GARNET - January

The etymology of the word ‘garnet’ is from the Latin word for grain because of the rounded crystals and similarity to the delicate seeds of the pomegranate.

They are associated with the ideas of love, light and vitality as in the past, it was specifically made popular amongst warriors and royalty.

In fact, garnets are not limited to how they are understood in its popular sense, where familiarity is mainly towards the red ‘carbuncle’ stones ‘pyrope’ and ‘almandine’. There also are garnets of a green hue, ‘tsavorites’ known more colloquially as ‘green garnets’. Other varieties include hassonite, grossularite and andradite.

Deposits of these wondrous minerals are found in Burma, Madagascar, India, Kenya, and of course Sri Lanka.

AMETHYST - February

Amethyst is viewed as being of the highest value in the quartz group. Humorously, the name means ‘not drunken’ in Greek as amethyst was worn as an amulet against drunkenness. The dazzling stone comes in lavender, violet and deep purple shades.

The deep purple has so often been associated with royalty, being favoured by the ruling classes and, additionally by high officials of the Christian church.

These precious stones can be found more famously in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Namibia and Uruguay.


Aquamarine - the ocean in a gemstone. Dazzling blue like the paradoxically soft and rough waves of the ocean.

The etymology of the word comes from the Latin word ‘aqua’ meaning water and ‘marina’ meaning ‘of the sea’.

Of course, as you would expect, aquamarine is believed to possess all the healing qualities of the ocean; tranquility, serenity, clarity, and harmony. As the first of the spring birthstones, the sea blue crystal represents transformation and rebirth. It embodies youthful vitality, purity, loyalty, hope, and truth.

Aquamarines are found in many parts of this Gem Island; Ratnapura, Hatton, Nawalapitiya, Matara, Galle and a large deposit was also recently mined in Opanayke in the Ratnapura district. They are also found in other parts of the world like India, Malawi, Brazil, Myanmar, Nigeria and Madagascar.


Unsurprisingly, the diamond is the most popular ring stone choice in the world. The name diamond is derived from the Greek word- ‘adamas’, meaning ‘the unconquerable’ referring to it being the hardest substance on Earth. Hence, diamonds are symbols of both everlasting strength and eternal love.

Most diamonds are colourless, however there are diamonds of special varieties that express a full range of colours. From rare reds to deep blues to warm yellows, there is a fancy coloured diamond for all preferences and occasions.

Some famous diamonds that you might be familiar with are the Tiffany, the Koh-i-Noor and the Nassak.

The main diamond producers are Russia the African continent, Canada and China. They are also additionally found in India, Russia and Indonesia.


The emerald is famous for being synonymous with the unique incomparable and distinct colour of the stone. The name derives from the Greek ‘samaragdos’, meaning ‘green stones’.

Very often, emeralds are clouded by inclusions, this isn’t so much a defect of the stone, rather an accent of endearment, characteristic of the emerald. Experts refer to these inclusions as ‘jardin’, French for ‘garden’. Truly, the green of the emerald makes the stone a garden within a garden.

Today, most emerald production originates in four source countries: Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

PEARL - June

Despite the fact that pearls are classified as gemstones, they are quite different from most gemstones. For one, they are the only gemstones to come from a living creature. They are formed by saltwater oysters, freshwater mussels, and more rarely by other shellfish.

The pearls that are of the finest quality are unblemished with colouring that is even. In this sense, because of their sheer quality, pearls are analogous with purity, honesty and wisdom. Different cultures use pearls in a variety of ways, some associate it with religion and the divine and so believe that pearls are tears shed from heaven.

Due to their gentle and subtle beauty, they are the perfect present for a loved one to convey love and tender affection.

RUBY - July

The ravishing red of the ruby is the derivative of its name, Latin, for ‘ruber’. The most desirable shade of the ruby is the so-called ‘pigeon’s blood’ which is of the purest of red with a mystical blue tinge.

Rubies are also the hardest mineral after diamonds. Multiple cultures in earlier times believed that because of the stone’s similarity to the colour of blood, the rubies held the power of life. Rubies have hence been associated with good health, wealth and success in life.

Most Sri Lankan ruby varieties are pinkish red and display a tint of purple, which is unique to its Sri Lankan origin. Ruby deposits in Sri Lanka are not distinctively localized and are found in the same mine with other gemstones of the corundum family while the stones of better quality have been often found within the Embilipitiya – Udawalawe area.

Other source countries of rubies include, but are not limited to; Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar, Tajikistan, and Zimbabwe.

PERIDOT - August

The peridot most likely derives from the Arabic word ‘faridat’, meaning ‘gem’. Historically, it was mined for over 3500 years, but they were forgotten for many centuries but were rediscovered only recently, in 1900.

Peridots in ancient times were believed to protect the wearer against the dangers of the night, and hence the lively appearance of the stone was thought to repel nighttime evil spirits.

Deposits of this stone can be found in Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan and Myanmar.

SAPPHIRES - September

The name ‘sapphire’ is from Greek, meaning ‘blue’ and used to be applied to various stones. The many colours of sapphires are distinguished by description- yellow sapphire, green sapphire, blue sapphire.

Sapphires are believed to be a gemstone that would give protection to the wearer from physical harm, bad intentions and envy. Blue sapphires in particular are considered to have spiritual value and are hence also worn by priests.

Blue sapphires and the ‘Padparadscha’ are famous in Sri Lanka while the latter meaning ‘lotus flower’ in Sanskrit is found primarily in Sri Lanka. Our Gem Island is truly a varied and invaluable hub for sapphires.

OPAL - October

The thunder-red rays of the opal are so perfectly characteristic of the stone, it is nearly impossible to mistake it for something else. The name ‘opal’ is derived from Sanskrit, meaning ‘stone’. The significant charm of these gems is their wonderful play-of-colour, an array of rainbow-like shades that change with the angle of observation.

Because of their dazzle, they are affiliated with light and magic and hence some people believe that they have healing properties, particularly for the eyes.

Opals are of three different subgroups and can be found in ,Western Australia, Ethiopia Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil.

TOPAZ - November

The etymology of the name topaz is most likely derived from an island in the Red Sea formerly known as ‘Topazos’. The brilliant hue of the blue topaz in particular has so often in many different cultures in the past been associated with wealth and prosperity.

Today, Brazil is the most important supplier. Sri Lanka, meanwhile is famous for its dazzling white topazes. Other deposits are found in Afghanistan, Australia, China, Japan, Pakistan and Namibia. The eye-catching hue is a perfect fit for a loved one- November-born or not!


The star sapphire is a very unique gemstone that is caused by a phenomenon known scientifically as,‘asterism’. This is what allows the stone to show a star that is caused by rutile fibres arranged in a three dimensional pattern naturally within the gem stone.

It is symbolic of honesty and good fortune. Hence it is believed that wearing the star sapphire will make an individual loyal and faithful. In this line of thought, the stone is also known as the ‘guardian of innocence’.

Such kind and gentle qualities that the stone is supposed to endow makes the star sapphire a very special and unique stone to gift someone! If you’re lucky enough to be born in December, you can consider yourself quite the irradiant star!