This list seems to be based on the Hindu charm called the Navaratna, or nine gem. With three additional stones to equal our 12 month year, this chart was compiled by George Kunz. In his text he lists three stones that seem to elude most modern jewelers. I cannot but help to think this is a bit of humor on his part, as two of the stones are relatively common stones; listed in one case under the Tamil name, Chandrakanta, and in another under a direct translation of the Tamil name, that of course being “Serpent Stone”. The third however would be primary known to a follower of Shiva and is a variety of jasper.

For the sake of brevity it would be best to begin with the most basic explanation. This would be the one concerning the Chandrakanta, which is listed as the birthstone for February. Directly translated it means moonstone, literally that simple.

Kunz’s “Serpent Stone” is a bit more convoluted. This was considered the stone for January in Kunz's original list. Serpent Stone directly translated back into Tamil, an ancient eastern Indian language, is maniratna, which is the Tamil name for the stone we know as the diamond. This is exceptionally amusing as he also lists April's birthstone as diamond but under its more familiar, western name.

And finally March's birthstone is listed as the gold Siva-linga. A linga is a abbreviated version of lingam, and is the Hindi term for the uh.... male genitalia. Lingas are oblong jaspers tinged in brown, which are used in worship and are said to represent the lingam, especially that of the god Shiva. These stones are never cut and never used in jewelry in the east because of their sacredness. With Kunz's extensive background in folklore I have trouble believing he made this mistake accidentally.

January

Serpent's Stone (Diamond)
February

Chandrakanta
(Moonstone)
March

Gold Siva-linga
April

Diamond
May

Emerald
June

Pearl

July

Sapphire
August

Ruby
September

Zircon
October

Coral
November

Cats Eye
December

Topaz





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