June birthstone. Extremely rare. Discovered in Russia (the Urals) in 1830 and named after Czar Alexander II. Alexandrite is mined primarily in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
March birthstone. Latin for "water of the sea". The most rare and desired color is dark blue. The most notable stones are found in Brazil. It can also be found in Australia, Africa, China and India and the United States.
May Birthstone. Derived from the Greek word "samaragdos", defined as "green stone". The most significant emeralds have been found in Colombia. There are fewer deposits of gem quality emeralds being found making the stone more rare and expensive.
January birthstone. Derived from the Latin for grain because of it's inner structure. Garnet is found in a variety of colors and all over the world. The most rare garnets are the green (Tsavorite) and orange (Spessartite).
October birthstone. Derived from the Sanskrit word for "stone". Most precious opal is found in Australia with recent finds also in Ethiopia. The most rare and is black opal.
June birthstone. Mollusks produce pearls by creating a substance to cover and irritant located between the inside shell and the mollusk itself. Most saltwater pearl produced today are cultured in oyster bed farms and most freshwater pearls are cultured in mussel bed farms.
August birthstone. Derived from the Arabic word "faradiat", meaning gem. First mined over 3500 years ago in Egypt it was forgotten about for centuries until around 1900. However, Peridot was found in a fallen meteorite in Siberia in 1749.
July birthstone. One of the most rare of the colored gems. Ruby is in the same family as sapphire with the only difference being the color. The "Burma" (now Myanmar)and "Siam" (now Thailand) ruby have been considered the most desirable for their rich color and purity.
September birthstone. The name comes from the Greek for "blue". Sapphire is found in a rainbow of colors. It is mined all over the world with blue being the most common and valuable.
Red Spinel is often mistaken for Ruby due to it's color and because it is often found in the same areas as ruby and sapphire. Spinel is found in a variety of colors.