One visual sticks out when someone mentions birthstones - a thick note card with roughly polished nuggets of twelve gemstones glued below embossed gold writing. Given to me one Christmas, I remember looking for March, my own birth month, and found the medium blue, Aquamarine, next to my father's deep purple Amethyst. I love that memory and it usually conjures when someone asks for a birthstone piece, which has been rare, except in the past few years, as personalized pieces have had "birthstones" making a modernized comeback. Thought to bring good fortune to the recipient or wearer, what is traditional for each month can be different depending on each culture. If unfamiliar, here is a simple outline of a modern, widely accepted birthstone chart:
JANUARY - Garnet FEBRUARY - Amethyst MARCH - Aquamarine, Bloodstone
APRIL - Diamond MAY - Emerald JUNE - Pearl, Moonstone JULY - Ruby
AUGUST - Peridot, Spinel SEPTEMBER - Sapphire OCTOBER - Opal, Tourmaline NOVEMBER - Citrine, Topaz DECEMBER - Turquoise, Blue Topaz, Tanzanite
I encourage defying traditions when not suitable, and enjoy pointing clients towards the direction of favorite or new color palettes, mixing cuts, shapes, metal alloys and even searching the gemstone market with me to find a jewel that represents them best.
Onyx has always drawn me in, and I love to mix it with small diamonds and sapphires for high contrast details. Luckily, it's beautiful (and even common during the Art Deco period in high jewelry) when mixed with Aquamarine, my own birthstone.
Below, some highly customizable pieces.
Tiny Square Frame Studs, shown in Pink Sapphire
Permanence Duo Pendant, shown with White Sapphire and Ethiopian Opal
Inlet Band, shown in White Diamond
The Auspicious Duo Gemstone Drop Earrings shown in Black Spinel.