The birthstone for October and regarded as a protective stone. The word Opal is derived from ‘Opallios’, the Greek word meaning ‘to see a change of colour'.
Most of the world’s Opal is produced in Australia. The amazing rainbow colours of Opals are created by tiny silica spheres which refract light in such a way which produces the colours of an Opal.
Named after the French word ‘Peritot’ which means gold. Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. In Ancient Egypt, Peridot stones were used to create talismans. The gemstone remains as the national gemstone of Egypt today.
Many historians believe that the famous Emeralds worn by Cleopatra were in fact Egyptian Peridots.
Citrine is the birthstone for November and is most commonly a burnt yellow colour, however also regularly comes in a green colour too. The Ancient Romans often incorporated Citrine into their engraveings or ‘intaglio’.
The Art Deco period also saw the popularity of Citrine increase in popularity and it was used in many Art Deco jewellery designs.
The birthstone for the month of January, Garnet’s are most commonly known as a red gemstone however they actually occur in a range of colours including green, orange, pink and purple.
Garnets have been used as a gemstone for over 5000 years and were commonly used in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome. Mummified corpse’s of Ancient Egyptian Pharo's have been discovered adorned in red Garnet jewellery.
It is said that a large Garnet stone guided Noah’s Ark through its biblical journey and safely to land, as the only source of light. Green Garnets can also sometimes feature a beautiful horsetail inclusion.
Interestingly, two distinct materials can be understood as Jade, made up from Jadeite and Nephrite. This gemstone is available in a range of colours however, Jade is most commonly recognised as green. Jade is often popular with carvers who take advantage of the gemstone’s unique texture to create beautiful engravings on these gemstones.
Jade has in fact been used for thousands of years due to its durability and it was first used to create basic tools such as hammers and axe heads. Today, Jade is still a popular gemstone, particularly in China where it is regarded as more important than diamond.