And Now, a Word About Birthstones

Birthstones are, simply put, stones or gems meant to represent the month you were born. As far as I can tell, these days they are only used by teenaged girls and for mother’s jewelry – but hey! It’s kind of fun, right? As a teenager I didn’t do much with my birthstone (which was apparently something called “blue zircon,” so plebian, bleh) but as a mother I am all for cheesy combinations of obscure stones in a piece of jewelry to represent my children.

When I decided I wanted to make some mother’s necklaces, I surfed on over to Fire Mountain Gems (which is where I order all of my jewelry supplies) to pick up some birthstones. It was far from the simple matter I had thought, though. Their chart of suggested birthstones has four different columns. Some stones remain pretty consistent across the board, like garnet for January, and others vary wildly. October, for instance, could be represented by aquamarine, tourmaline, rose sapphire, or opal! Looking it up on Wikipedia confused the issue even further, adding even more versions of the birthstone list to the mix.

In the end, I went with a combination of the Traditional and Modern birthstones listed on Fire Mountain Gems, with some substitutions for super-expensive stones (like diamonds).

Aren't they pretty?

From left to right, those are garnet (January), amethyst (February), aquamarine (March), quartz (standing in for diamonds for April), emeralds (May – I was surprised that real emeralds were cheap enough for me to buy a string of them), moonstone (June), carnelian (instead of ruby, that stuff is expensive – July), peridot (August), lapis lazuli (it’s as blue as sapphire, even if it’s opaque – September), rose quartz (instead of tourmaline, which is apparently also expensive – October), citrine (November) and turquoise (December). I like turquoise much better than blue zircon.

Once I had the stones, putting them together in necklaces was pretty simple.

This is my necklace.

July, August, and two in October. I wanted to do something different for the twins…Greg thinks it looks strange and lopsided. I like it, and it’s my necklace, so there. Haha.

The nice thing about necklaces made of links is that it’s extremely simple to add more children later, if it proves to be necessary (unlike pieces where each stone is in a setting). I made one for my sister, and my mother, and my grandmother, and then I made a necklace featuring their own birthstones for each of my two sisters who don’t have children.

It's all very shiny.

The best part is that I still have a ton of stones left over, so I am prepared for… uh, mom-jewelry situations? … in the future.


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