Selecting Symbolism and Folklore

COLORWORD ASSOCIATIONSREPERSENTATIVE GEMSTONESLEGENDS:Throughout history, gemstones have been associated with wide varieties of legend and symbolism.
Red Emotional, Intense, Aggressive, Enlightening, Courage, Love, Rage, Passion. Garnet, Ruby, Red Spinel, Rubellite, Red Beryl GARNET: Protects travelers and preserves good health. Said to provide guidance in the night.

RUBY: Said to burn with an "inextinguishable fire;" indicates boldness and confidence; believed to protect life stature, home and land.
Pink Soft, Gentle, Feminine, Young, Positive, Passive, Hot, Baby, Girl, Purity, Rose. Rhodolite, Kunzite, Morganite, Tourmaline, Rose Quartz.
Orange Intense, Emotional, Bright, Transitional, Motion, Action, Flowers, Sunset, Drama. Citrine, Fire Opal, Golden Garnet, Golden Sapphire, Madeira, Quartz CITRINE: Citrine was carried as a talisman to protect against the Plague, bad skin and evil thoughts. Legends tell that the citrine was used to ward off bites from snakes and venomous insects.

AMBER: One of the finest gems used for adornment; mentioned in Homer's Odyssey; noted for medicinal value by the ancients. Insect bearing pieces were prized for their ability to protect against witchcraft.

TOPAZ: Ancient Egyptians revered topaz as a symbol of Ra, the sun god; ancient Greeks said that topaz provided inners strength. Romans believed that topaz would change color in the presence of poison.
Yellow Bright, Cheerful, Imperial, Sunday, Gold, Youth, Intellect, Warmth. Amber, Precious Topaz, Citrine
Green Happy, Artistic, Tranquil, Foliage, Hope, Balance, Money, Love, Beginnings, Fertility, Bravery. Emerald, Peridot, Green Tourmaline, Tsavorite, Jadeite, Chrysoprase PERIDOT: The Romans considered peridot a powerful amulet against evil, particularly terrors of the night; considered to be restful and "sleepy."

GREEN TOURMALINE: Used by Romans for its ability to hypnotize, believing it induced restful sleep; used in the Middle Ages as an amulet to attract success; some tournmaline is "plezoelectric" magnetic to dust particles.

EMERALD: Ancients believed that acquiring an emerald would strengthen memory and make one an eloquent speaker; represents perpetual reminders of spring and nature reborn; promotes creativity and perception; the spectral center and center of relaxation.
Blue Cool, Soothing, Calm, Restful, External, Superior, Loyal, Spirit, Infinity, Royalty, Boys, Quality, Value Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire, Blue Topaz, Aquamarine, Blue Tourmaline, Tanzanite BLUE TOPAZ: A relatively new stone, available only in the last 20 years; its color promotes exciting, yet tranquil emotions.

SAPPHIRE: Ancient priests and sorcerers prized the sapphire, believing it enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future; a symbol of fidelity to marriage partners; 12th century churchmen believed sapphire was a symbol of chastity, purity and all things sacred.
Purple Violet Regal, Passionate, Enlightenment, Wealth, Royalty, Sensuality, Power Amethyst, Iolite, Tanzanite, Rhodolite AMETHYST: Believed by ancient Greeks to prevent intoxication and "wiles" of the spirit; symbolizes protection, peace and tranquility; the stone of royalty and high clergy.

TANZANITE: One of the newest of all gemstones, (1967); found only in a very small region of Africa.

IOLITE: Called "water sapphire" because of its colorlessness in one direction; an earthly alternative to the bright violet palette.
White Expensive, Pure, Innocent, Faith, Hope, Life, Friendship, Integrity, Moon, Light, Stars, Clouds, Rain, Future Opal, Cultured Pearl, Moonstone, Mother of Pearl OPAL: No two opals are alike; in the Middle Ages, blonde girls wore opal in their hair to protect its color; opal signifies the stars and offers direction.

CULTURED PEARL: Believed by ancients to be the product of an angel’s tears; the symbol of purity, innocence and chastity; Egyptian legend says that Cleopatra dissolved two pearls in wine to make a potion to seduce Marc Anthony; in Greek, pearl means “perfect purity.”
Black Formal, Dignified, Bold, Dramatic, Sense, Consistency, Fortitude, Judgment, Drama Black Onyx, Black Opal, Black Jade, Enamel  

 

Traditional Gift Ideas

Birthstones

MonthTraditionalAlternate
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Garnet
Amethyst
Aquamarine
Diamond
Emerald
Pearl
Ruby
Peridot
Sapphire
Opal, Pink Tourmaline
Topaz
Blue Topaz, Zircon
Rubellite
Iolite, Tanzanite
Bloodstone, Blue Topaz
White Sapphire
Green Tourmaline, Tsavorite
Alexandrite, Moonstone
Rubellite, Red Spinel
Sardonyx, Tourmaline
Blue Tourmaline
Rose Zircon
Citrine
Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli

 

Anniversary Gifts

YearGiftYearGift
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Gold
Garnet
Pearl
Blue Topaz
Sapphire
Amethyst
Onyx
Tourmaline
Lapis Lazuli
Diamond
Turquoise
Jade
13
14
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
60

Citrine
Opal
Ruby
Emerald
Silver
Pearl
Emerald
Ruby
Sapphire
Gold
Alexandrite
Diamond


 

GEMSTONECLEANING AND PRECAUTIONSDURABILITYHARDNESS
January's Birthstone

Garnet

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning* usually safe and effective. Good to very good toughness; acceptable for everyday wear. 7 – 7.5
February's Birthstone

Amethyst

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning* usually safe and effective. Good toughness; acceptable for everyday wear. 7
March's Birthstone

Aquamarine

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning usually safe; Recommend jewelry cleaner and a soft brush. Good to very good toughness; somewhat brittle; may chip or crack if hit hard. 7.5 – 8
April's Birthstone

Diamond

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning* usually safe and effective. Good to very good toughness; highly suited for everyday wear. 10
May's Birthstone

Emerald

Avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaning; Use warm water and a soft brush. Fair to poor toughness due to internal fractures; wear with care to avoid nicks and chips. 7.5 – 8
June's Birthstone

Pearl

Wipe with a soft cloth. Avoid acids, cosmetics and hair spray. Never immerse strands. Can scratch easily; wear with care, especially in rings. 3 – 4
July'sBirthstone

Ruby

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning* usually safe and effective. Very good to excellent toughness; exceptional for everyday wear. 9
August's Birthstone

Peridot

Avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaning and rapid temperature changes; recommend jewelry cleaner and soft brush. Fair to good toughness; brittle edges; wear with care; good for everyday wear. 6.5 – 7
September's Birthstone

Sapphire

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning* usually safe and effective. Very good to excellent toughness; exceptional for everyday wear. 9
October's Birthstone

Opal

Wipe with a soft cloth; Keep away from chemicals and steam. Fair to good toughness; use care to protect water content scratches easily; avoid sharp blows. 5.5 – 6.5
November's Birthstone

Citrine

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning* usually safe and effective. Good toughness; acceptable for everyday wear. 7
December's Birthstone

Blue topaz

Ultrasonic or steam cleaning* usually safe and effective. Good toughness; acceptable for everyday wear. 8

Tanzanite

Avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaning; Use warm water and a soft brush. Fair to poor; exhibits cleavage and can scratch relatively easy; caution for everyday wear. 6 – 6.5
* Be Careful of gems with numerous inclusions.