Is Diamond really the only April birthstone?
Diamonds often leave a trail of conflict, blood, and environmental degradation in their wake. In addition to the tragedy around them, the price of diamonds is kept high by regulating the amount of diamonds that are released to the market. Diamonds are not really as rare as we were taught to believe, and their marketing is carefully calculated to cultivate desire for the gem. Due to the ethical, moral, and financial issues with diamond, many people look for alternative to diamonds for April birthstones.
This post details each of the four alternative April birthstones:
- White Topaz
Here you will learn the geologic and metaphysical properties of each April birthstone. Some of these options come from ancient traditions and were used as April birthstones in certain cultures long before diamond. Multiple modern alternative birthstones have also been added to modern birthstone calendars for their similarity to diamond. These stones bring clear shine and sparkle at a much lower moral and financial cost.
The History of Ancient, Traditional, and Modern Birthstones
These ancient calendars have had some influence on traditional and modern birthstone calendars. In 1912 the National Association of Jewelers compiled the "traditional" birthstone calendar in an attempt to standardize the birthstone systems, as well as to provide gems that they felt were accessible to everyday Americans.
Other jewelry associations, like the American Gem Trade Association, have since developed "modern" birthstone calendars by adapting the 1912 list. Some modern calendars add more birthstone choices to some months, many of which are lower cost alternatives with visual similarities to the traditional choices. The more recently added stones are sometimes referred to as "alternative" or "secondary" birthstones, as are ancient birthstones that have nearly been forgotten. Regardless of the term, you may end up feeling more connected with alternative birthstone choices rather than your primary traditional birthstone.
Alternative April Birthstones
There are two gemstones from ancient traditions that were used as April birthstones in certain cultures long before diamond. There are also some modern alternative birthstones for April which were added for their visual similarity to diamond, bringing clear color and eye-catching sparkle at a much lower cost.
- Metaphysically, sapphire is believed to bring inner peace and serenity, and to assist with releasing unwanted thoughts and mental tension. It is thought to help release depression and frustration, while promoting self-expression. Blue sapphire specifically is associated with spiritual truth and growth.
- The Romans held this birthstone of April to be a symbol of hope and purity. Ancient Greeks believed it brought the power of foresight to it's owner. In today's metaphysical circles opal is prized for its fine vibration and it's reflective properties. It is thought to absorb and amplify ones thoughts, feelings, and characteristics, and to help bring them to the surface.
- Metaphysically white topaz is believed to help the wearer be more aware of their thoughts and actions, and the effects that these have. It is also though to help remove trapped and stagnant energy to help the wearer move forward.
- Known as the "Universal Crystal", quartz is a popular and powerful stone. Metaphysically, quartz is thought to amplify, balance, store, focus, and transmit energy. It is also a stone of clarity, and can increase inspiration and creativity. It is also useful to improve concentration and retention of knowledge. Even today the powerful vibrations of quartz crystals are used in electronics, crystal healing, and rituals.
Quartz Variety: Herkimer Diamonds
- Herkimer diamonds are considered the most powerful of quartz crystals. It is also thought to have a crystal memory that can store information, as do some other quartz crystals. This really isn't too crazy an idea considering that microchips use a component of quartz (silicon) as a semi-conductor in computer chips!