There are over 130 types of minerals that have been classed as gemstones, ranging from diamonds on down, but if we were to delve into all of them here, your clicking hand may soon tire. So we’ll focus on what many view as the most special of the gemstones – the birthstones.
Each of our calendar’s 12 months has its own birthstone. The idea of birthstones has been around for millennia. Today, some people still believe that a birthstone imbues its owner with magical powers. For other people, birthstones are simply fanciful fun. Pick yours out from the guide below, wear it around town and let us know if you develop special powers - or just get lots of new admirers.
All gemstones have a hardness rating on the Mohs scale, which was developed in 1812 by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs. The higher the rating, the tougher the gemstone; a diamond is a 10, while talc sits at a lowly 1. More fragile gems should be worn less often and handled with extra care against scratching.