flatlay of colorful gemstones

There are many popular published charts equating your birth month with your birthstone, but these are only partially accurate within an astrological framework. Since ancient times, astrologers noticed the intense positive effects that certain gemstones had when worn by people belonging to certain zodiac signs. The most potent matchups between gemstone and birth sign became fixed into astrological lore in the following list:

Aries (March 21 – April 19): Diamond

The Ram is the most hardheaded animal in the zodiac and represents the Aries tendency to move on to bigger and better things. Wearing a diamond provides clarity as you make your way forward without necessarily looking.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Emerald

The green hues of the emerald were said by the ancients to have been the dewdrops left by the barefoot goddess, Venus. When the Bull wears an emerald, your natural sensitivity will mix better with your deep selectivity. You are at your best when your passions have standards.

Gemini (May 21 – June 21): Pearl

Forged from a speck of irritating sand in an oyster, the ancients long ago realized the duality of the pearl matched that of the Gemini. Out of a nuisance hidden in a shell is created a sphere of pure beauty. When the Twin wears pearls, an ease at being two people in one fills you with a sense of calm.

Cancer (June 22 – July 22): Ruby

Save for only the diamond among precious stones, the ruby is the hardest gem. Like the Crab that signifies Cancer, its hard exterior protects an inner beauty that exists nowhere else. When the Crab wears a ruby, a protection of your feelings occurs, allowing you to be yourself.

Leo (July 23 – August 22): Peridot

Legend has it that Cleopatra lost her peridot amulet on a journey home, only to arrive and discover that she had been betrayed by her lover, Mark Antony. Wearing the gorgeous olive-colored peridot protects the Lion from having your understanding of the natural order disrupted.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22): Sapphire

The deep blue of the Sapphire protects any Virgo who should wear it. This stone is quite impervious to damage – and you will be too. The intense energy of this gemstone sharpens your mind for details with an eye for beauty.

Libra (September 23 – October 22): Opal

This mystical stone has the ability to absorb bad energy from those around you. Libra has an affable nature and can get along with people that others might judge difficult. A little protection from your own bad judgment can go a long way.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21): Topaz

The more orange the Topaz gemstone ensconced in your jewelry is, the more relaxed your friendships will be. The Scorpion has a troubled time maintaining relationships when loyalty and superficial disagreements get confused. Wearing a Topaz pulls out the fog of misunderstandings.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Turquoise

This is one of the more brittle of all gemstones, so Sagittarians are advised to have many pieces of turquoise jewelry to choose from. The infamous optimism of the Archer is strengthened, and you can get what you want when you wear this stone known to withstand even volcanic temperatures.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19): Garnet

The status-conscious Capricorn will enjoy donning the garnet – this stone has mystical tendencies to open the doors of success that are otherwise locked. Just as the Goat modifies his or her behavior to get ahead, garnets look different under changing light sources.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18): Amethyst

Ancient legend has the god of wine, Dionysus, crying tears of wine over a woman who would not submit to his debauchery. These purple crystals, amethysts, will keep Aquarius levelheaded when you wear them in your jewelry. The stone’s name literally means, “avoiding drunkenness.”

Pisces (February 19 – March 20): Aquamarine

We now know that this blue stone is related to the emerald, but ancient legend has it that the sky was once solid and these gems are the remnants. Pisces needs solid nature to hold on to. The soothing “solid reality” powers of the aquamarine gem make this piece of the sky the perfect accessory to affirm and display your good looks.

The Split Between Astrology Birthstones and Birth Month Birthstones

When you read a jeweler’s pamphlet, you might notice that these same stones are suggested for birth months instead of zodiac birth signs. The reason behind this is that marketing departments want to appeal to everyone, not just believers in astrology. If you were born near the end of the month and your zodiac sign is different from the one that begins the month, your birthstone will be listed as belonging to the month that follows you.

How did this happen? Consider that gemstones are as ancient as civilization, while contemporary calendars have their origins in recent human history.

When the Romans introduced the Julian calendar in 45 BC, the chance to align each month in correspondence with the beginning of a zodiac sign was ignored in the face of other political concerns. The state had official gods and goddesses while groups who believed in astrology, primarily the Chaldeans, were not the most influential powers in ancient Rome. In the late 16th century, the Gregorian calendar made up for imprecise measurements of leap years in the calendar of Julius Caesar. Incorrect leap year measurements revealed themselves over a 1700-year span when spring began on March 10, 1580 (spring begins when the Sun aligns with the equator on March 20 or 21 of each year). The radical adjustment of the Gregorian calendar was to remove ten days from the 1582 calendar. Europe followed suit, slowly over the next few years. Russia held out until the early twentieth century and had to erase 13 days in 1922. These calendar adjustments could have easily been lined up to signal the start of each zodiac sign, but other interests prevailed. And so, ancient alignments of gemstones with their naturally harmonious zodiac signs are imbalanced based on the newer calendars.

If your birthday occurs near the end of the month and belongs to the second zodiac sign listed for the month, you may have a sentimental piece of jewelry that was meant for you because of a jewelry chart that assigned a gem to all people born in your month. Fear not if the gem you have was meant for the sign before you. While wearing your zodiac birthstone empowers you with the best energy that represents your potential, the birthstone of the zodiac sign before you is known as your twelfth house gem. The twelfth house is the zodiac’s code for psychic energy, so wearing such a stone may not give off the energy of who you are, but it will help you pick up on the energy of those around you.