January – January is all Garnet – traditional, modern and crystal color birthstone. The traditional red garnet is the accepted birthstone color, but you can also branch out and use green garnets. We have often thought Garnet should be the birthstone for February given the Valentine’s Day connection, but we were not consulted in the creation of the birthstone chart! Anyway, both green and red garnets are simply gorgeous and go with everything. We like them paired with gold, brass or bronze findings as they have such a rich, deep color. Think about adding some ribbons in garnet and complimentary caramel colors.If you are creating birthstone jewelry for a baby or child, think about mixing Garnets or garnet colored crystal (Siam is the color name) with something transparent like quartz or clear crystals to give them a softer appearance.
February – The birthstone for February is Amethyst – traditional, modern and crystal color. Amethyst has such a deep range of purples, from pale lilac to the opaque striations of Cape Amethyst, you can’t not have fun working with it. This is a stone that goes with almost anything. It looks especially great mixed with white, black, silver and green beads. We like it with pearls and silver (we like anything with pearls and silver, frankly), onyx, fluorite, wood, bone, shells, labradorite, moonstone, gold, brass, etc. You get the message. Here it is with pewter pendants and sterling daisies.
March – The traditional stones for March are Bloodstone and Aquamarine. The modern stone for March is Aquamarine, and the crystal color is Aquamarine. This is a super month for birthstone jewelry – who doesn’t like Aquamarine? No one, that’s who. Bloodstone is a dark brown stone with red and green tones and is very pretty, as well. But back to Aquamarine! It comes in many shades of blue, green and gray and is even prettier when it is faceted. Try mixing it with pearls and silver, or use some with darker matrix in it with brass or gold. The only downside to Aquamarine is that it can be pricey, depending upon the cut. The aquamarine colored crystal is also pretty and can be a great substitute.
April – The traditional and modern stone for April is a diamond. Given that most folks don’t create their own jewelry with diamonds, let’s move on to the crystal color – crystal or crystal AB. This is easy and fun, since clear crystals go with everything. Here are just a few suggestions but frankly, you don’t need us on this one! Here is some quartz paired with moonstones, sterling and pink and blue ribbons for those baby bracelet ideas.
May – Unfortunately for the budget, May’s traditional and modern birthstone is the emerald. The crystal color is also the emerald. If you want to go with stones and can’t afford emeralds, try substituting green agates or green garnet. Or you can take the bling and affordable route and go with emerald colored crystals. The rich emerald color goes beautifully with copper, or with gold-fill findings. Other stones that pair nicely with emerald crystals are onyx, labradorite, citrine, smoky quartz, moss agate and prehnite. Try mixing it with some fun ribbons or leather to give it a fresh modern look.
June – The traditional birthstones for June are Alexandrite and Emeralds. The modern birthstones are Moonstones and Pearls. The crystal colors are Alexandrite or Light Amethyst. The stone Alexandrite is very hard to find in a bead. You can find some gorgeous Emerald beads, but beware as they are expensive. And who cares when you can use Moonstones and Pearls? Moonstone is generally a cloudy white/gray color, but there is blue flash Moonstone and Peach colored Moonstone as well. Natural pearls come in a range of colors, and they also come dyed in every other color. Pairing either Moonstones or Pearls with a light amethyst crystal is the way to go, probably with silver findings. Oh, the gifts you’ll get if you were born in June!
July – Now we’re in trouble! The traditional and modern birthstone for July is Ruby. Gorgeous, but definitely a budget buster. The crystal color is also ruby. First, think about using Ruby Quartz. Its actually made of glass, but its stunning, usually faceted and the color of rubies, hence the name. If you don’t care for Ruby Quartz, you can always use ruby colored crystals – these range in names from Siam, Light Siam, Burgundy, Ruby, etc. If you want to think outside the box, we have recycled glass that is also the color of rubies. As for pairings, that red ruby color goes beautifully with anything, but looks fabulous with gold (another budget buster!) or brass findings, black accents and gunmetal.
August – The traditional stone for August is Sardonyx. The modern birthstone is Peridot. The crystal color is also Peridot. Sardonyx is an affordable stone in black, brown and white tones. Usually, it appears as black onyx with a white stripe through it. This of course goes with anything. The stone version of Peridot is a pale green that is truly beautiful. If you can afford it (it is much pricier than Sardonyx), it can make your whole piece. If you can’t but still prefer that pale green color, go with the crystals. Peridot goes beautifully with silver, pewter, brass, onyx, pearls, you name it. Frankly, you can’t go wrong in August!
September: The traditional stone for September is a sapphire. The contemporary birthstone for September is blue spinel. The crystal color is again sapphire. Since most of us can’t afford sapphires to put in birthstone jewelry (or find blue spinel), people tend to use sapphire colored crystals. Another choice is to substitute lapis for sapphires as they are almost the same color. Mix sapphires or sapphire colored crystals with clear agate, moonstone or kyanite for a fresh look. Another option is to use brown tones with the sapphire, such as smoky quartz and petrified wood.
October: The traditional stone for October is Tourmaline. A contemporary birthstone for October is opal. The crystal color is rose. Tourmaline can be a little pricey but it is a stunning stone. It is definitely worth it if you are creating a larger piece like a necklace with many stones. Tourmaline has great variation in color and usually comes on a strand with purple, red, green and purple tourmaline included. If you are creating earrings, it will be hard to incorporate all the color variation and you might want to go with the rose crystals or opal stones. Tourmaline looks terrific with copper, brass or gold findings.
November: The traditional birthstone for November is either citrine or topaz. The crystal birthstone is topaz. Try coordinating the actual birthstone with other accent colors, such as gold or green. Brass and copper findings will look perfect with the smoky tones of November.
December: The traditional birthstone for December is Blue Topaz. The modern (and far less expensive) birthstone is turquoise. The crystal color is also turquoise. Could it get any better? Try mixing turquoise with either pewter or silver and pearls for an updated look.