A birthstone is the gem associated with an individuals’ month of birth. These gemstones have been an important design feature in jewelry for centuries, eventually becoming a traditional birthday gift. Not only a beautiful accessory, birthstones are thought to bring good luck and health to the wearer. Supernatural powers have long been attributed to certain gemstones by Astrologers.

CMI Jewelry Showroom offers hundreds of styles in all natural birthstone jewelry set in white gold, yellow gold and sterling silver. For a sample check out our colored stone jewelry selection.

Learn about your special birthstone below. Select the tab to pull down the detailed description of your desired birthstone:

garnetGarnet is the accepted birthstone for the month of January. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the second year of marriage.

Garnet is a remarkable gem in that it comes in all colors except blue. Its reds range from raspberry to blood-red. Its greens may rival that of emerald. It also occurs in a range of shades of yellow, orange and brown. You will be fascinated by the selection of color available.

Garnets offer enough variety in appearance to suite every taste, as well as an outstanding price range (especially for larger sizes) to suit every pocketbook.

Legend holds that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark of illumination. It reportedly also gives its wearer guidance in the night, protection from nightmares, and according to the Egyptians, is an antidote for snake bite and food poisoning. It was also thought to have a special affinity with the blood.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows, and avoid extreme temperature changes.

Garnets are found in the U.S., Africa, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia and India

HARDNESS: 6.5 – 7.6

amythsitAmethyst is the recognized birthstone for February and the accepted anniversary gemstone for the sixth year of marriage.

Amethyst is a variety of quartz, and comes in pale lilac to nearly black purple shades. Ideally, it is a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes that give amethyst its beauty and fire.

Because of its abundance, it is readily available in all sizes and shapes. It is durable and can be worn every day. Coupled with the folk legend of the Greeks that it will prevent intoxication when worn, it becomes a most desirable gem!

Amethyst was said to have a sobering effect on the wearer -; not only those who imbibed but on those over-excited by love’s passion as well. It has symbolized peace, protection and tranquility. Some say it will prevent baldness and improve the complexion, while protecting from treason and deceit. Because royalty has always adored the color purple, amethysts abound in the ornaments of ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and in the British Crown Jewels.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

As part of the finishing process, amethyst occasionally is heated to lighten its color.

It is found mainly in Brazil, Uruguay and Zambia.


aquamarineAquamarine is the traditional birthstone for March. It is also the accepted anniversary gem for the 19th year of marriage.

The ideal color of aquamarine is a refreshing sea blue, not too pale or too green. If you are looking for a big, durable gemstone, aqua is readily available in larger sizes and is truly dramatic when cut in rectangular or oval shapes. It is a member of the important beryl family, which also includes emeralds.

In ancient times, the stone was said to aid seafarers; thus it is an excellent gift suggestion for sailors or one who takes frequent cruises! To dream of aquamarine signifies the making of new friends; to wear aquamarine earrings brings love and affection. It is a universal symbol of youth, hope and health.

As part of the normal finishing process, most aquamarines are heated to remove traces of yellow and permanently intensify the blue color.

To maintain the brilliance of this beautiful gemstone, it should be immersed in a jewelry cleaner or in lukewarm soapy water and cleaned with a small bristle brush. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine. As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria and Zambia.

HARDNESS: 7.5 -; 8

diamondTraditionally, the diamond is the accepted birthstone for the month of April. And, besides being the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, is the accepted anniversary gem for the 10th and 60th years of marriage.

The name “diamond” comes from the Greek word “adamas” meaning unconquerable -; suggestion the eternity of love. In fact, diamonds have been the traditional symbol of love since ancient Greece. Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from the stars, perhaps crystallized lightening or hardened dew drops.

Although diamonds are associated with being a colorless stone, they are occasionally found with a strong, bright color -; green, red, pink, blue, canary yellow and amber. These “fancy” color diamonds are highly prized.

Occasionally, to improve appearance, diamonds are laser-drilled and sometimes, a foreign substance is used to fill surface cavities or fractures. Diamonds may also be irradiated and/or heated to induce “fancy” colors.

Even though it is the most durable of gemstones, care should be taken to protect a diamond from sharp blows. Household chemicals may discolor or pit the mounting. To clean, you may use a jewelry cleaner, lukewarm soapy water and a small bristle brush, soak in a half-and-half solution of cold water and ammonia for ½ hour, or a home ultrasonic machine with its recommended cleaner.


emeraldEmerald is the accepted birthstone for the month of May. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 20th and 35th years of marriage.

Emerald is one of the most highly prized of all the gems. The name comes from the Greek word “smaragdos” which means green stone. The most prized is pure gem or slightly bluish-green.

Emeralds are often characterized by a garden of included crystals trapped within. Under magnification, you will see all sorts of lovely patterns resembling foliage in a garden. A flawless, clear emerald is very rare and is usually found in only small sizes. Small to medium sized stones are often faceted in the “step” or emerald cut. The gem is also lovely when cut into a cabochon or dome shape. Sometimes emeralds are even carved.

According to legend, the wearing of emerald not only cured a side range of ailments, including low I.Q., poor eyesight and infertility, but also enabled the wearer to predict the future.

As part of the normal fashioning process, most emeralds are immersed in colorless oil to fill minute voids, and occasionally are enhanced with dye and/or colored oil.

Care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blow, household chemicals, and extreme temperature changes. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine.

Emeralds are found mainly in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

HARDNESS: 7.5 -; 8

pearlsPearl is the “official” birthstone of the month of June. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 3rd and 30th years of marriage.

A pearl is the product of an oyster’s defense mechanism. When a foreign irritant is introduced immediately surrounds it with layers of a substance called nacre. This forms the exquisite gemstone known as pearl.

Pearls come in a wide range of colors. They should be relatively free from skin blemishes. The more perfectly round the shape the better. The higher the luster or “orient”, the more valuable the specimen. The larger the pearl, the greater the value.

Besides the popular round shape, there are stylish mabe (large hemispherical cultured pearls), fresh water (elongated in interesting shapes and colors), and South Sea (large cultured pearls 10mm and up from Australia’s and Indonesia’s waters), to name a few.

They have been recognized as the emblem of modesty, chastity, and purity. They have come to symbolize a happy marriage.

Different shades of colors may be achieved through bleaching, dyeing, chemicals combined with heat, or irradiation.

Avoid household chemicals, cosmetics, hair sprays and perfumes. Don’t use ultrasonic cleaners. Wash with mild soap and water and store in a protective chamois pouch or tissue paper.

HARDNESS: 3 -; 4

rubiesRuby is the accepted birthstone for July. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 15th and 4th year.

Ruby is known as the “Lord of the Gems” because of its rarity and beauty. Derived from the Latin word “rubber”, it simply means red. Ruby, like sapphire, is a variety of corundum and only exists as a true red in color. The infest color is a vivid, almost pure spectral red with a very faint undertone of blue, as seen in Burmese rubies, which are considered the finest.

The highest quality rubies were said to protect their owners from all kinds of misfortune. A fine ruby assured the owner he would live in harmony with his neighbors. It would protect his stature in life, his home and land. Its protective powers were intensified when set in jewelry, and worn on the left side. Many believed rubies possessed an inner flame which burned eternally.

As part of the customary fashioning process, virtually all rubies are heated to permanently improve their color and appearance.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

The finest rubies emanate from Burma, having been mined there for more than 700 years. Other sources include Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Sri Lank and India.


periodotPeridot is the accepted birthstone for August. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage.

Peridot is usually a lively lime green, although it can also have a brownish or olive cast.

Peridot is the child of volcanic action. Crystals are sometimes combed from the black sands of Hawaii.

Peridots were favored by pirates, considered powerful amulets against all evil, and when set in gold, were said to protect the wearer from the terrors of the night. They had medicinal uses too. If fashioned into a chalice from which medicines were drunk, it intensified the effects of the drug.

Care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, household chemicals and extreme temperature changes. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine for cleaning.

The peridot is abundant, and is available in larger sizes. It is found in Burma and the U.S.

HARDNESS: 6.5 – 7

sapphireSapphire is the September birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary gem for the 5th and 45th years of marriage.

Sapphire, a variety of corundum, comes in all colors except red (the red variety being know as ruby), but is especially popular in deep blue. Fancy colored sapphires -; including pink, green, orange and golden yellow -; are magnificent when combined in a necklace or bracelet.

Prince Charles chose a blue sapphire for Princess Diana’s engagement ring. The stone’s durability, combined with its beauty, makes it the perfect alternative for an engagement ring.

Ancient priests and sorcerers honored sapphire above all gems, for this stone enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future. Ancients believed the Ten Commandments were written on a sapphire tablet. Marriage partners put great faith in the stone. If its luster dimmed, one knew his or her spouse had been unfaithful. Sapphire refused to shine when worn by the wicked or impure.

As part of the customary fashioning process, virtually all blue, yellow and golden sapphires are heated to permanently produce or intensify their color.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

Sapphire is found mainly in Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Australia and East Africa.


opalOpal is the October birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 14th year of marriage.

The well-known Roman naturalist Pliny described opal as “made up of the glories of the most precious gems…the gentler fire of the ruby, the rich purple of the amethyst, the sea-green of the emerald, glittering together…”

White opal has a white or light body color with flashes of many colors. Black opal has a black, dark blue, dark green or gray body color with vivid flashes of color such as red, pink and bright green.

Opal has symbolized hope, innocence and purity through the ages. In the Middle Ages, young, fair-haired girls wore opals in their hair to protect its lovely blond color. Medieval writers believed opal could render its wearer invisible when the need arose. It was also said to have a beneficial effect on eyesight. It was thought to banish evil spirits and favor children, the theater, amusements, friendships and feelings.

Occasionally opal matrix is dyed to produce black and a play of color. Care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, household chemicals, and extreme temperature changes. To maintain the brilliance of opal, it should be wiped clean with a soft cloth. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine or jewelry cleaner.

Opal sources are Australia, Mexico, and the U.S.

HARDNESS: 4.5 – 6

citrineCitrine is the accepted birthstone for the month of November.

Citrine, yellow to red-orange quartz, was once the Rodney Dangerfield of the gem world. Its sheer abundance was responsible for this “no respect” treatment. That has begun to turn around somewhat in the last couple of decades as fashions have repeatedly emphasized Earth tones and home shopping networks have marketed the various shades of citrine aggressively with catchy adjectives like “butterscotch” and “whiskey”.

Very little of the quartz which is mined is citrine. Natural stones tend to be pale yellow, often with smoky tones. The vast majority of citrine which is marketed is produced by heating smoky quartz (produces light to medium yellows) and amethyst (produces stronger yellows and orange-red to orangey brown shades). The treatment is usually done right at the mine, and is stable, and fully accepted within the gem trade. Recently colorless, rock crystal quartz from certain mines has been irradiated and heated to produce a neon, slightly greenish yellow, usually called Lemon Quartz. In the past, it was commonplace for citrine to be given misnomers such as, “Brazilian topaz”, or “Madeira” topaz, etc. The higher gemological knowledge level of both jewelers and the public make this practice rare today.

This gem is a fine jewelry stone with no cleavage and its availability in large sizes enables cutters to use it for dramatic and intricate custom cuts. It is also used for gem carvings. Stable in light and not very sensitive to chemicals, this stone requires no special care and can be used for any jewelry application. Virtually all citrine comes from Brazil


topazBlue Topaz is the accepted birthstone for the month of December.

Blue Topaz begins “life” as colorless or very lightly tinted natural topaz crystals which are then irradiated to change the color to blue and heated to stabilize the change. Neutron bombardment in a nuclear reactor produces the deep slightly greenish or grayish London Blue, while electron bombardment in a linear accelerator results in the light aqua-like blue known as sky blue. Combinations of both treatments produce the highly saturated Swiss and electric blues. If neutron bombardment has been used, there is residual radioactivity, and the gems must be held, up to a year, before they have “cooled” enough to be worn.

The modest value of most blue topaz creates little incentive in the market for synthetic blue topaz, although it has long been simulated by synthetic spinel. More lucrative and popular are the various vapor deposition or diffusion coatings that create “mystic topaz” and teal, read and sea green colors. Such stones are attractive but the treatment is not permanent, with their extremely thin coating they must be handled very gently as any scratch or abrasion can mar the surface layer.

Whatever the color, topaz has some wonderful gem qualities due to its high refractive index and its ability to take a fabulous polish. The fact that the rough is available at moderate prices in rather large, clean pieces means that many cutters choose this gem for their fancy or non-traditional cuts. It’s hardness makes it a good gem for occasional wear rings, pendants, earrings or brooches, but alas, the ready cleavage of this gem makes its use in daily wear rings very risky.