Many months have more than one birthstone, so it's easy to get confused about which gem is appropriate for each month. A handy birthstone chart can let you see all the gems for each month at a glance.
Birthstone Chart by Month (With Alternates)
A traditional birthstone chart only has one gem for each month, but this chart includes the alternate gems too. Use it as a quick reference when you're shopping or if you're simply curious about which birthstone goes with each month.
Birthstone Jewelry Ideas for Each Month
A chart is an easy way to see the birthstones at a glance, but it's fun to have a little background information about each month's gem too. It can also help to get some tips about the best jewelry options for each birthstone.
January - Garnet
The official birthstone for January is the garnet. The garnet is a gemstone that ranges in color from light brown to a deep dark purple. Garnets vary in size from tiny faceted stones to large and dramatic cabochons. These are durable gems that can withstand daily wear. Here are some great jewelry ideas for the January birthstone:
- Consider rings with prong settings that allow the garnet to sparkle.
- Try pendants with silver, gold, or white gold.
- Look for settings that combine garnets with the sparkle of diamonds.
February - Amethyst
February's birthstone is the amethyst. Amethyst is a type of quartz that is popular for many items of jewelry. Amethyst is sometimes cut into a crystal shape, and you'll also find it cut as a cabochon or faceted. The colors of amethyst range through a spectrum of shades of purple. This is a durable and versatile gem that looks amazing in lots of jewelry:
- Large amethyst gems are beautiful as statement pendants.
- Amethyst looks fantastic when set in silver settings.
- Consider amethyst rings with prong settings, since this gem can handle daily wear.
March - Aquamarine and Bloodstone
- Aquamarine looks lovely when cut into beads, so a beaded necklace is a good option.
- Bloodstone is beautiful as a cabochon and makes a pretty statement necklace.
- Aquamarine is especially beautiful with silver-colored metals like white gold or platinum.
April - Diamond
- Look for small diamonds with larger settings that frame the stone and enhance its impact.
- Try pendants and rings that include a number of small diamonds, rather than one large gem.
- Choose a larger diamond birthstone as a special gift for an important birthday.
May - Emerald
Emerald is the birthstone for May, and the distinctive deep green color of this gem makes it a captivating choice in any piece of jewelry. Flawless emeralds are extremely rare, and most affordable emeralds will be slightly milky or have visible inclusions or markings. These gems are a bit more fragile than some other options, so they should have protected settings if you'll be wearing them daily. Emeralds are often cut into a square or rectangular shape, which is known as an "emerald cut." There are lots of ways to wear this beautiful gem:
- As you choose jewelry, remember that the beautiful green color of emeralds glows against a yellow gold setting.
- Consider a bezel setting where the metal wraps around the gem in a sort of cup, offering protection.
- Try an emerald pendant or earrings as a more protected alternative to a ring or bracelet that might get bumped often.
June - Pearl, Moonstone, and Alexandrite
There are three official birthstones for June: pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite. Pearl, the primary birthstone, is not technically a stone. It's actually a natural phenomenon that occurs inside an oyster. Starting out as a tiny piece of grit inside the oyster, layers of nacre are formed to create a beautiful lustrous pearl. There are many different types of pearl ranging from affordable freshwater pearls to extremely rare colors and large pearls.
The alternate birthstones for June are moonstone, a whitish silver feldspar with flashes of color, and alexandrite, an extremely rare color-changing gem. Alexandrite is usually a deep green in natural light and then turns to red or purple when seen under candlelight or incandescent lamps. Alexandrite is quite durable, while moonstone is actually a very soft gem and not suited for use in rings. There are lots of jewelry ideas for the birthstones of June:
- A wonderful way to wear pearls is as a strand. This can work for freshwater pearls or perfectly round, cultured pearls, and it makes a classic gift.
- Moonstones look amazing in pendants, especially in a protective bezel setting made of sterling silver.
- Alexandrite is gorgeous in a ring or pendant, and you can accent it with diamonds for extra sparkle.
Pearls can be set into jewelry or worn as a string in a classic necklace style.
July - Ruby
July's birthstone is the ruby. Rubies are deep red stones that are typically cut into faceted shapes which emphasize the clarity and the color of the stone. They are very strong and durable, making them perfect for use in rings or other jewelry that gets regular wear. Because they are rare, large rubies are expensive, so many pieces feature imitation rubies or smaller gems. There are lots of ways to wear this beautiful gem:
- Rubies look great teamed with pearls and diamonds, which can set off their pretty color.
- Ruby rings are lovely with prong settings that allow lots of light to reach the stone.
- Consider pairing rubies with yellow gold settings, since the warmth of the gold looks beautiful with the red gem.
August - Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx
There are three birthstones for August: peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. Peridot is a green gemstone and is available in a variety of sizes and shapes. The gem is often cut into both cabochons and into faceted shapes depending on the clarity of the individual stone. It's a fairly durable stone, but it should be in a protective setting if it's going to receive daily wear.
The alternate August birthstones are spinel and sardonyx. Ranging from deep purple to red, spinel mimics the beauty of rubies and sapphires, and it is nearly as durable. Sardonyx is an affordable and interesting gem with striations and fascinating patterns. It comes in various combinations of orange, black, and white. There are several ways to wear sardonyx and the other August birthstones:
- Sardonyx looks gorgeous in a pendant, especially when set in sterling silver.
- Spinel makes a beautiful ring, since it's durable and pretty.
- Peridot is gorgeous in earrings or pendants, and it's also lovely in a ring if the setting has adequate protection.
September - Sapphire
Sapphire is the classic birthstone for September. Many people think of sapphire as a blue stone, but it actually comes in a range of colors. Colored sapphires such as pink and yellow have grown in popularity over recent years, and good quality sapphires in all colors are now highly prized. This is a very durable gem, which means you can wear it almost any way you like, including the following:
- Sapphire looks gorgeous in a prong-set ring that allows lots of light to enter the stone.
- Some sapphires exhibit a star pattern of light when cut in a cabochon, and star sapphires make beautiful pendants.
- Sapphires also look beautiful when combined with pearls or diamonds.
October - Opal and Pink Tourmaline
There are two official birthstones for October: opal and pink tourmaline. Opals are famed for their inner fire. You can see flashes of color inside of opals, and this is part of their beauty. These gems are relatively fragile, so it's best to choose settings to protect the stones. Pink tourmaline is a more durable choice, and it can range from pale pink to deeper shades - sometimes within the same gem. There are lots of way to wear these beautiful birthstones:
- Opals look great when teamed with other gemstones such as garnets in a pendant or brooch.
- Opal rings are gorgeous, especially with a bezel setting that protects the gem. Daily wear can actually help keep an opal healthy.
- Pink tourmaline looks beautiful in a pendant or earrings, especially when combined with diamonds.
November - Topaz and Citrine
There are two birthstones for November: topaz and citrine. Citrine is a yellow gemstone that ranges in color from a very pale cream through to dark shades of yellow. Citrine is found in both opaque and clear shades, and the stones are cut accordingly. Topaz comes in a variety of colors, including blue, yellow, brown, and others. It's a durable stone with plenty of sparkle when cut to show it off. You can wear topaz and citrine in a number of ways:
- Citrine can be cut into bead shapes, including chip beads. It makes a wonderful necklace for people looking for something different.
- Topaz makes a gorgeous ring because it's a durable stone that can handle regular wear.
- You can combine colors of topaz to create a pendant or necklace with several different tones.
December - Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite, and Lapis
When it comes to December birthstones, there are lots of options to choose from. All of the gems are varying shades of blue. Natural turquoise is a fragile gem and is a distinctive shade of bluey-green. Zircon is quite rare and is a clear, bright blue. It's a hard gem and works well for regular wear. Tanzanite is a purple-blue gem that is distinctive looking and quite durable. Lapis is a deep, cobalt blue and is fairly soft.
- Turquoise and lapis are both fragile, but they work well in protective sterling silver settings or cut into beads.
- Zircon looks lovely in prong settings, especially for pendants, earrings, and rings.
- Tanzanite is a captivating choice when it's combined with diamonds, but it's also beautiful alone.