Along with using precious stones for aesthetic reasons or to project power and wealth, there is also a very long history of humans believing that certain types of gems may provide protection, healing and more. We're here to give you a rundown of some of our favourite gemstones and their possible meanings.
The first historical references to the use of gemstones and crystals date back as far as 5000 BC. Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Chinese and other ancient cultures have a deep-rooted history with various gemstones. Even more ancient are Paleolithic burial sites over 30,000 years old which contain mammoth ivory beads.
Even in the modern world, gemstone jewellery is popular not only for its beautiful aesthetic quality but also because of the meanings that people associate with different types of stones. Each gemstone is unique and carries its own significance to its wearer.
If you want to learn more about gemstones and their meanings, we've got you covered. Whether you prefer to stick with the well known gemstones or want to make a statement with more unusual and distinctive stones, this guide can help you.
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We've picked a selection of gems that we use in our jewellery designs and have provided a rundown of different meanings attributed to these stones by different cultures. We're agnostic about gemstone meanings, so it's entirely up to you as to what significance you choose to give different gemstones and what they mean to you personally. Of course you can enjoy them purely for their beauty.
You might also like to check out our birthstone jewellery range, featuring different birthstones for each month of the year. Also see our Amulets Jewellery Range for other meaningful jewellery designs.
Scroll down to learn some of the meanings attributed to various gemstones and how to pick the right stones for you and your loved ones.
The Amazonite Gemstone
This unusual blue-ish green coloured stone makes an eye-catching addition to a piece of jewellery. Amazonite is a type of potassium feldspar which comes from Eastern Asia, Russia, Madagascar and other places. It can also be found in Colorado in the United States. It has been used by humans for over 2000 years, although wasn't described until the 18th century.
Amazonite is synonymous with abundance and success. This stone is said to bring prosperity and financial luck to those who wear it.
Some people believe it helps to ease anxious thoughts and restore balance, while others believe it benefits the heart chakra, healing relationships and encouraging communication, meaning you might want to keep amazonite close to your heart.
The Citrine Gemstone
A type of crystalline quartz, citrine gemstones vary in colour from the palest yellow to a rich, golden orange. While quartz is very commonly found around the planet, citrine is more rare, which has made it more highly sought after. In the modern era citrine may be heat treated to enhance its yellow colouring.
Citrine has one of the most appropriate meanings attached to its colour. It looks like a ray of sunshine and it emanates qualities of warmth and joy. This gemstone is said to be unable to hold negativity and it helps to elevate your energy to match its own. Citrine has also been associated with energy, perseverance and strength.
Being the November birthstone, citrine is the perfect choice for someone born in that month.
We love these darling Citrine Gold Drop Earrings, which give off the radiance of a sunny day.
The White Topaz Gemstone
Topaz is a silicate mineral made up of aluminium and fluorine. It comes in a variety of colours, depending on the imperfections or impurities in the gemstone. Topaz gems can be white (colourless), yellow, orange, brown, pink, red and blue. Some topaz stones are heat treated to improve their colour.
Brazil holds the largest amount of topaz in the world, but it is also found in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa.
White topaz is a prismatic stone that looks white but may give off subtle hints of colour depending on its angle and direction of light. It is said to support awareness by clearing your thoughts and helping you create a clear path. Some people use this stone for manifestation and better understanding their identity.
The Lapis Lazuli Gemstone
Lapis lazuli has a name that rolls off the tongue. It is a mix of several different minerals, the most prominent being lazurite which gives it its rich blue colour. Lapis lazuli varies in colour from a pale denim through to a rich very dark blue. It often contains flecks of vivid gold coloured pyrite. It's one of Simone's personal favourite gemstones.
The best quality lapis lazuli is found in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
If you're looking for meaning in the gemstones in your jewellery lapis lazuli is said to impart wisdom to the wearer. Some people believe it also helps with communication. As such, it has been linked to the throat chakra as it is said by some to help with expressing yourself and speaking your truth.
The Rose Quartz Gemstone
Rose quartz is one of the most popular and commonly known gemstones. It's a type of quartz which has a pink colouring, most often created by trace amounts of titanium, iron, or manganese. The colour can vary from the palest - almost white - pink to a richer pink-ish mauve.
Not only is the dusty pink colour of rose quartz beautiful to look at, but it's also said to hold calming energy and help heal old wounds.
Due to the pink colouring, this stone has an association with love. Some people believe it soothes heartache in romantic relationships and eases suffering.
If you're considering buying gemstones as a gift, rose quartz jewellery makes a gorgeous gift for the gemstone lover in your life. This Rose Quartz & Gold Ring is the perfect reminder to be open to love.
The Amethyst Gemstone
Amethyst is another highly prized gemstone with long and rich history. It's also a type of quartz and owes its violet colour to irradiation, impurities of iron and in some cases other metals and trace elements. The colour of amethyst gemstones can vary from the palest lilac to a rich dark purple.
Its intriguing colour has made it the preferred gemstone of those who are interested in magic and spirituality. Witches and healers alike have a long history of using this stone to help encourage visions.
Amethyst is also popular for meditation. It is said to help you manage your emotions and calm anxiety when you keep it close to your body. There are those who believe it will help you to find balance and eliminate excess in your life.
Being the birthstone for February, amethyst makes a perfect gift for someone with a February birthday.
Take a look at our tiny but enticing Amethyst & Gold Stud earrings, handmade in solid gold.
The Ruby Gemstone
Ruby is another of Simone's personal favourite gemstones. It is a variety of mineral corundum (aluminium oxide), of which sapphires are another example. It varies in colour from palest pink, bright magenta and through to dark blood red. Rubies are found in Myanmar, but they are also abundant in Thailand and India.
Historically rubies have been very highly prized and are considered one of the four precious gemstones, the others being diamond, sapphire and emerald (visit our jewellery glossary to learn why we think this classification is out-dated).
Astrologers believe that the ruby is the most dominant gemstone when used for medicinal purposes. However, with its rich and luscious hues of pink and red, it is also named the "stone of love". It is often associated with love, passion and sexuality. It is said to be strong in fertile energy and it encourages power. Some believe it also carries the virtues of courage and strength for the wearer.
If you or your loved one has a birthday in July, then ruby is the birthstone for July, making it a perfect gift.
If you're looking for a very special gift for a very special someone, check out our Solid Gold Birthstone Pendant with Ruby (pictured in the bottom right of the photo).
The Aquamarine Gemstone
Aquamarine comes in an array of lighter blues and sometimes light greens, mimicking the myriad of colours in the ocean. It's a variety of beryl, of which emerald is another variety.
This gorgeous stone promotes physical and mental health. It was historically seen as a symbol for youth and happiness due to its colour. It is also said to provide protection, especially for keeping sailors safe while in dangerous waters. It also protects other travellers and is synonymous with harmony and tranquillity.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, making it a perfect gift for someone with a March birthday.
Our striking Eye Amulet & Aquamarine Ring is the perfect accessory if you want the protective energy of aquamarine near you, with the extra meaning provided by the evil eye motif.
Birthstones by Month
Birthstones are a very popular way that people express meaning in their choice of jewellery, including when shopping for gifts for special friends or family members. There are a few different birthstone sets which have evolved at different times in different countries.
Here is the complete birthstones by month list we use at Simone Walsh Jewellery for our birthstone jewellery collection:
- January birthstone: Garnet
- February birthstone: Amethyst
- March birthstone: Aquamarine
- April birthstone*: White topaz or Moissanite
- May birthstone: Emerald
- June birthstone: Pearl
- July birthstone: Ruby
- August birthstone: Peridot
- September birthstone: Sapphire
- October birthstone: Opal
- November birthstone: Citrine
- December birthstone: Turquoise or Tanzanite
* The usual birthstone for April is diamond, but we're not big fans of diamonds due to serious ethical issues and the fact that they are very overpriced for what they are. So we've selected two different clear stones as diamond alternatives: the white topaz is more affordable, while the moissanite has a similar sparkle to diamonds but is ethically lab grown.
Learn more about the history of birthstones including the different collections used around the world.
Stone jewellery is loved primarily for its beauty, but it can also hold its own significance and energy for you if you choose to believe in it.
Visit our website and check out our selection of gemstone jewellery, including all of the stones described above, along with many other gemstones. We're sure you'll find something you love.