Garnet (Birth Month: January)
Appearance: Though they’re usually reddish in tone, garnets can also be many other colours including orange, green, pink, purple, black, brown, yellow and even colourless. Blue garnets do exist, but they’re rare.
Spiritual benefits: Known as the stone of health, it’s a bringer of holistic balance, focusing on revitalising personal energy and boosting wellbeing.
Care: Wash with warm soapy water and a soft cloth.
Amethyst (Birth Month: February)
Appearance: This popular gemstone is generally purple, but it can vary from a pale pinky tone to more of a dark blue, with areas of red and grey. The gradient is often strong, with the most intense colour at the tip of the crystal. Its name comes from the Ancient Greek word ‘amethystos’, meaning ‘not intoxicated’.
Spiritual benefits: Amethyst is a powerfully protective and highly spiritual stone, linked to the Sahasrara (crown) chakra, our intuition and our connection with the divine.
Care: It can be cleaned ultrasonically or with clean soapy water.
Aquamarine (Birth Month: March)
Appearance: With the name translating from Latin as ‘water of the sea’, it’s not surprising that these stones have a sparkly pale blue translucent hue.
Spiritual benefits: It has a soothing and nourishing energy, helping you to heal emotionally and quiet stresses, enabling relaxation into a peaceful meditative state.
Care: Warm soapy water is safe for aquamarine, but be gentle as it scratches easily.
Diamonds (Birth Month: April)
Appearance: Though white diamonds are the most popular, these stones can also come in white, champagne, yellow, cognac and black. They’re known for their brilliant sparkle, which can vary depending on cut and flaws. (Read this for more information on diamonds.)
Spiritual benefits: It’s not a coincidence that diamonds are synonymous with bridal jewellery. These brilliant stones are a symbol of love, purity, commitment and faithfulness, as well as instilling strength and fortitude.
Care: Diamonds are strong, so can be worn everyday but they tend to get dirty and start to look dull over time, requiring cleaning and repair to continue looking their best.
Emerald (Birth Month: May)
Appearance: The most popular birth gemstone, emerald has a rich green tone, which can vary between bluish green and more of a yellowish green.
Spiritual benefits: Emeralds have wide-ranging benefits, including luck, love, wisdom and overall balance. Ancient Romans dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love, hence the name ‘the sacred stone of Venus’, and it’s thought to activate the Anahata (heart) chakra.
Care: Avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaners and wash emeralds gently in warm soapy water. Make sure you don’t keep it stored with any other jewellery as it’s a relatively soft stone.
Peridot (Birth Month: August)
Appearance: One of the few crystals that are only found in one colour, peridots are always an olivey-green though can have a faint yellow-hued base, depending on the iron content. Known as ‘the gem of the sun’ by ancient Egyptians, who used peridot talismans to ward off bad luck.
Spiritual benefits: Known for its compassion, protection and health-giving properties, peridot is a deeply nourishing stone. By balancing mental and physical energies, it boosts your mood and makes for affectionate and caring relationships.
Care: Peridot is a fairly strong stone, so can be washed with warm soapy water, though be careful not to scratch it.
Sapphire (Birth Month: September)
Appearance: Best known as a regal blue, sapphires can actually be any colour (except red, which is a ruby). It’s unknown whether the name came from the French word ‘saphir’, the Latin word ‘sapphirs’ or Greek word ‘sappherios’, all meaning ‘blue stone’. The most rare — and therefore most expensive — is pink and orange, known as a Padparadscha, which comes from the Sinhalese word for the colour of a lotus blossom.
Spiritual benefits: It’s a stone of wisdom, protection, relieving tension and restoring balance. It’s related to the Anja (third eye) chakra, helping with mental clarity.
Care: Sapphires are strong stones, ideal for everyday wear, so can be washed easily at home.
Tourmaline (Birth Month: October)
Appearance: Though black tourmaline has had recent popularity, they come in all different colours, including blue, green, red, yellow and pink. The name comes from the Sinhalese word ‘toramalli’, meaning ‘stone with mixed colours’. The rarest and most expensive is the Brazilian Paraiba, which is an iridescent neon blue or green, caused by traces of copper.
Spiritual benefits: It’s often used for protection from negative energies, particularly black tourmaline which is connected to the Muladhara (root) chakra. It also instills calm, happiness, self-confidence and inspiration, though each colour has specific properties.
Green tourmaline, also called verdelite, is associated with health and nourishment, helping heal and balance energies during times of growth, new beginnings and development, particularly related to the earth or natural processes. It’s linked with the Anahata (heart) chakra, our centre of love and compassion for ourselves and others. Care: It can simply be washed in warm soapy water.
Citrine (Birth Month: November)
Appearance: With the name rooted in ‘citron’, the French word for lemon, this quartz is mostly a pale yellow hue though can be a deep orange or a browny red. Due to its rarity, citrine is usually made by heat treating purple amethyst or smoky quartz, which gives it a reddish tinge.
Spiritual benefits: Citrine is a happy stone, known to boost positive joyful energy and wealth, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as ‘the merchant’s stone’ or ‘money stone’. It’s linked to the Manipura (solar plexus) chakra, the source of self-confidence and motivation.
Care: It can be cleaned in soapy water, but be careful to protect it from scratches or heavy pressure.