We've all heard that diamonds are forever, but did you also know that amethysts are for wisdom? Read on to discover the symbolism behind some of your favourite jewels.
Birthstone of February.
Ranging from a light pinkish hue to a rich, royal purple, semiprecious amethyst has been loved by people all over the world for millennia. The ancient Egyptians wore amethyst jewellery, and in medieval Europe, some soldiers carried amethyst charms to keep themselves levelheaded in battle. The link between amethyst and good sense goes back to the ancient Greeks, who believed that drinking out an amethyst vessel, or placing an amethyst in their cup, could prevent them from becoming intoxicated. In fact, the word 'amethyst' comes directly from an Ancient Greek word meaning 'not drunk'.
Birthstone of May
Emeralds are found all over the world, and have been mined for jewellery since about 1500 BCE. With such a long history, it's no surprise that emeralds have picked up some interesting lore. The ancient Egyptians considered them symbols of eternal life, and other cultures have associated emeralds with such diverse concepts as love, renewal, wisdom and even clairvoyance.
Birthstone of June
Not technically a stone at all, pearls have been worn as gems since at least 2,206BCE, when they were first mentioned in writing by a Chinese historian. Because they form underwater, they are naturally associated with the sea, while their round shape and gleaming whiteness also evoke the moon. According to one ancient text, a pearl is formed when a flash of lightning hits the ocean, while according to others, pearls are the tears of gods or goddesses. Even today, some superstitious brides wear pearls to prevent tears on their wedding day. Symbolically, pearls represent purity, innocence and chastity.
Birthstone of July
Rubies are most commonly found in Asia, and a lot of the lore and symbolism around these blood-red beauties has roots in Asian cultures. In ancient Burma, rubies were believed to protect their wearers in battle, while in India anyone who gifted a valuable ruby to a temple could expect to be reborn as a king or emperor. Speaking of kings, rubies have traditionally been associated with power, and have been flaunted by both European monarchs and Chinese mandarins.
Birthstone of September.
Sapphires are found in a surprising array of colours, including yellow and pink, but the classic sapphire is a rich blue. The colour blue is laden with symbolism, and is often associated with spirituality. The Virgin Mary was traditionally depicted in blue robes, symbolising her otherworldly nature. This may be why sapphires are so closely associated with fidelity - in fact, before diamonds overtook them, sapphires were once the most popular gemstone for engagement rings. The sapphire and diamond engagement ring worn by Princess Diana and Kate Middleton is an iconic example.
Nothing offsets a beautiful diamond like an equally stunning precious stone. That's why we encourage our customers to consider including the gemstones that they consider especially meaningful when designing custom engagement or eternity rings. Drop in or book a consultation with one of our expert jewellers to discuss your one-of-a-kind design.