Characteristics of BirthstonesWhat's in a birthstone? Over the last two centuries, the idea of stones being mystically associated with months and the people born in those months has been a popular idea. While that list has been in flux for many years, several months have remained the same for generations-and no matter what the current stone is, you can be assured that it's a beautiful choice for a piece of gemstone jewelry. There's something special about birthstone jewelry: If you're purchasing it for yourself, it can be a great symbolism that you can appreciate. If you're purchasing the jewelry for someone you love, birthstone jewelry can be a way of showing how special they are to you.
BirthstonesEach month has one "major" birthstone, with many months featuring several secondary stones with related traits:
What to Know About BirthstonesWhile many of the "secondary" gems were chosen for their color similarity to the primary gem, there are other reasons why some months have multiple stones. For example, when you look at November's birthstones, you'll see topaz and citrine. The two stones can have near-identical colors, but citrine is significantly more affordable than good quality topaz.
Also, while all gemstones are beautiful, not every gemstone has the same durability. If you're interested in choosing a colored gem for a piece of jewelry that will be worn every day (such as a custom engagement ring or wedding band), it should at least be harder than quartz, since quartz is a primary component of dirt and dust.
Turquoise, opal, peridot, pearl, and garnet are relatively soft gems, and they're more ideal for earrings, necklaces, or "sometimes" rings. If you're interested in wearing a ring that boasts a birthstone, you may want to look into gems that are at least harder than 7 on the Mohs scale. They won't get easily scratched, if at all, for the decades that you'll treasure your piece.