Established 2003

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Customize Your Jewelry with Birthstones!

 

The most beautiful thing about handmade jewelry is the care and effort crafted into every detail. The designer puts a little bit of themselves into each and every piece. What’s more, handmade jewelry can be perfectly customized to suit yourself or its recipient! 


Birthstones are a wonderful way to customize jewelry for its future owner. Birthstone jewelry is particularly popular for personalized birthday presents and mother’s day gifts. There are 12 distinct gemstones which each represent the month the person was born in. While birthstones have a long history, the modern list has been standardized for your convenience. 


At Iguana Beads, we always have semi-precious beads for you! We have everything from high-quality freshwater pearls for those born in June, spinel for the August babies, amethyst beads for February folk, and everything in between. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our 50% Off Gemstone Beads! We regularly have colourful gemstone beads on sale that would work perfectly in your birthstone jewelry. 

 


 

 

The History of Birthstones


The history of birthstones is filled with legends and tales dating back to biblical times. Some say the idea of birthstones originated from The Bible’s Book of Exodus, where Aaron, High Priest of the Israelites, wore a breastplate ornamented with 12 different gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Others have drawn connections between the 12 birthstones and the 12 astrological zodiac signs. And Hindu traditions have historically associated nine gemstones with celestial energies which they call Navaratna. However, our modern tradition of wearing the stone associated with your birth month has only been around since the 16th century. 


The Birthstone list that we have today was established fairly recently. In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers standardized the official birthstone list. Since then, it’s been modified in 1952, 2002, and as recently as 2016. 

 

 

Modern Birthstones


Today, people are free to choose from both the modern and traditional lists. ¥ou can choose whichever gemstones appeal to them. Some traditional gems are also easier to find and far less expensive than their modern counterparts. For instance, cultivated pearls are easier to find and way cheaper then their rare modern counterpart, alexandrite.  


But the most important characteristic of a birthstone is the colour! Swarovski crystals and glass beads can be substituted in a pinch, so long as the colour is correct!



 

Birthstone Chart And Meanings 


Below is the modern birthstone chart with traditional alternatives for your convenience. Each birthstone is full of history and meaning, To learn more about the meaning behind your birthstone, check out their history and cultural meaning from the Gemological Institute of America


Month

Modern Birthstone

Meaning 

Traditional Alternatives

January

Garnet

Health, wealth, happiness

Garnet

February

Amethyst

Inner strength, empowerment

Amethyst

March

Aquamarine

Protection, purity of spirit

Bloodstone

April

Diamond

Clarity, unbreakable strength

Diamond

May

Emerald

Rebirth, Renewal 

Emerald

June

Alexandrite

Humility, innocence (Pearl)

Pearl, Moonstone

July

Ruby

Love, passion, power

Ruby

August

Peridot, Spinel

Protection, talisman 

Sardonyx

September

Sapphire

Truth, fidelity, nobility

Sapphire

October

Tourmaline

Artistic creativity, hope

Opal

November

Citrine

Calming strength, intelligence

Golden Topaz

December

Tanzanite, Blue Topaz

Health, good fortune, peace

Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli


Zodiac Birthstone Chart


If modern birthstones aren’t quite enough, or maybe you just hate sapphires, consider using alternatives such as the Zodiac Birthstone Chart. This chart provides more stones you can use (or combine with other birthstones) to customize your jewelry for its recipient. 


Zodiac Sign

Date

Birthstone

Aquarius

January 21 - February 18

Garnet

Pices

February 19 - March 20

Amethyst

Aries

March 21 - April 20

Bloodstone

Taurus

April 21 - May 20

Sapphire

Gemini

May 21 - June 21

Agate

Cancer

June 22 - July 22

Emerald

Leo

July 23 - August 23

Onyx

Vigro

August 24 - September 22

Carnelian

Libra

September 23 - October 23

Chrysolite

Scorpio

October 23 - November 22

Beryl

Sagittarius

November 23 - December 22

Topaz

Capricorn

December 23 - January 20

Ruby


zodiac Birthstone chart

Alternative Birthstone Charts


If you’re interested in more birthstone charts, there are lots of alternatives! The International Gem Society has compiled a list of alternative choices for jewelers. There are alternative birthstones based on your birth hour, the day of the week, or the season you were born in. There are even assigned gemstones for each of the twelve apostles, although these are not connected to your birth date. 


Birthstone jewelry is beautiful because of how carefully personalized it is. Use these alternative, modern, and traditional birthstone charts to find the gems, beads, and colours that will mean the most to whoever wears them. 


How to Make Unique Customized Birthstone Jewelry


When making your own birthstone jewelry, you might not be able to find materials made of the correct birthstone. Maybe you just don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on diamonds for your aunt’s birthday gift. But no matter what, there are always alternatives!


The most important characteristic of a birthstone is its colour. So Swarovski crystals and other glass beads are a perfect substitute, as long as the colours correspond properly to the birthstone gems!


stone beads

 

At Iguana Beads, we always have semi-precious beads for you! We have everything from high-quality freshwater pearls for those born in June, spinel for the August babies, amethyst beads for February folk, and everything in between. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out  our 50% Off Gemstone Beads! We regularly have colourful gemstone beads on sale that would work perfectly in your birthstone jewelry. 

 

 

 

Beyond beads, Birthstones make perfect statement pendants for lovely personalized gifts. Swarovski pendants, such as this sapphire heart pendant would be lovely for someone with a September birthday.


If you want to make your own birthstone pendant, you can make a “peas in a pod” wire jewelry or a “bird’s nest” pendant. These pendants beautifully unite several birthstones in wire wrapping. These stones can all be related to one person for a special present, or can represent multiple birthstones for a family (or friends) centred piece. 


Our friend, The Beading Gem, has a helpful collection of tutorials. Check out her How to Make “Peas in a Pod” Wire Jewelry tutorial and her guidelines on How to Make “Bird’s Nest” Jewelry. All you need are some birthstone beads, our best selling parawire, some pliers, and lots of patience!




Our Jewelry Expert: 

pearl blay the beading gem

Pearl Blay a.k.a. THE BEADING GEM brings you the best in Handmade Jewelry! She’s passionate about sharing all she’s learned about being a jewelry artisan. Keep an eye out for her! Whenever possible, Pearl regularly teaches classes here at Iguana Beads.



Edited February 2021 by Sophie Dallaire