Arlecchino jewelsGemstones and Months


January - Garnet
Most people think of Garnet as a single type of stone that is dark red, but actually Garnet is a family of gems that spans a range of colors. The name Garnet that comes from the Latin 'Granatus' which means "seed-like." Many Garnet crystals have the shape and color of pomegranate seeds. In ancient times it was known as Carbuncle which relates to the color and refers to a boil or blister. The name Carbuncle was also applied to other red gems, but especially to red Garnet.

February - Amethyst
Amethyst is a purple form of Quartz with a rich coloration, good durability, and relative affordability.  These characteristics make Amethyst a popular choice for all types of jewelry. The rich purple gemstone enjoys a wealth of legends and folklore throughout history. The ancient Greek word Amethystos, from which the name amethyst arises, means 'without wine.' The stone was thought to be an amulet against excessive drunkenness. Amethyst was known as a gem which would bring forth the highest, purest aspirations of humankind; chastity, sobriety, and the control over one's thoughts. The gem would guard against the anger of passion, and the violent or base nature of its wearer. Instead the stone encouraged calm, bravery and contemplation.

March – Aquamarine
The name, Aquamarine, comes from a Latin word for seawater. With its light greenish blue hue, one can easily see why it lives up to its name. Occasionally, Aquamarine is found in large enough pieces to yield finished gemstones in the 1000-plus carat range.  Because of its color and name, Aquamarine, a form of the mineral Beryl, it has always been a favorite of seafaring folk. It was believed to ensure sage and prosperous voyages upon the sea, and to guard against storms. There are many qualities attributed to Aquamarine in folklore circles. It was thought to be the symbol of happiness and everlasting youth, to bring victory in battle and in legal disputes, and to re-awaken love in long-married couples. Aquamarine's color was also thought to be symbolic of the moon. When worn as an amulet, it was reputed to bring relief of pain and to make the wearer friendlier, quicken the intellect, and cure laziness.

April - Diamond
Diamond is the most celebrated of all birthstones even though it is not the rarest or most expensive. Why then the long-held fascination with this usually near colorless stone?  Simply put, diamonds are hard.  A diamond is approximately 140 times harder than any other mineral. The supreme hardness means that Diamond, while it can be shattered, cannot be scratched by anything other than another diamond. This hardness caused the ancient Greeks to name the stone "Adamas", which means invincible. Diamond is distinctive in the way it reflects light. It has a unique brilliance and also breaks the light up into spectral colors, which reflect within the stone as it is moved. Another unusual quality of a Diamond is its purity. A gem quality diamond is among the purest elements found in nature. Diamonds actually occur in all different colors, true red being most rare, followed by blue. Diamonds formed deep within the earth where the pressure and heat are intense. Because of its unusual qualities Diamonds occupy a powerful place in folklore. It was not until the 16th century that Diamond could first be cut and polished, thereby yielding it's true beauty. Still, the Ancient Greeks wore Diamonds into battle on their shields believing the stones could lend them their invincibility. In medieval times, uncut octahedron Diamond crystals were often set into rings, and their exposed points earned these rings the name "Glass Cutter Rings." Diamond was believed to symbolize purity and innocence, and joyful life of faith and piety. It also offered the ability to detect poison, as its surface was said to cloud in the toxin's presence.

May - Emerald
This rich green form of the mineral Beryl gets its name from the Latin and Greek term 'Smaragdus.' The first known Emerald mines were in southern Egypt and show evidence of being worked since 2000 BC. The ancient Egyptians believed Emerald stood for fertility and rebirth. Emerald was used in the Middle Ages to foretell the future and was thought to ward off evil sorcery and cure demonic possession. It was also believed to be a symbol of faith and loyal friendship. The gem was closely associated with love, and with contentment in marriage. Its calming, healing nature in legends is evidentially a result of its soothing color. As such it was thought to be good for eye ailments and irritations. The Emerald's use in ancient medicines was widespread and Emerald was thought to cure a wide range of ills, from poor eyesight to infertility. It was believed to ease childbirth, and aid the liver, as well as guard against fits and convulsions. Even today, the powder of poorer quality Emeralds is used in folk medicines in China.

June - Pearl
A Pearl is formed when certain types of mollusks secrete nacre and build up a smooth coating around the irritating object. With cultured pearls, the irritant is most likely a grain of sand. Cultured pearls are most prevalent today, but only from the 20th century on. Many layers of nacre, which is composed of tiny interlocked crystals of aragonite, form a Pearl. Although many mollusks form pearls, we value those with 'lustre' a soft sheen of reflected light, formed by certain mollusk species, specifically oysters. Pearls are most commonly thought of as white, but many colors abound such as cream, pink-peach, blue-grey, and black. Western beliefs held that pearls could cure mental illness and soothe heartbreak for the wearer. They were also credited with being a powerful antidote against poison. Ancient tales tell of how rain, or the tears of angels, was supposed to have fallen in the open shells of oysters, which turned the drops to Pearls.

July - Ruby
Ruby's name comes from the Latin root word "Ruber: meaning red, from which also is taken the name rubellite for red tourmaline. It is the red form of the gem corundum and is exceeded in hardness only by diamond. Occasionally, rubies occur with minute inclusions arranged in a pattern which reflects a floating six rayed star when viewed under a single light source. These are known, appropriately enough, as Star Rubies. There are many folkloric tales associated with Rubys.  Because of Ruby's blood red color, its magical significance is often tied to curing diseases of the blood and stopping bleeding. It was rumored to lighten darkened rooms with its glow and boil liquids when placed within them. Ruby was supposed to ensure harmonious physical and mental health, bring peace, and guard homes and fields against storm and catastrophe. The fiery red gemstone was said to attract and maintain love, and ward off sorrow, inspire boldness and bring success in business.

August - Peridot
Peridot is a transparent or translucent gem that ranges in color from light yellow-green to a deep olive-green color.  Peridot gets its name from an Arabic word "faridat" meaning 'gem'. It was also some times known as Olivine. In olden times, Peridot was often confused with topaz or emerald. The ancient Egyptians knew it as the gem of the sun, and mined it on an island in the Red Sea, just off Egypt's coast. To develop it's full potential it was thought that Peridot must be set in yellow Gold. It would then protect its wearer against nightmares and terrors of the night, and served to ward off the evil eye. Other legends credit Peridot with bringing happiness and good cheer, and attracting lovers.

September - Sapphire
When the mineral corundum is red in color, it is known as Ruby.  In any other color it is a Sapphire. So, other than color, Ruby shares Sapphire's physical characteristics. The most well known color is blue, but Sapphires are also beautiful in shades of pink, yellow. The most desirable color, blue, is said to be cornflower blue - an intense color, neither too light nor too dark.  The most important attribute of Sapphire was said to be that of protection against sorcery. It was thought to banish evil spirits and frighten devils. It would turn evil sorcery and negative spells back against the sender, provide advance warning of hidden dangers, and free the mind of the enchanted. Sapphire was important to wizards and seers who used it to help interpret vision and prophesy

October - Tourmaline
The gem Tourmaline gets its name from the ancient word "Turmali" which means multi-colored gems. This is because Tourmaline occurs in virtually every color of the spectrum. The most popular colors of Tourmaline are green, red, and pink. Although mentioned as far back as the first century, Tourmaline has often been the victim of misidentification. Finds of green Tourmaline brought back from the New World were sold in Europe as "Brazilian Emerald. Tourmaline was thought to be an aid to meditation, fostering compassion and cool headedness. It was said to protect its wearer against many dangers, particularly that of falling. The gem was highly valued by alchemists who believed it to be related to the philosopher's stone. This was said to be the substance that would grant enlightenment, give power over spiritual affairs, reconcile opposites, and change base metals to Gold.

November - Topaz
An island in the Red Sea, known in antiquity as Topazion, gave Topaz it's name. True Topaz is found in shades of colorless to yellow, orange, red or brown, and is sometimes artificially treated by radiation to produce blue colors. The term Imperial Topaz refers to stones with a fine peachy to reddish orange color. The old traditions hold that Topaz bestowed many benefits upon its wearer. It would relieve bad dreams, dispel cowardice, calm the temper, cure madness and plague, and sharpen the wit. It was thought to aid in sleep and eliminate nightmares, as well as cure rheumatism and soreness in the joints.  The gem was said to instantly lose its color to indicate that poison was present, thus protecting its owner.

December - Turquoise
Mention Turquoise, and most people will probably think of Native American silver jewelry. Turquoise has always been highly venerated in Native American traditions. It is an essential presence in the Shaman's medicine bag. It can be a simple nugget or bead, or it may be carved in the shape of a totem animal, and adorned with feathers and bits of stone tied to it with sinew. The Pueblo people often placed Turquoise in the floors of their dwellings to bring food fortune. Although Turquoise is closely identified with Native Americans, its lore and appreciation stretch across the globe. It was discovered by the ancient Egyptians around 3000 BC and was used widely in their finest jewelry and ornaments. The Turquoise was carved into scarabs and representations of the various gods and worn by the priests for ceremonial purposes. Turquoise was said to enable its wearer to resist evil and maintain virtue. It was credited with helping achieve a state of higher consciousness and resistance to weakness. It was also thought to protect its wearer from falling, particularly form towers and horses.



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