This Week's Obsession: Multiple birthstones
People often ask, "Why do some months have more than one birthstone? It really is a mystery why some months have more than one birthstone, and let's not get started with December who has not one, not two but three stones you can select from. Rumour has it that it was so people could afford to purchase a gemstone if the primary gemstone was too expensive, however, diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire stand alone in their month without the aid of a secondary gemstone. It wasn't until 2002 that the months and gemstones were standardised. And if you want to be more exact, the gemstones don't really correspond to the month but rather to the astrological sign ruling that month.
June is the 1st month to enjoy having 2 gemstones: Pearl and Alexandrite.
October has Opal and Tourmaline to share and November has Citrine and Topaz, (both in the yellow spectrum) and the big winner is December with three gemstones: Tanzanite, Turquoise and Blue Zircon - all blue stones.
Mysteries aside, we should enjoy the diversity and the more the merrier mentality of these months.
June | Pearl & Alexandrite
Pearls are known for their natural beauty and varying hues including white, pink, grey, and black. They’re hugely popular because they come in so many shapes and sizes without being cut or modified in any way. Pearls are also made by a living creature which, for many, gives them an additional significance.
Alexandrite has its own special connection with colours because it’s a stone that changes its hue based on the type of light it’s viewed under. In natural sunlight, alexandrite varies from a mossy green to a cool blue, but under lamplight, you’ll see a warm raspberry tone.
Which Should You Choose?
If you don’t immediately have a favourite from among this month with multiple birthstones, we can help you decide based on other factors. If you wear jewellery every day, we recommend making alexandrite your birthstone because it’s much harder on the Mohs' scale than pearls. While alexandrite ranks at an 8.5 hardness, most pearls only range between 2.5 and 3.5 on the hardness scale. This means they’re much more easily damaged than alexandrite and need specialised TLC after wear.
August | Peridot & Spinel
A unique lime green colour, you must have a singular sense of style to pull off this special hue. Believed to pass on power and influence to the wearer, many people love wearing peridot rings because they stand out so much.
The complete opposite of peridot, spinel is a bright red stone that is often referred to as the cousin of the ruby. They’re pretty rare, but you can find spinel gemstones in much larger sizes than ruby cuts.
What’s Right for You?
For this month with multiple birthstones, colour may sway your decision. Do you like red or green more? Perhaps you're a Christmas enthusiast that loves to wear both! While they’re both pretty hard on the Mohs' scale and built for daily wear and tear, peridot is much more affordable and accessible. A lot of jewellery sites don’t carry spinel because of its cost per carat — which starts at 10 times higher than peridot.
October | Tourmaline & Opal
Tourmaline is available in an array of colours, but the pink variety was chosen for the month of October. You can find pink tourmaline in shades as light as cotton candy or as deep as the Janeiro rose. Pink tourmaline can also coincide with green tourmaline in the same stone, so you can buy a piece that has two colours in one.
The original October gem for a month with multiple birthstones, opal was seen as too feminine and in 1952, the Jewellery Industry Council suggested tourmaline as an alternate stone. Opal is still a very special stone because it encompasses all colours within its sparkling depths. As light reflects off the stone, flashes of blue and green or red and yellow play beneath its surface. You can even find black opal gemstones with unique rainbow shimmers.
What’s Your Style?
It’s always hard to choose when you’re born in a month with multiple birthstones, and October is no different. If colour and cut don’t help sway your mind, perhaps the wearability of the stone will. While much harder than pearl or fluorite, opal is still a very delicate stone. In the market for a piece to wear every day? Tourmaline may be the better choice for you. Looking for something that sparkles with a different colour at every angle? You’d be better off with an opal showstopper.
November | Yellow Topaz & Citrine
Incredibly versatile, topaz is a super hard gemstone that’s available in tons of different colours. While the Jewelry Industry Council didn’t specify which hue was chosen for the month of this month with multiple birthstones, it’s commonly accepted that yellow is the hue for November.
Citrine is another special stone in a unique hue. Its bright yellow or orange colour brings to mind everything from warm sunlight to juicy citrus. In fact, the name citrine comes from the French word for lemon!
Let Your Personality Speak
If you’ve got a sunny, cheerful personality, citrine is probably the perfect complement to the bright clothes you wear every day. For those who have variable moods and changing desires, topaz is the better choice. You can find it in colours ranging from yellow and pink to blue and green.
December | Zircon, Tanzanite, Turquoise, and Blue Topaz
Not to be confused with the man-made cubic zirconia, zircon is most commonly a bright blue stone reminiscent of an azure sky on a clear day. It’s objectively the oldest mineral on the planet, dating back 4.4 billion years! It’s also heavier and denser than most other gemstones, meaning one carat of zircon is usually smaller than one carat of any other stone.
A stone even more rare than diamonds, tanzanite can only be found within the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. A rich violet blue hue, this gemstone is trichroic and gives off three different colours depending on the viewing angle.
The final stone in this month with multiple birthstones is similar to opal or pearl. It’s a softer stone that is usually smooth instead of faceted. It was especially popular among Egyptians, Tibetans, and Native Americans as a spiritual stone that helps you achieve a higher state of consciousness during meditation.
Swiss Blue Topaz
The gorgeous hue of Swiss Blue Topaz makes it an inevitable favourite for December’s birthstone. This bright blue stone is said to enhance creativity in its wearers, and is apt to draw a lot of attention due to its spectacular appearance.
Making a Choice
Babies born in this month of multiple birthstones have four options to choose from, but one of those is extremely hard to find. From the remaining three options, zircon is best for people who like sophisticated sparkling pieces, while turquoise is ideal for those down to earth, bohemian personalities.