Jolly July BirthstoneS

Jolly July BirthstoneS

A lesson about July birthstones. 

Yes, that was plural!


Did you know that birthstones originated in ancient times because of things like supernatural powers attributed to the stones and the colors associated with certain months.  The color was the important feature actually designated for each month, as many stones were not known by the same names we call them today. For example today’s sapphire was probably lapis lazuli, and diamond was likely white sapphire or white topaz.  Wearing your birthstone is thought to bring good luck and good health.

A large, round, faceted red ruby bead has a small white pearl on either side, and hangs on a fine gold chain on a dark gray background.

Ruby is the modern birthstone for July, but also a traditional birthstone throughout many cultures.  Ruby is a variety of corundum, which in other colors are called sapphire.  Along with amethyst, sapphire, emerald and diamond, ruby is considered a cardinal gem, those traditionally considered most precious. Ruby was believed by ancient Hindus to protect the wearer from evil.  For centuries and still today the deep red color signifies love, passion, promise and success.  Ruby encourages a passion and zest for life, as well as increasing motivation, clear visualization and goal-setting and manifestation.  It enhances focus and clarity of thinking, and helps change self-destructive patterns and remove negative energies.  It sparks energy, joy, creativity and courage.  Ruby with stabilize economic status and retain wealth.  Not surprisingly, ruby resonates with the fourth or heart chakra, Anahata, the middle chakra that unites the physical and spiritual chakras and is the source of love and connection.  It is the birthstone of Aries, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio and Sagittarius, and the month of July.  It is also the traditional gift for the 40th anniversary.

A bracelet is lying on a dark gray background. the bracelet is half round, orange carnelian beads and half round, yellow citrine beads, with one larger round, red coral bead in between them. The red coral bead has a thin silver spacer bead on either side of it. There are three round silver beads at each end of the bracelet. One end has a silver button bead which is a sunflower with a face in the middle. The other end has a leather cord loop which has a small silver bead on either end. The leather loop goes over the silver button as a clasp to close the bracelet.

In line with the color red for July, an alternate birthstone, used more commonly in Britain, is carnelian.  It was also the birthstone for July in the old Arabic calendar.  Prior to that, carnelian had already been used as a zodiac stone for Leo, which is partly in the month of July.   Carnelian is a reddish-brown semi-precious gemstone, a variety of the silica mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide. The color can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration.   Carnelian is a stabilizing stone. It enhances vitality, courage, motivation and creativity. It sharpens concentration and dispels mental lethargy. Carnelian protects against envy, rage and resentment, and calms anger. It aligns the first base chakra, Muladhara, which represents the foundation, stability security and basic needs, and the second sacral chakra, Svadhisthana, the center of creativity and sexuality. It is the birthstone of Taurus, Cancer, Leo and Virgo.

Another ancient birthstone which echoes the red color is from the Russian calendar, sardonyx.  It combines alternating layers of sard (sard is a darker variety of carnelian) and onyx, two types of the layered mineral chalcedony, to create a reddish zebra-striped stone with white bands.  Sardonyx is a protective stone, and increases vibrations of happiness, optimism and confidence.  It stimulates stamina and vigor, and dispels depression.  It enhances will power, strength of character and integrity.  Sardonyx improves mental discipline and focus and helps the ability to process information.  It attracts good fortune and good friends.  It creates an excellent grounding action through the earth and the first base chakra, Muladhara, which represents the foundation, stability security and basic needs.  It is the birthstone of Aries and Leo, and the months of July and August.

A bracelet of round, shiny, black onyx beads is lying on a model of a hand in white wood. The bracelet has a silver charm hanging in the front, the charm is of a flat, round maze.

And then there is onyx, a July birthstone going back to the ancient Roman, Italian and Hebrew calendars.  Onyx is a banded variety of chalcedony, and the only difference between onyx and agate is the form of the bands (onyx bands are straight, agate are curved).  Onyx comes with bands of almost any color, the most famous being black, which is also the least common (most “black onyx” on the market has probably been treated in some way).  Probably because of the color variation, black became a secondary color of stone for July, and black onyx another birthstone for the month.  Black onyx is a powerful protection stone. It absorbs negative energy, and helps prevent the drain of personal energy. It encourages happiness and good fortune. It gives strength and supports self-discipline. Black onyx is associated with the first base chakra, Muladhara, which represents foundation, stability, security and basic needs. It is the birthstone of Gemini and Leo, and also the month of July.

A necklace sits on a dark gray background. The pendant is a large,silver dragonfly. The dragonfly has a long, thin body and four wide wings. The dragonfly pendant is attached to a beaded necklace that is laid in a coil above the pendant. The necklace is made of six large, dark blue peacock pearls and a full strand of faceted, deep blue sapphire beads.

But we don’t stop there!  As ruby is a form of corundum, the other type of corundum is sapphire, which is one more birthstone for July!  Sapphire is the traditional birthstone for the month of July in the Hindu calendar.  Sapphire comes in a number of colors, (including pink, but not red, which would be ruby!), and each color has its own particular properties. In general it is a stone of wisdom, mental clarity and clear perception.  While it focuses it also calms the mind, relieving depression and easing anxieties, bringing joy and peace of mind.  Sapphire aligns the physical, mental and spiritual planes and restores balance to the body.  It attracts abundance and helps fulfill dreams and desires.  Each color of sapphire resonates with its own chakra.  Sapphire is the birthstone of Virgo, Libra and Sagittarius, and of the months of September and July.  It is the gift gemstone for the 5th and 45th anniversaries.

So, there you go. Which one do you choose?  According to “experts,” you should simply choose your favorite.  If you really like rubies, and have a generous benefactor, have at it!  Or you can opt for less expensive carnelian or sardonyx, which are equally lovely in an organic way.  Perhaps you prefer a different color, then choose sapphire and you can pick pretty much any color you want!  So, it seems if you are a July baby, you’ve got it made when it comes to birthstones.  A veritable rainbow of choices!

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