Birthstones in Custom Toronto Jewelry | Birthstones by Month – Al Joher

Birthstones in Custom Toronto Jewelry

Birthstones in Custom Toronto Jewelry

The tradition of birthstones has ancient origins, dating back to the Book of Exodus. Aaron's breastplate, adorned with twelve precious stones, is often cited as the earliest example of birthstones, representing the months of the year and the zodiac signs.

The Gemological Institute of America traces the practice of wearing birthstone gems to the 1560s. A formal list of birthstones was established by Jewelers of America in 1912 and has since undergone revisions, with minor differences between the official lists in the US and UK.

In historical contexts, the names associated with gemstones may not correspond precisely to the stones we recognize today.

  • Sapphire was likely referring to what we now identify as lapis.
  • Diamonds were probably white sapphire or white topaz.

The tradition of wearing birthstones in Toronto is believed to bring good luck, good health, and protection. Astrologers historically attributed supernatural powers to specific gemstones.

What is a Gem?

A gem is a natural material suitable for ornamentation, characterized by beauty, durability, and rarity. While beauty is subjective, most consider transparent gems, either colorless or vividly colored, to be beautiful. 

Some gems, like opals or well-cut diamonds, exhibit flashes of bright color when moved, while others, like alexandrite, change color under different light sources. 

Certain phenomena, such as cat's eyes (chatoyancy) or stars (asterism), may reduce transparency. Despite being opaque, gems like lapis lazuli boast intense coloration compensating for their lack of transparency. 

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Gemstone Language- What Do Different Gemstones Symbolize?

Throughout history, various gemstone in different languages have been associated with different powers, charms, or symbolic meanings. Many of these associations have roots in the mythologies of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Ancient Greece & Rome, Asia, and even the Bible.

Gems are classified and identified based on various characteristics, as outlined in the following directory. These properties and categories serve as essential criteria used by mineralogists to classify gemstones. Let’s decode the language of gemstones one by one: 

  • Class: This pertains to the chemical composition and structure of the gem. Certain groups of atoms form the backbone of the crystal structure, including carbon-oxygen groups (carbonates), phosphorus-oxygen groups (phosphates), and various configurations of silicon-oxygen groups (such as chain silicates and cyclosilicates).

  • Crystal System: Refers to the fundamental symmetry of a mineral at the atomic scale, determining its growth pattern. There are seven crystal systems: isometric (or cubic), tetragonal, hexagonal, trigonal, orthorhombic, monoclinic, and triclinic.

    Materials that lack atomic-scale organization, like natural glass, are termed amorphous. Some gem materials lack order at the atomic scale but exhibit organization on larger scales; examples include opals and organic structures like shells and pearls.

  • Composition: Refers to the atomic content or chemistry of a mineral, typically depicted by a mineral formula detailing the defining atoms and their relative proportions.

  • Refractive Index: The refractive index measures how light slows down as it passes through a crystal compared to its speed in a vacuum. Some minerals have multiple refractive indices due to variations in atomic packing density.

  • Dispersion: The variation in refractive index across different wavelengths of light. It measures the discrepancy in refractive index between blue-violet light (at 486 nm) and red light (at 656 nm).

  • Specific Gravity: Measures the weight of an object relative to the same volume of water. Gems with high specific gravity, such as white jadeite, will feel heavier in the hand compared to those with low specific gravity, such as white opal.

  • Hardness: Gauges the material's resistance to scratching. According to the Mohs Scale, which rates talc at 1, gypsum at 2, calcite at 3, fluorite at 4, apatite at 5, orthoclase at 6, quartz at 7, topaz at 8, corundum at 9, and diamond at 10.

  • Cleavage: A mineral's natural tendency to break along flat planes due to weakened atomic bonding.

Meanings of Different Gemstones

January – Garnet

The January birthstone, garnet, is believed to offer protection to travelers. Its name originates from a term meaning "seed," owing to its resemblance to the color and shape of a pomegranate seed.

February – Amethyst

The February birthstone, amethyst, is believed to fortify relationships and instill courage in its wearer. Historically, only royalty could don this gem. Ancient Greeks believed it protected against intoxication, hence its name "amethystos," derived from the Greek word for "sober."

March – Aquamarine, Bloodstone

The March birthstone, aquamarine, was believed to possess healing properties for heart, liver, and stomach ailments. According to legend, drinking water in which the gem had been soaked could cure these diseases. Sailors of old thought aquamarine talismans, engraved with the image of the sea god Neptune, offered protection from perils at sea.

April – Diamond

The April birthstone, diamond, symbolizes everlasting love and was historically associated with courage. In Sanskrit, the diamond is referred to as vajra, which translates to lightning. In Hindu mythology, vajra was the weapon wielded by Indra, the king of gods.

May – Emerald

Emerald, the birthstone for May, held a special place in Cleopatra's affections and is steeped in symbolism. Associated with fertility, rebirth, and love, ancient Romans even dedicated this gem to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, emeralds are believed to embody qualities of wisdom, growth, and patience.

June – Pearl

Pearl, the birthstone for June, has been revered as a symbol of purity for centuries. According to ancient Greek mythology, pearls were believed to be the tears of joy shed by Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

July – Ruby

Ruby, the birthstone for July, held significant reverence among ancient Hindus as the "king of gems," believed to offer protection against evil forces. Today, the rich red hue of the ruby symbolizes love and passion.

August – Peridot

Peridot, the birthstone for August, embodies strength and resilience. Often referred to as the "evening emerald" due to its light green hue, peridot was historically associated with volcanic activity, believed to be the tears of the volcano goddess Pele. When set in gold, this gem was thought to ward off nightmares and provide protection to the wearer.

September – Sapphire

Sapphire, the birthstone for September, has long been associated with protection against evil and poisoning. Legend had it that a venomous snake would perish if placed in a vessel made of sapphire. Revered by priests and kings throughout history, sapphire symbolizes purity and wisdom.

October – Opal

Opal, the birthstone for October, represents faithfulness and confidence. Its name originates from the Latin word "opalus," signifying a "precious jewel." Throughout history, people wore necklaces adorned with opals to ward off evil and safeguard eyesight.

November – Topaz

Topaz, the birthstone for November, embodies love and affection, imparting increased strength and intellect to the wearer.

December – Turquoise

Turquoise, the birthstone for December, is revered as a love charm, symbolizing good fortune and success. Believed to soothe the mind and offer protection from harm, turquoise rings are especially renowned for warding off evil spirits.

Find Birthstones in Custom Toronto Jewelry

Now that you've discovered your birthstone, do you know where you can discover the perfect place to buy gemstones in Toronto? 

At Al Joher, we meticulously curate the finest diamonds and gemstones for your engagement ring, wedding bands, and jewelry for any special occasion. Whether you're looking to celebrate a loved one or indulge yourself, Al Joher is here to transform your dreams into reality.


  • Do gemstones have meanings?

Yes, gemstones often have symbolic meanings associated with them. Different cultures and belief systems attribute various qualities and significance to gemstones, ranging from healing properties to representing virtues or emotions.

  • What gemstones are found in Canada?

Several gemstones are found in Canada, including:

  • Ammolite: Known for its vibrant iridescent colors, ammolite is found primarily in Alberta and is highly prized for its rarity and beauty.
  • Diamonds: Canada is renowned for its high-quality diamonds, particularly those from the Ekati and Diavik mines in the Northwest Territories.
  • Jade: British Columbia is famous for its nephrite jade, which has been used for centuries by Indigenous peoples for tools, ornaments, and ceremonial objects.
  • Garnet: Found in various provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, garnets are valued for their rich colors and durability.

  • Tourmaline: Tourmaline deposits are found in several Canadian provinces, with specimens prized for their range of colors, including pink, green, and blue.
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