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Your date of birth plays an important role in your life. Scientific studies have suggested that it can affect everything from your career to your personality and health.

Astrologers believe that the position of the celestial bodies when a person is born influences their character and future in many ways. The signs of the zodiac, also known as sun signs, astrological signs, or star signs, are assigned accordingly and used to make predictions about a person's fate.

Whatever your date of birth means to you, wearing birthstone or star sign jewellery can help you to encapsulate and express it. Read on to find out more about these symbols and meanings associated with your birthday.

Birthstones by month

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Signs of the zodiac

Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces | Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Ophiuchus

What is a birthstone? What is my birthstone?

Birthstones by month

Birthstones are gemstones that represent calendar months of birth, typically used within jewellery. They’re also used to symbolise the star sign that predominantly falls within the month, and some people believe they have spiritual powers.

There are different birthstone customs around the world, and these have changed over time. In Britain, The National Association of Jewellers is commonly cited:

Month Star sign Birthstone Colour Alternative birthstone
January Capricorn Garnet Dark red Rose quartz
February Aquarius Amethyst Purple Amber
March Pisces Aquamarine Pale blue Jade
April Aries Diamond Colourless Clear quartz/rock crystal
May Taurus Emerald Bright green Chrysoprase
June Gemini Pearl Cream Moonstone
July Cancer Ruby Red Carnelian
August Leo Peridot Pale green Spinel
September Virgo Sapphire Deep blue Lapis lazuli
October Libra Opal Variegated Pink tourmaline
November Scorpio Topaz Yellow Citrine
December Sagittarius Tanzanite Sky blue Blue topaz

January birthstone (garnet or rose quartz)

January Birthstone - Garnet

Garnets are minerals that come in a wide range of colours, but dark red is typically used for the January birthstone. The colour is even referenced in its name, which is derived from the medieval Latin word for 'pomegranate'.5

Some people believe garnet jewellery offers the wearer energy and protection, as well as helping them build self-confidence.

Rose quartz refers to pink varieties of quartz, a crystalline mineral. Due to its colour, it is often associated with love and femininity. Some people believe it helps the wearer to feel more compassionate, caring, and content.

February birthstone (amethyst or amber)

February Birthstone - Amethyst

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz, a crystalline mineral. Until large deposits of the stone were found in Brazil, it was one of the most rare and precious gemstones in existence and so commonly worn by clergymen and royalty.

It is believed that amethyst jewellery can dispel negative energies and help the wearer to achieve a meditative state.

Amber is fossilised resin from an evergreen tree. While it is most associated with a yellowish-brown hue, it more rarely comes in other colours including red, green, and blue. Its been used for its purported healing properties for centuries.

March birthstone (aquamarine or jade)

March Birthstone - Aquamarine

Aquamarine is a blue variety of beryl, a type of mineral that also includes emerald. Due to its colour, clarity, and name, the stone is thought to have the calming energy of water. Ancient mariners believed that it could keep them safe at sea.5

Because it is the March birthstone, aquamarine jewellery is often worn by Pisces, which is fittingly a water sign.

Jade is a mineral best known for its green varieties. In Chinese artistic culture, it carries value and significance in a similar way gold does in the West. Lexicographer Xu Shen defines jade as having five virtues: kindness, rectitude, wisdom, bravery, and purity.7

April birthstone (diamond or clear quartz/rock crystal)

April Birthstone - Diamond

Diamond is a solid form of carbon and often considered the most precious gemstone in the world. Due to its very nature, it is associated with clarity and strength. Those shopping for this April birthstone may be put off by its perceived expense but affordable diamond jewellery is available, especially if you shop pre-loved.

On the Mohs scale (a test of mineral strength) it scores 10 out of 10, making it the strongest of all the birthstones.

Clear quartz or rock crystal is an affordable alternative to diamond, as it can have a similar appearance.

May birthstone (emerald or chrysoprase)

May Birthstone - Emerald

Emerald is a green variety of beryl, a type of mineral that also includes aquamarine. Its considered one of the most precious gemstones and has been used in crown jewels for centuries. Some people believe wearing emerald jewellery can make you more intelligent.

Chrysoprase is an alternative May birthstone. It can have a similar colour to emerald, but it is more commonly a paler green. Some people consider it to be a healing crystal that can promote feelings of joy and love.

June birthstone (pearl or moonstone)

June Birthstone - Pearl

Pearls have long been prized for their beauty and rarity. Due to their appearance, they are said to evoke the spiritual powers of the moon, and so can help the wearer let go of negative energy. Pearl jewellery is also associated with purity and innocence.

Moonstone is a mineral that shares many qualities with pearl, making it a great alternative for the June birthstone. The ancient Romans believed it was formed from frozen moonlight.5

July birthstone (ruby or carnelian)

July Birthstone - Ruby

Ruby is one of the most precious gemstones in the world. Its the red gem variety of corundum, the other varieties of which are classed as sapphires. The colour means it’s often associated with passion and virility. In Indian culture, ruby jewellery is used to symbolise power and youth.

Carnelian is a mineral with an orange-red colour, which is generated by impurities of iron oxide. In Roman times, the stone was commonly engraved for use in signet or seal rings. Spiritually, it is said to be a stabilising stone that stimulates creativity.

August birthstone (peridot or spinel)

August Birthstone - Peridot

Peridot is an olive-green gemstone that’s been prized since the earliest civilizations. Formed in the Earth's upper mantle and brought to the surface by earthquakes or volcanoes, it’s associated with fire and often thought to carry the energy of the sun. Fittingly, the August birthstone is also used to symbolise Leo, which is a fire sign.

In Ancient Egypt, peridot was known as the "Gem of the Sun" and thought to ward off evil spirits. Peridot jewellery is still said to help the wearer avoid darkness in life.

Spinel is the alternative August birthstone. The mineral comes in a range of colours but is perhaps best known for a vibrant pink hue. A 170-carat spinel stone, misleadingly referred to as "Black Prince’s Ruby", features prominently in the British Imperial State Crown.8

September birthstone (sapphire or lapis lazuli)

September Birthstone - Sapphire

Sapphire is known for its vibrant blue colour, and this variety is used for the September birthstone. However, the gem does naturally occur in other colours, with the pinkish-orange padparadscha being a notable example.

As well as being extremely beautiful, sapphire jewellery is said to bring the wearer integrity and wisdom.

Lapis lazuli has a vibrant blue colour not dissimilar to that of sapphire, although the stone cannot offer the same brilliance and clarity. It has been mined for thousands of years.

October birthstone (opal or pink tourmaline)

October Birthstone - Opal

Opal is a mineraloid, a mineral-like substance without a crystal-like structure. Precious opal is iridescent, which means it can display a rainbow of colours when exposed to light. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that this bestowed it with the "virtues" of every other coloured gemstone.9

Pink tourmaline is a very different option for the October birthstone, and its colour means it is often associated with romance and compassion. Because the mineral is often compounded with lithium, it is thought that tourmaline jewellery can help to stabilise and improve mood.

November birthstone (topaz or citrine)

November Birthstone - Citrine

Topaz is available in a variety of colours, but yellow is preferred for the November birthstone, perhaps because it is an autumnal hue. In India, it’s believed this gemstone assures long life, beauty, and intelligence when worn above the heart5, so a necklace may be the best choice when it comes to topaz jewellery.

Citrine is less valuable and commonly confused with topaz, making citrine jewellery an affordable alternative for November babies. It’s a yellow-brown variety of quartz, meaning it’s in the same family as rose quartz, rock crystal, and amethyst.

December birthstone (tanzanite or blue topaz)

December Birthstone - Blue Topaz

Tanzanite is a blue to violet variety of the mineral zoisite. It was discovered in Tanzania by Tiffany & Co in the 1960s and named accordingly.10

The crystal is considered to be highly spiritual in many circles, so some people believe tanzanite jewellery can help the wearer unlock psychic abilities and connect with higher dimensions.

Blue topaz tends to be a paler colour than tanzanite, more reminiscent of water. In spirituality, it’s thought to promote good health and promote honesty.

What is a star sign? What star sign am I?

Zodiac symbols

In Western astrology, star signs are the twelve astrological signs, sun signs, or signs of the zodiac. Each person's star sign is determined by their date of birth (DD/MM) and believed to impact their personality and fate. This is the system commonly used:

Birth date Star sign
21 March – 20 April Aries
21 April – 20 May Taurus
21 May – 21 June Gemini
22 June – 22 July Cancer
23 July – 22 August Leo
23 August – 21 September Virgo
22 September – 22 October Libra
23 October – 22 November Scorpio
23 November – 21 December Sagittarius
22 December – 20 January Capricorn
21 January – 19 February Aquarius
20 February – 20 March Pisces

You can find lots more spiritual information about your place and date of birth by filling in a birth chart, also known as a natal chart or astrology chart. There are lots of other details to discover, such as your ruling planet, that could mean something to you.

The history of star signs

Venice Timepiece

The zodiac is a ring-shaped section of the sky containing the celestial, the path that the sun appears to follow from our perspective on Earth. Over 3,000 years ago, the Babylonians split the zodiac into twelve 30° segments and named each one after a constellation the sun appeared to pass through within it. These were the astrological signs, also known as signs of the zodiac, sun signs, or star signs.11

It was originally the case that a person would be assigned a star sign based on the constellation they were "born under". If the sun was aligned with Scorpius when you entered the world, your star sign would be Scorpio. As each zodiac segment was equal, each star sign "lasted" for around 30 days.

However, someone born under Scorpius today would usually be classed as a Sagittarius. This is because the dates associated with the star signs around 2,000 years ago did not keep up with precession. This is a gradual movement of the Earth's rotational axis over time, which changes the sun's perceived position in relation to the zodiac constellations. 12

Have star signs changed?

Lion Starsign Globe

Due to the process of precession discussed above, which means traditional star sign dates no longer correspond with the constellations in the sky, some people have adopted a new astrological system. This aims to give people star signs that more accurately represent the constellation they were born under and means some star signs have "changed".

In this modern system, the zodiac is split into thirteen rather than twelve signs. This is due to the inclusion of Ophiuchus, a constellation that aligns with the sun in-between Scorpius and Sagittarius. Ancient civilisations knew this constellation existed, but it's theorised they ignored it so the zodiac could be more neatly split into twelve.11

The dates the sun aligns with these constellations will not be affected by precession in our lifetimes because the movement is so gradual. However, they can shift by a day due to the Gregorian calendar's use of leap years. For example, the sun entered Taurus on 14 May in 2017, 2018, and 2019 but on 13 May in 2020. 13

If you were born on a "border" date, you can consult an astrological calendar for the year to gain an accurate understanding of which zodiac constellation you were born under. However, the average dates can be found below14 and will help most people find their "real" star sign:

Birth date Sun is aligned with "Real" star sign Traditional star sign
18 December – 18 January Sagittarius Sagittarius Sagittarius/Capricorn
19 January – 15 February Capricornus Capricorn Capricorn/Aquarius
16 February – 11 March Aquarius Aquarius Aquarius/Pisces
12 March – 18 April Pisces Pisces Pisces/Aries
19 April – 13 May Aries Aries Aries/Taurus
14 May – 19 June Taurus Taurus Taurus/Gemini
20 June – 20 July Gemini Gemini Gemini/Cancer
21 July – 9 August Cancer Cancer Cancer/Leo
10 August – 15 September Leo Leo Leo/Virgo
16 September – 30 October Virgo Virgo Virgo/Libra/Scorpio
31 October – 22 November Libra Libra Scorpio
23 November – 29 November Scorpius Scorpio Sagittarius
30 November – 17 December Ophiuchus Ophiuchus Sagittarius

What is star sign jewellery?

Aries Constellation

Star sign jewellery (which may also be called zodiac, horoscope, or astrology jewellery) is jewellery that represents a star sign in any number of ways.

The name of the astrological sign may be written out, but it's more common for it to be depicted, sometimes in the form of the zodiac glyph or constellation. You can also find symbols relating to the zodiac elements and other astrological qualities.

Birthstones are also used to symbolise the star sign that predominantly falls within the month.

You can find star sign jewellery related to other astrological systems too. For example, in the Chinese zodiac, your year of birth can be represented by an animal such as a monkey or horse.

Capricorn

Capricorn and Aquarius Constellation

AKA The Goat
Traditional dates 22 December – 19 January
"Real" dates 19 January – 15 February
Zodiac element Earth
Commonly depicted as A horned goat or mythical half goat, half fish creature.
Zodiac glyph ♑︎
Constellation Capricornus
Birthstone Garnet (dark red) or rose quartz
Traits15

Strengths: Responsible, disciplined, self-control

Weaknesses: Know-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, pessimistic

Aquarius

Aquarius Constellation
AKA The Water-Bearer
Traditional dates 21 January – 19 February
"Real" dates 16 February – 11 March
Zodiac element Air
Commonly depicted as A water urn or a person emptying a water urn
Zodiac glyph ♒︎
Constellation Aquarius
Birthstone Amethyst (purple) or amber
Traits15

Strengths: Progressive, original, independent, humanitarian

Weaknesses: Runs from emotional expression, temperamental, uncompromising, aloof

Pisces

Capricorn and Aquarius Constellation
AKA The Fish
Traditional dates 20 February – 20 March
"Real" dates 12 March – 18 April
Zodiac element Water
Commonly depicted as Two fish, often in a 'yin and yang' position
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Pisces
Birthstone Aquamarine (pale blue) or jade
Traits15

Strengths: Compassionate, artistic, intuitive, gentle, wise, musical

Weaknesses: Fearful, overly trusting, sad, desire to escape reality, victimhood

Aries

Aries Constellation
AKA The Ram
Traditional dates 21 March – 20 April
"Real" dates 19 April – 13 May
Zodiac element Fire
Commonly depicted as A ram
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Aries
Birthstone Diamond (colourless) or clear quartz/rock crystal
Traits15

Strengths: Courageous, determined, confident, enthusiastic, optimistic, honest, passionate

Weaknesses: Impatient, moody, short-tempered, impulsive, aggressive

Taurus

Taurus Constellation
AKA The Bull
Traditional dates 21 April – 20 May
"Real" dates 14 May – 19 June
Zodiac element Earth
Commonly depicted as A bull
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Taurus
Birthstone Emerald (bright green) or chrysoprase
Traits15

Strengths: Reliable, patient, practical, devoted, responsible, stable

Weaknesses: Stubborn, possessive, uncompromising

Gemini

Gemini Constellation
AKA The Twins
Traditional dates 21 May – 21 June
"Real" dates 20 June – 20 July
Zodiac element Air
Commonly depicted as Human twins
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Gemini
Birthstone Pearl (cream) or moonstone
Traits15

Strengths: Gentle, affectionate, curious, adaptable, quick learner

Weaknesses: Nervous, inconsistent, indecisive

Cancer

Cancer Constellation
AKA The Crab
Traditional dates 22 June – 22 July
"Real" dates 21 July – 9 August
Zodiac element Water
Commonly depicted as A crab
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Cancer
Birthstone Ruby (red) or carnelian
Traits15

Strengths: Tenacious, imaginative, loyal, emotional, sympathetic, persuasive

Weaknesses: Moody, pessimistic, suspicious, manipulative, insecure

Leo

Leo Constellation
AKA The Lion
Traditional dates 23 July – 22 August
"Real" dates 10 August – 15 September
Zodiac element Fire
Commonly depicted as A lion
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Leo
Birthstone Peridot (pale green) or spinel
Traits15

Strengths: Creative, passionate, generous, warm-hearted, cheerful, humorous

Weaknesses: Arrogant, stubborn, self-centred, lazy, inflexible

Virgo

Virgo Constellation
AKA The Maiden
Traditional dates 23 August – 21 September
"Real" dates 16 September – 30 October
Zodiac element Earth
Commonly depicted as A woman with flowing hair
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Virgo
Birthstone Sapphire (deep blue) or lapis lazuli
Traits15

Strengths: Loyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, practical

Weaknesses: Shyness, worry, overly critical of self and others, all work and no play

Libra

Aquarius Constellation
AKA The Scales
Traditional dates 22 September – 22 October
"Real" dates 31 October – 22 November
Zodiac element Air
Commonly depicted as Balance scales
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Libra
Birthstone Opal (variegated) or pink tourmaline
Traits15

Strengths: Cooperative, diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, social

Weaknesses: Indecisive, non-confrontational, will carry a grudge, self-pitying

Scorpio

Scorpio and Libra Constellations
AKA The Scales
Traditional dates 23 October – 22 November
"Real" dates 23 November – 29 November
Zodiac element Water
Commonly depicted as A scorpion
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Scorpius
Birthstone Topaz (yellow) or citrine
Traits15

Strengths: Resourceful, brave, passionate, stubborn, loyal

Weaknesses: Distrusting, jealous, secretive, violent

Sagittarius

Sagittarius Constellation
AKA The Archer
Traditional dates 23 November – 21 December
"Real" dates 18 December – 18 January
Zodiac element Fire
Commonly depicted as A centaur holding a bow and arrow
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Sagittarius
Birthstone Tanzanite (sky blue) or blue topaz
Traits15

Strengths: Generous, idealistic, humorous

Weaknesses: Overpromises, impatient, tactless in speech

Ophiuchus

Ochiuchus Constellation
AKA The Serpent-Bearer
Traditional dates N/A
"Real" dates 30 November – 17 December
Zodiac element N/A
Commonly depicted as A man grasping a snake
Zodiac glyph
Constellation Ophiuchus
Birthstone Tanzanite (sky blue) or blue topaz
Traits Often considered to be a blend between Sagittarius and Capricorn

Birthday jewellery that means more

Wearing jewellery connected to your birth date can be more meaningful. You can find pieces that speak to you in our online jewellery store or by visiting your nearest H&T branch.

Birthstone jewellery and zodiac jewellery also make thoughtful gifts for loved ones' birthdays or other occasions. Explore rings, necklaces and chains, pendants, earrings, chains, bracelets, bangles, body jewellery for women, men and children today. As our pieces are pre-loved, you can get high quality at an affordable price. You may also be interested in birthday age jewellery.

Sources

1 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/sep/05/brith-month-career-research

2 https://time.com/4741094/season-birth-personality/

3 https://academic.oup.com/jamia/article/22/5/1042/930268

4 https://www.naj.co.uk/birthstones

5 https://www.gia.edu/UK-EN/birthstones

6 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5abGjJ54mSoC&pg=PA69

7 https://www.britannica.com/art/Chinese-jade

8 https://www.rct.uk/collection/31701/the-imperial-state-crown

9 https://archive.org/details/b24855893/page/248/mode/2up

10 https://www.tiffany.co.uk/world-of-tiffany/dazzling-discoveries/

11 https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/starfinder2/en/

12 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12207811

13 https://www.universalworkshop.com/astronomical-calendar-any-year/

14 https://www.ips-planetarium.org/page/a_shapiro1977

15 https://www.astrology-zodiac-signs.com/