Birthstone Facts And FAQs

Looking for some birthstone facts? Here are the top frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) that I hear about birthstones, along with my best answers. :)

This is page 2. To see the first 7 questions, see page 1 of the Birthstone Facts and FAQs.

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8. Official Vs Unofficial: What Are The True Birthstones?

Let’s get a bit of confusion out of the way. I often hear, “I have more than one birthstone listed for my birthday. Which one is the true birthstone?”

Ahh, good question. 

The birthstone tradition began in several different cultures and civilizations over time – mystics, Christians, Pagans, Aztecs and many others. In today’s modern culture, you get to pick from all the world’s traditions. Yay!

But there are “official” birthstones.

There are some they consider “traditional birthstones” because more cultures used them in times past.

Others are titled “modern birthstones” because of their use in modern cultures.

Still others are called “alternatives birthstones” simply because these are similar to the official birthstone list (same color or mineral family, etc) or because even though they are not used in most cultures, they are used in some.

So which ones are the true birthstones? The answer is, they all are… it just depends on what you are looking for. I personally go with the official birthstone list.

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9. Who Got To Decide The Official List Of Birthstones For Each Month?

The American Gem Trade Association took it upon themselves in 1912 to create an “official” list. This made it easier for jewelers to make “official birthstones” widely available to the general public.

Due to the variety of traditions however, both ancient and modern, you will see several different birthstones for nearly half of the months out of the year.

And yes, they count as true birthstones too.

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10. What Are The Best Birthstones To Choose?

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but here is a tip - consider the giftee.

If you were giving me a birthstone gift, you would have better luck using the birthstone listed from the season or the actual day of the week I was born rather than my birth month.

Why? Just a few vain reasons really.

I was born in October. The traditional stone is opal, but I prefer cut or faceted stones – which you don’t do with opal. But the modern birthstone is pink tourmaline… beautiful as it is, I don’t wear pink. I’m a redhead. Pink clashes.

So think about the person getting this birthstone. It’s a good idea to dig a little and find out what they like before you go buying some expensive thing that they’ll stash in their jewelry box until they can get over the guilt of getting rid of a quality piece of jewelry.

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11. What Are Each Month’s Birthstone Flowers?

This is a less common ancient tradition gaining more and more modern popularity – giving flowers instead of stones based on the birth month.

Here’s a basic list of birthstone flowers for you. Click on any flower to learn more about the history and meaning behind it.

January – Carnation
February – Violet or Iris
March – Daffodil
April – Sweet Pea or Daisy
May – Lily
JuneViolet or Iris

JulyLarkspur (Delphinium)
September – Aster
October – Marigold
November – Chrysanthemum
December – Narcissus or Poinsettia

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Birthstone Color Charts

Birthstone Meanings

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