Birthstone Jewelry, Reimagined: Behind the Aura Collection | GLDN
History of Birthstones
The origin of birthstones dates back to 1912—over 100 years ago now! That’s when the National Association of Jewelers (now known as the Jewelers of America) drafted a standardized list of birthstones for use in jewelry far and wide, though historians debate what actually informed this list—from religious influences to nothing but good salesmanship. Fast-forward to 1952, and this list was updated slightly to switch out some gemstones and add a few more to certain months (that’s why December has three gemstones: tanzanite, turquoise and zircon, for example)! Since their inception, birthstones have largely remained unchanged and unchallenged—until now.
Understanding Birthstones by Month
When birthstones were first created, they represented the 12 months of the year—as they do to this day—as well as the Zodiac signs associated with each. But they were also said to have healing, protective and energetic properties that were amplified during the months assigned to each stone. (For example, a ruby would be at its most powerful, you could say, during the month of July.)
Fast-forward to modern day, and people typically wear their birthstone all year long—not just during their birth month. Which inspired us to ask: is there a better way to do birthstones? All signs point to yes.
Designing a Modern Palette
When we started exploring what birthstones should mean (and look like) in the 21st century, we started with one main focus: color. We wanted something softer, subtler and more harmonious than the birthstones of yore, that still felt rooted in a sense of tradition. Think warmer, dreamier, jewel-toned shades that shift and sparkle in the light—multifaceted like all of us—intentionally chosen to mean more than that list from 1912.
Plus, while we love the concept of birthstones, we don’t think you should feel boxed in, either. What if your birthstone doesn’t speak to you? What if you don’t necessarily like the color? What if the meaning of a different month’s birthstone speaks to you more than the one you were born into? A year in the making, that’s how our modern birthstone collection was born: twelve gemstones you can shop by birth month, meaning or hue—whichever means the most to you. ✨
Let’s meet the modern birthstones, shall we?
January Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional January birthstone: Garnet | Modern January birthstone: Vintage Garnet
Compared to the traditional blood-red garnet, our vintage garnet is like the landscape of January: cooler, softer and muted. It pairs beautifully with greens, blues and neutrals alike! Associated with the heart and the force of life, garnets are known to symbolize confidence, courage and sincerity—the inner fire that burns within all of us.
February Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional February birthstone: Amethyst | Modern February birthstone: Royal Amethyst
Rich and dark like a winter’s night, our royal amethyst is a deeper take on the traditional stone—made to contrast gold and silver like no other. Believed to bring a sense of peace and calm to its wearer, amethysts are known to symbolize spirituality, serenity and trust.
March Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional March birthstone: Aquamarine | Modern March birthstone: Airy Aquamarine
Our new take on aquamarine is a breath of fresh air: softer and subtler than its traditional saturated teal hue, designed to make your stack sparkle in the light. Like the soft waves of the sea, aquamarines are known to symbolize tranquility, vitality and everlasting youth.
April Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional April birthstone: Diamond | Modern April birthstone: Clear Sapphire
Compared to April’s traditional diamond birthstone, sapphires are nearly as durable (clocking in at a 9 on the Mohs scale!) and just as rare. Sapphires emit a soft, radiant glow like spring sunshine, and are known to symbolize clarity, strength and intuition—like a mirror for your innermost desires.
May Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional May birthstone: Emerald | Modern May birthstone: Forest Emerald
Like walking through the woods at dusk, our new take on emerald is deeper (and, arguably) more timeless than its traditional counterpart. The emerald is known to symbolize harmony, growth and new beginnings, capturing the spirit of early summer.
June Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional June birthstone: Pearl | Modern June birthstones: White Moonstone & Rainbow Moonstone
White moonstones combine two of our favorite June birthstones in one: pearls and moonstones. Favoring the milky white moonstone over other varieties (like blue or rainbow), our modern June birthstone is soft, romantic and infinitely wearable. Like a sliver of frozen moonlight, the moonstone symbolizes intuition, hope and divine femininity.
With a kaleidoscopic flash and bright, colorful aura, the rainbow moonstone symbolizes peace, self-discovery and creativity—a reminder to accept yourself and chase your dreams.
July Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional July birthstone: Ruby | Modern July birthstone: Subtle Ruby
The traditional ruby was a bit saturated for our tastes, so we took a few steps back and made it way more refined—a red you’ll actually want to wear. Associated with the sun of midsummer, the ruby is known to symbolize creativity, passion and boundless energy.
August Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional August birthstone: Peridot | Modern August birthstone: Sage Peridot
Compared to the bright zing of traditional peridot, our sage peridot evokes a greater sense of peace and ease. Like the healing properties of nature, peridot is known to symbolize luck, abundance and rest—all the good energy to carry with you.
September Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional September birthstone: Sapphire | Modern September birthstone: Midnight Sapphire
September: the start of shorter days and longer nights, like a hush over the world. We opted for a deeper, richer sapphire to represent this glorious month, that still sparkles when the light hits it (like a sky full of stars)! Blue sapphires are known to symbolize truth, wisdom and sincerity.
October Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional October birthstone: Tourmaline | Modern October birthstones: Blush Tourmaline & Iridescent Opal
From hot pink to bubblegum, tourmaline includes a wide range of pink—but we love blush the most (especially for October)! This barely-there pink is soft and warm, like an early fall breeze. Tourmaline is known to symbolize compassion, love and inspiration with every wear.
Like a miniature moon, opal has an otherworldly glow that fits October like no other. Plus, opals are known to symbolize hope, purity and truth—positive, grounding affirmations to carry with you. We love iridescent opal and blush tourmaline together, too (for double the gemstone fun).
November Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional November birthstone: Citrine | Modern November birthstone: Sunshine Citrine
Nothing gold can stay—except citrine. Favoring the golden variety of citrine over the overtly orange, our November birthstone wears like a ray of winter sunshine! Citrine is known to symbolize joy, success and motivation (and who couldn’t use more of that?).
December Birthstone Jewelry
Traditional December birthstone: Tanzanite | Modern December birthstone: Indigo Tanzanite
Our modern take on the December birthstone is winter incarnate. Compared to the brighter traditional tanzanite, we looked for warmer, deeper stones with hints of purple, like the winter sky at dusk. Tanzanite is known to symbolize intuition, trust and higher consciousness; a deep belief in yourself.
Common Birthstone Jewelry FAQs
Can I wear a birthstone that’s not for my birth month?
Absolutely—there are no rules around birthstones! Wear whichever gemstone speaks to you (whether it’s the gemstone’s color or properties) even if it isn’t associated with your birth month. We also love the idea of wearing the birthstones of your friends or family. It’s a sweet, subtle way to keep them close and wear jewelry that’s both meaningful and subtle.
Is birthstone jewelry a good gift idea?
Only one of the best gift ideas out there. We see birthstone jewelry as a celebration of you—or, in this case, your gift recipient! Birthstone jewelry strikes the perfect balance of sentimentality, symbolism and wearability; a piece you could wear every single day.
How do I care for my birthstone jewelry?
Cleaning gemstone jewelry is super simple, and can be done right at home. Here are our top tips.
- Clean with warm water and gentle soap—never hot or boiling water. Gemstones appear quite tough, but many are susceptible to heat which may weaken their structure (especially if the stone has inclusions or has been treated, which many jewelers do to improve their color). Stay away from mechanical cleaning or ultrasonic cleaning, too, just to be safe!
- Avoid hard, rigid brushes or cleaning cloths and opt for a toothbrush instead—just make sure it’s labeled with a soft or extra-soft brush.
- Gently pat to dry. Use a soft cloth to remove water from your gemstones after cleaning.
- Chat with a jeweler for advice. Different gemstones have different cleaning needs, depending on their hardness, how they’re treated and a whole host of other factors. Most gemstones will do well with the gentle cleaning we mentioned above, but if your gemstone needs a little more love, professional help is always the safest way to go.
Where should you wear your birthstone?
Birthstone jewelry is the perfect contender for a signature jewelry piece: something you wear every single day and build the rest of your look around. For that, we love a dainty pendant necklace to stack with the rest of your chains, a pair of simple studs in your second or third piercing or a delicate stacking ring for some everyday sparkle.
What is the significance of birthstone jewelry?
Before birthstones were even sold by jewelers, astrologers believed that birthstones offered protection and healing to the people born in each respective month—almost like a talisman or amulet! To this day, each month’s birthstone is associated with powerful symbolism and good fortune for its wearer.
The Aura Birthstone Collection
Now that you’ve (hopefully) found the gem that speaks to you, there’s just one thing left to do: cherish it forever in a special piece.
Aura Pendant Necklace
Choose one signature stone or add up to five that bring your true energy to life. Our modern birthstone palette was made to wear beautifully together, so color clashing is a thing of the past.
Aura Gemstone Studs
Dot your stack with the hues that mean the most to you—each available as a single or pair!
Aura Birthstone Ring
These harmonious hues were made to layer. Choose your birthstone, your favorite colors or your friends’ and family’s birthstones for a stack that’s both sentimental and striking.
Aura Birthstone Hoops
A new way to wear birthstones: in the perfect 12mm hoops! Snag a pair of your birthstone or stack up a few of your favorite shades.
Aura Add-on Charm
The more, the merrier! Add a gemstone to a preexisting piece for a sparkling touch of personalization.
Kindred Birthstone Necklace
Create a polished palette of togetherness, made to represent your family all in one piece. Choose one symbolic pendant and add up to five modern birthstone charms for every loved one!
Flora Gemstone Necklace
Bejewel your garden with gemstones. Choose one symbolic flower pendant (from 25+ blooms!) and add up to five modern birthstones that represent you.