet, a type of red garnet, a semi-precious stone from South Africa, became popular in mental health circles. At the time, clinicians believed that garnet helped eliminate negative emotions of depression by promoting a healthy flow of serotonin, a chemical linked to mood and feelings.
Opal was powdered and ingested in order to be protected from nightmares.
It was an ancient practice used in the early to mid-1900s by people to help them sleep at night and prevent them from having nightmares. Opal originated in the United States and was made from powdered opals in a chemical process.
Sapphire is the purest form of corundum crystal.
As a crystal, Sapphire is a variety of corundum, a very hard mineral used to cut stones of various shapes and sizes. It has long been associated with royalty and nobility and is sometimes called “the King of Stones.”
Europeans believed Aquamarine could make a person wise.
Aquamarine was worn by the Roman emperors Nero and Titus. In the 18th century, it became associated with the French philosopher Voltaire, who was known for his wit and insatiable thirst for knowledge.
The Emerald was known to be one of Cleopatra’s favourites
The Emerald is one of the most beautiful gemstones on the market today. It is associated with the element of water and is said to bring prosperity, success, and love. Cleopatra was known to have worn the Emerald as a sign of hope.
Diamonds are the hardest gemstones.
Despite diamonds being the hardest gemstone, they are not the most expensive. That honour falls to rubies, which are the second hardest, followed by sapphires and emeralds.
Peridots are called “gems of the sun.”
At first glance, Peridot seems like a typical flower, but under the microscope, it turns out to be a gemstone. It gets its name from the Greek word “peridos,” or “bright.” This is because peridot is known as the “Sunstone” because it appears as a rainbow of colours under the microscope when viewed from the side.