Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stone Age

Out of curiosity, I decided to look up the origin of birth stones this morning and here's what I found:

Birthstones date back as early as the Assyrian Empire (1400 BC). They believed the stones contained magical properties. For example, Amethyst was said to prevent intoxication. Each stone is associated with each Zodiac sign and is based on a color system (which was thought to release the power within the stone).

Facts and folklore regarding each stone:
  • January- Garnet/rose quartz- Also represents second year of marriage- Are found in every color except blue- Noah supposedly hung Garnet on his ark for guidance in the night and protection from nightmares- Found in the U.S., Sri Lanka, Africa, Brazil and India. 
  • February- Amethyst/Onyx/Moonstone- Represents sixth year of marriage- Comes in varying shades of purple- Like mentioned earlier, prevents intoxication- Some say it also prevents baldness, improves complexion and protects against treason- Found in Brazil, Uruguay and Zambia.
  • March- Aquamarine (also known as bloodstone)- Represents nineteenth year of marriage- Seen in varying colors of blue, green and grey- In ancient times was said to aid seafarers, bring love and affection and is the universal sign for youth, hope and health- Found in Brazil, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar and Ukraine. Bloodstone is seen in deep greens and is said to contain red specs representing Jesus's blood that fell from the cross- Is the official stone for Aries. 
  • April- Diamond/Quartz- Aside from the most popular gem for engagement, Diamonds also represent tenth and sixtieth years of marriage- Comes from the Greek word "adamas" meaning an eternity of love- India natives thought them to be splinters from the stars- Occasionally found in greens, pinks and yellows- Most durable of all the stones
  • May- Emerald/Chrysophase/Beryl- Represents twentieth and thirty-five years of marriage- When looked under a microscope, Emerald is seen containing patterns resembling a garden known as the "jardin"- According to legend, wearing Emerald ups your I.Q. and prevents poor eyesight and infertility- Also is said to enable the wearer to see into the future- Found in Columbia, Brazil, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
  • June- Pearl/Moonstone/Opal (also known as Alexandrite)- Represents third and thirtieth years of marriage- recognized as the emblem of modesty, chastity and purity- Found in Indonesia and Australia- Alexandrite is extremely rare- Moonstone is found in The Alps, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Sri Lanka and the U.S. to name a few.
  • July- Ruby/Carnelian- Represents fifteenth and fortieth year of marriage- Known as the "Lord of the Gems" due to it's rarity and beauty- Comes from the latin word "ruber" meaning red- Said to protect their owners from misfortune of any kind- Found in Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Kenya to name a few.
  • August- Peridot- Represents sixteenth year of marriage- A child of volcanic activity- Were favored by pirates and said to protect against all evil- When set in gold, the wearer protected from all evils of the night- Found in Burma and china
  • September- Sapphire- Represents fifth and forty-fifth years of marriage- Comes in all colors except red- Just as durable as diamond, makes it the second popular gem for engagement- Ancient priests and sorcerers honored Sapphire over any other because of it's ability to aid in oracles and foretelling the future- The ten commandments are believed to have been written on a Sapphire tablet- Found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia and Australia to name a few.
  • October- Opal/Tourmaline- Represents fourteenth year of marriage- White Opal has a white body and flashes of many other colors- Symbolizes hope, innocence and purity- In the middle ages, fair-haired girls wore Opal in their hair to protect its color- Is said to have a beneficial effect on eyesight and banish evil spirits- Found in Australia, Mexico and the U.S.- Tourmaline comes in many colors; primarily pink and green- Found in Africa, Brazil, Madagascar and Mexico to name a few.
  • November- Topaz/Citrine- Blue represents fourth year of marriage and Imperial represents twenty-third- Comes from the Greek word meaning "to shine"- Said to cure Asthma, restore sanity, relieve insomnia and even make its wearer invisible in time of emergency- Found in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, China and Pakistan.
  • December- Turquoise/Zircon- Represents eleven years of marriage- Comes in varying colors of blue and green- Means "Turkish stone" because of its trade route to Europe via Turkey- Best qualities are found in Iran, though the U.S. it the top seller- Used as a currency in the 16th Century by the Southwest Indians- Thought to bring animals to the hunter and good fortune to all- Zircon is used to imitate diamonds but comes in many colors- Found in Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, France, etc. 
Hope you enjoyed this! If you are interested in reading more.
I will also be conducting an experiment regarding zodiac signs and their traits via Facebook and email so keep a look out! 

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