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Birthstones And Birthday Flowers

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Birthstone: Garnet - The name “garnet” comes from the Roman word “granatus” meaning “seed,” as the gems were thought to resemble pomegranate seeds. Most people picture the dark red bohemian garnet that was popular in Victorian times, but you may be surprised to learn that garnets are found in every colour except blue!

Legend holds that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination. Garnets reportedly give their wearers guidance in the night and protection from nightmares.

Until the 18th century, garnets were thought to heal wounds and stop blood flow and were often worn by soldiers. They were also said to promote true love, warn of danger by changing colour, and protect the wearer’s home from fire and lightning.

Garnets are found in the U.S., Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil and India.

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Dianthus caryophyllus / Carnation

Flower Colour: White

Meaning: Pure and Deep Love, Good Luck, Women's Good Luck Gift

Vase Life: Long-Lasting

Fragrance: Spicy fragrance

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Birthstone: Amethyst - Amethyst is a variety of quartz which comes in an array of shades, ranging from pale lilac to rich purple. Ideally, it is a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes to give beauty and fire.

It has symbolized peace, protection and tranquillity. Some say it will prevent baldness and improve the complexion, as well as protect from treason and deceit. Because royalty has always adored the colour purple, amethysts abound in the ornaments of ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and in the British Crown Jewels.

It is found mainly in Brazil, Uruguay and Zambia.

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Viola spp / Violet

Flower Colour: Violet/Violeta

Meaning: Modesty, Virtue, Faithfulness

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Birthstone: Aquamarine - The aquamarine is a refreshing pastel sea blue. Clear blue stones without green or gray are generally the most valuable. It is a member of the important Beryl gem family, which also includes the emerald.

In ancient times, the stone was said to aid seafarers; thus it is an excellent gift suggestion for sailors or one who takes frequent cruises! Even today, many people who believe in the spiritual properties of gemstones wear aquamarine to give them religious and mental inspiration, provide inner calm and enhance both verbal and written communication. To dream of aquamarine signifies the making of new friends; to wear aquamarine earrings brings love and affection. It is a universal symbol of youth, hope and health.

Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar and Ukraine.

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Narcissus psedonarcissus / Daffodil, Jonquil

Flower Colour: Yellow

Meaning: Love Me, Affection Returned, Desire, Sympathy, The Sun Shines When I'm With you, Desire For Affection Returned

Vase Life: 4-6 days

Special Tips: Sap from a Narcissus is harmful to other flowers; do not recut when mixing in an arrangement.

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Birthstone: Diamond - “Diamond” comes from the Greek word “adamas”, meaning unconquerable - suggesting the eternity of love. Although thought to always be a colourless stone, diamonds are occasionally found with a strong, bright colour—green, red, pink, blue, canary yellow and amber. These “fancy” colour diamonds are highly-prized.

Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from stars, crystallized lightening or hardened dewdrops. Most are over 100 million years old, and many are over three billion years old, making diamonds the oldest of all gemstones. They are also the hardest substance known to man, made of carbon that is crystallized deep within the earth.

Diamonds are found in Australia, Russia, Botswana and South Africa

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Lathyrus odoratus / Sweet pea

Flower Colour: Pink

Meaning: Good-bye, Departure, Blissful Pleasure, Thank You For A Lovely Time

Vase Life: 3-7 days

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Birthstone: Emerald - emerald is one of the most highly-prized of all the gems. The name comes from the Greek “smaragdos”, meaning green stone. Emeralds are often characterized by a crystals trapped within, known as the “jardin” which, under magnification, resemble foliage in a garden. Stones with a "pure grass-green" colour are most prized.

According to legend, the wearing of emerald not only cured a wide range of ailments, including low IQ, poor eyesight and infertility, but also enabled the wearer to predict the future. They were mined near the Red Sea during the time of Cleopatra, who wore her emeralds lavishly.

Emeralds are found mainly in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Convallaria majalis / Lily-of-the-valley

Flower Colour: White

Meaning: Sweetness, Tears Of The Virgin Mary, Return To Happiness, Humility, You've Made my Life Complete

Vase Life: 2-6 days

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Birthstone: Pearl - pearl is the product of an oyster’s defence mechanism. When a foreign irritant is introduced either by man (cultured) or naturally, the oyster immediately surrounds it with layers of a substance called nacre. This forms the exquisite gemstone know as pearl. Pearls come in a wide range of colours, should be as perfectly round, and free from skin blemishes. The measure of a pearl's value is it's lustre and size.

Ancient mythology connected the pearl to the moon because of its soft, glowing appearance and the belief that pearls were teardrops from the moon that fell into the sea.

Ancient Chinese believed pearls had the power to perpetuate eternal youth. Even to this day, pearls are often ground and used in Chinese cosmetics to promote youthful looking skin. Pearls have been recognized as the emblem of modesty, chastity & purity, and have come to symbolize a happy marriage.

Moonstone is sometimes used as an alternative by those born in June, as it physically resembles and is less-expensive than some pearls

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Rosa / Rose

Flower Colour: Red

Meaning: Love, Respect, I Love You, Beauty Of Youth, A Heart Innocent Of Love

Vase Life: Varies greatly, 3-14 days

Fragrance: Scents vary. Most often Spicy, Musky, Fruity, or Honey-sweet

Special Tips: Cut stems diagonally under water.

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Birthstone: Ruby - The ruby has been the gem of passion and heart’s desire since the dawn of time. It is known as the “Lord of the Gems” because of its rarity and beauty. Derived from the Latin word “Tuber,” it simply means red.

Rubies' finest colour is vivid, almost pure spectral red with a very faint blue undertone (as seen in Burmese rubies).

People once believed that rubies possessed an eternally-burning inner flame. Rubies were considered the wedding stone through the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, as they were supposed to keep passion alive and promote lasting love and contentment in marriage.

The finest rubies emanate from Burma, having been mined there since ancient times. Other sources include Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Afghanistan and India.

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Deplhinium ajacis / Larkspur

Flower Colour: Pink

Meaning: Fickleness

Vase Life: 7-10 days

Special Tips: Florets shatter; handle with care

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Birthstone: Peridot - A gem variety of the mineral olivine, this wondrous stone is the product of volcanic action. Tiny peridot crystals can be combed from the black sands of the Hawaiian shoreline. Peridot should be a lively lime-green.

Favoured by pirates who believed it would glow in the dark whenever it was near buried treasure, peridot was considered a powerful amulet against all evil, and when set in gold, was said to protect the wearer from the terrors of the night.

Cleopatra was a great admirer of the stone and by Renaissance times, peridot had become a love-stone, worn to attract romance.

Originally mined on St. John's Island (also called Zebirget) in the Red Sea, today's most important source of peridot in the world is the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation near Globe, Arizona, where it is mined by native Americans. Other sources include Mexico, Norway, Kenya and Burma

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Gladiolas / Gladiolas

Flower Colour: Yellow

Meaning: Give Me A Break, I'm Really Sincere, Flower Of The Gladiators

Vase Life: 1-2 weeks

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Birthstone: Sapphire - Sapphires are especially popular in deep blue, but are found in every colour except red. Fancy colour sapphires - including pink, green, orange, and golden yellow - are magnificent when combined in a necklace or bracelet.

Ancient priests and sorcerers honoured the sapphire above all gems, for they believed it enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future and the sapphire "refused to shine" when worn by the wicked or impure.

Ancients believed the Ten Commandments were written on a sapphire tablet. Marriage partners put great faith in the stone...if its lustre dimmed, one knew his or her spouse had been unfaithful.

Sapphire is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Kashmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China and the U.S.

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Callistephus chiensis / Aster

Flower Colour: Purple

Meaning: Symbol of Love, Daintiness

Vase Life: 6-10 days

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Birthstone: Opal - White opal has a white or light body with flashes of many colours. The prized black opal is black, dark blue, dark green or gray with vivid flashes of red, pink and bright green.

The well-known Roman naturalist Pliny, described the opal as being made of the glories of the most precious gems...“the gentler fire of the ruby, the rich purple of the amethyst, the sea-green of the emerald, glittering together...” Long-known as the Wish Stone, opal is supposed to promote love and romance and to grant wishes and personal happiness.

Medieval writers believed opal could render its wearer invisible when the need arose. It was also said to have a beneficial effect on eyesight and banish evil spirits.

Opal sources are Australia, Mexico and the U.S.

Sometimes tourmaline, another multi-colour gemstone, is used as a birthstone for October, as it is not as fragile as the opal and is sometimes preferred by those who want a faceted stone.

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Calendula officinalis/Pot Marigold

Flower Colour: Orange

Meaning: Cruelty, Grief, Jealousy, Sacred Affection

Fragrance: Spicy fragrance

Special Notes : Garden flower also used in cooking and herbal remedies

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Birthstone: Topaz - The name topaz is derived from the Greek word meaning, “to shine” and also implies “fire. Most think of topaz as a transparent golden-yellow gemstone, however, this gemstone also occurs colourless, red, blue, pink, honey-brown (dark sherry), and light green.

Topaz holds the distinction of being the gemstone with the widest range of curative powers. The Greeks felt it gave them strength. In addition, it was supposed to have cooled tempers, restored sanity, cured asthma, relieved insomnia, strengthened breathing, and even warded off sudden death. Topaz is said to prove the loyalty of associates by changing colour in the presence of poison.

Topaz is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China. As it is more readily available and less expensive, citrine is often used as an alternative to topaz.

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Dendranthema morifolium/Chrysanthemum

Flower Colour: Yellow

Meaning: A Desolate Heart, Truth

Vase Life: Long-Lasting, 1-3 weeks

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Birthstone: Turquoise - The word turquoise means “Turkish stone” because the trade route to Europe came via Turkey. Colours in turquoise range from sky-blue (most desirable colour) to blue-green and apple-green.

Egyptian turquoise graced the necks of Pharaohs, and it is thought that Cleopatra ground this gemstone for eye-paint. Tutankhamen’s tomb was filled with examples of turquoise used in everything from jewellery and furniture to the great sarcophagus. During the 16th century, turquoise was used as currency by the Southwest Indians. They believed the gemstone could bring spoils to the warrior, animals to the hunter, and happiness and good fortune to all.

The best qualities are found in northeast Iran, however, the southwest United States is now the world leader in production. Blue topaz has become a popular alternative in recent years for those who prefer faceted stones

Flower Name (Botanical/Common): Narcisus tazetta/Paperwhite

Flower Colour: White

Meaning: Formality, Stay As Sweet As You Are

Special Tips: Sap secreted from a Narcissus is harmful to other flowers; do not recut when mixing in an arrangement.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05. October 2006 07:23:59 PM +0800