January - Garnet, meaning Constancy
The name Garnet comes from the Latin for pomegranate, which has bright red, garnet like seeds. Garnet is one of the most popular gemstones for its beautiful rich claret colour In myth and magic, garnets were thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver and haemorrhages. According to legend, Noah used a finely cut, glowing garnet to illuminate the ark
February - Amethyst, meaning Sincerity
This lovely quartz gemstone ranges in colour from palest lilac to deep purple. In myth and magic, amethysts were thought to induce a wise and sober mind, the name is derived from the Greek word 'amethystos', which means 'against drunkenness' In traditional Chinese medicine, ground amethyst is prescribed for stomach pains and bad dreams - both of which are caused, incidentally, by too much drink.
March - Aquamarine, meaning Courage
Aquamarine derives its name from the colour of the sea. In the 19th century, sea green varieties were the most popular - but blues are more valued today. In myth and magic, in Medieval times, this stone was thought to awaken the love of married couples, and was also believed to render soldiers invincible. Aquamarine is known as the sailor's gem, ensuring safe passage across stormy seas.
April - Diamond - meaning Purity
Diamond - the girls' best friend, also known as the 'King of Gems', the diamond is the most precious of gemstones, famed both for its fiery brilliance and being the hardest mineral on earth. Its name derives from the Greek word adamas, which means 'invincible'. Diamonds are a form of carbon, occurring in a range of colours, the most popular being colourless. In myth and magic, the Greeks believed that diamonds could protect against poisons, and in Medieval times, those who could afford to wear a diamond believed they were safe against the plague.
May - Emerald - meaning Hope
The beautiful green shades of the Emerald derive from the presence of chromium and vanadium. Only the finest quality gemstones are transparent and flawless, most have tiny fractures or mineral inclusions known as 'jardin', French for garden. In myth and magic, hundreds of years ago, emeralds were thought to possess healing powers, particularly for restoring eyesight (especially after a drunken night out with your friends!). During the renaissance, emeralds were exchanged among the aristocracy as symbols - and tests - of friendship - the stone, it was said, would stay intact only if the friendship lasted.
June - Pearl - meaning Emotional Constancy
Once thought of by Arabians as tears of the gods, Pearls are created by certain shellfish, mainly oysters and mussels. In myth and magic, according to the Roman writer Pliny, Cleopatra dissolved a priceless pearl earring in her wine and drank it as a testament to her love for Anthony. Pearls have long been used medicinally. They were thought to cure everything from fevers to stomach ulcers, and they come in a range of colours from the traditional whites and creams through pinks, peach, greys, blues, coppers and a myriad of dyed colours
July - Ruby - meaning Passion
The classic Ruby is a deep, rich red, although the stone can appear in shades from pink to purple to brown, depending on the chemical content. Rubies are second only to diamonds in terms of hardness, and this, along with the vibrancy of their colour, makes them highly prized for jewellery. The finest stones come from Burma. In myth and magic, at the time of the Borgias (15th - 16th Centuries), rubies were thought to counteract poison - and were therefore much in demand. In the Middle Ages, the ruby was viewed as a stone of prophecy - people believed it would darken when its wearer was in danger.
August - Peridot - meaning Faithfulness
Peridot is one of the few gemstones which exist only in one color. The Egyptians called the lustrous stone the "gem of the sun" and believed it had the power to ward off anxiety, enhance speech, and foster success in relationships and marriage. It is the gemstone for the 15th Wedding Anniversary. A good first "Spiritual Stone" for people who have not yet had a spiritual awakening, or are having trouble relating to a "Higher Power" as it helps people who are having trouble relating to the reality of a world beyond the physical world.
September - Sapphire - meaning Blue Gem
Sapphires come in a range of yellows, pinks, and greens, as well as the better-known blue variety, which gives September-born brides a huge range of colours to choose from. The deep blue 'heavenly' sapphires were, and still are to some extent, deemed holy: popes, cardinals, and bishops have worn them since the middle ages. They are known as the jewel of chastity. In myth and magic, at one time sapphires were believed to exude heavenly rays that had the power to kill all poisonous creatures, and the Persians thought the earth rested on a giant sapphire and that the blue of the heavens was its reflection.
October - Opal - meaning Hope
Unlike other gemstones, the Opal is non-crystalline and is formed from a hardened silica gel. It is known for its rainbow iridescence. The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit 'upala', meaning 'precious stone'. In Asia the stone is viewed favourably, where it is a symbol of hope. Pink Opal can create vibrant love and uplifting emotional clarity. Fire Opals are energising and enable one to look within for answers.
November - Topaz - meaning Fidelity
The name 'Topaz' is thought to come from the Sanskrit 'tapas', meaning 'fire'. The stone occurs naturally in a range of different colours and is also heat-treated to produce the more popular hues. Tourmaline is a wonderful stone, with a color for each of the main Chakras. Excellent channeling stone for communication with higher forces. Tourmaline helps to break up energy blockages, which we mentally experience as anxiety, stress or confusion. Tourmaline helps you to move beyond limited thinking, to an expanded sense of reality, and see past experiences in new ways. It teaches that we are spiritual beings in physical form
December - Turquoise - meaning Contentment
First mined over 6,000 years ago, Turquoise has a rich and colourful history. To the Aztecs it was the 'stone of the gods' and was used extensively for religious artefacts; in medieval Europe it was thought of as a powerful talisman. Today most commercial turquoise comes from China and the south-western states of the United States. In myth and magic, turquoise has always been considered lucky and able to safeguard or bring happiness, and it will be quite possible to incorporate this stone into your bridal accessories as it goes brilliantly with either golds or silvers. According to a 15th Century legend, the stone loses its colour when its owner is unwell or in danger and regains its brilliance when the illness, or danger, has passed. .