The lore and allure of Zodiac gemstones and birthstones is something I want to take a close look at over the coming months, taking each Zodiac sign and month in turn. There has been a long tradition of assigning gemstones to birth and planetary influences, and whether or not you believe in this, it does tend to make a nice theme for giving birthday presents of jewellery incorporating the chosen stones! Over the centuries, from the Ancient Greeks and Romans, to the Indian system of Ayurveda, certain stones and gems were thought to reflect the nature of any person or indeed animals or plants born under the influence of a particular planet.
Therefore I will start with the month of May, and the main sign, which is Taurus, the Bull. There are several stones that are appropriate, chief among them being emerald. swarovski This is by no means exclusive to this sign or month as it also appears in several other zodiac signs, but it's a lovely stone to have! Other stones connected with Taurus include rose quartz, tourmaline, topaz, tiger's eye, lapis lazuli and diamond. I am going to concentrate on the lesser-known stones, leaving out diamonds.
The emerald is regarded as one of the finest stones, often higher in price than the same carat weight of diamond. Part of the reason is the brittleness of the stone which makes it difficult to cut. The green colour is considered to be associated with Spring and regeneration, and with love and passion. Associated with the goddess Venus, it became a popular love token. However a double meaning was attached to the giving of an emerald - it was used to test a loved one's fidelity. If the family necklace wearer was unfaithful, the stone would lose its colour! It is also the anniversary gem for the 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage.
Rose quartz is known as the Love Stone. It is a pretty pink feminine stone which has associations with self-knowledge and is said to lift depression. A favourite of mine, it is said to allow you to get to know your true self and to be accepting of what you find! Often it is worn as a pendant on a fine chain or necklace.
Tourmaline is regarded as a lucky stone, bringing its wearer good fortune and it is also regarded as a 'friendship' stone, meant to encourage strong relationships, and therefore it is a nice stone to give to a friend or lover! It comes in many colours including green and red.
The Topaz is also a birthstone for November and Sagittarius, as well as crystal jewelry set being the wedding anniversary stone for the 4th and 23rd anniversaries. It comes in a wide range of colours, including yellow, blue red and green. It is not a rare stone, and it is hard, so it is very popular for use in rings, bracelets, necklaces, and so on.
Tiger's Eye is so called because the base colour is brown with stripes of yellow and gold, thus resembling the eye of the tiger when cut and polished. It is a member of the quartz family and is said to protect the wearer from negative influences. It is also associated with children and therefore it is a suitable gift for a child.
Last but certainly not least, Lapis Lazuli, from Latin 'Lapis' for stone, and Arab 'Azula' meaning blue, is a beautiful stone that is usually found made up as a ring. It was ground up to use as paint before synthetic paints were made, and it was extremely expensive to use. In crystal lore, it is regarded as a stone of truth, so Egyptian judges wore it.
Many of the retailers featured on my website have these lovely stones made up into jewellery, so please take a look and enjoy!
Written by Michelle Michaelis, who is really interested in the stories behind gemstones and enjoys writing about them!