"Let January's maiden be All Garnet gemmed with Constancy." Garnets are most commonly red but also brown, orange and green varieties exist. Often they are found in conjunction with diamond and come from South Africa, Brazil and Sri Lanka. Derived from the Latin word Garnet refers to a possible resemblance to the seeds of the pomegranite. Fine stones have an unblemished transparency and glow like a smouldering fire. Indeed there is a legend that Noah used a garnet to light the Ark! During the Middle Ages Garnets were thought to be a remedy against fever and illness and in India too it was thought to have preventative powers, worn as an amulet to protect against plague and lightening. The qualities associated with Garnet include friendship and power as well as happiness and success due to constancy in the case of marriage.
February - "In fitful February, it's a verity That the Amethyst denotes Sincerity." Amethyst is the lilac to purple variety of quartz. It is found in Sri Lanka, South America and the USA. Mythology has it that the amethyst inspires a love of fairness, a sense of duty and a devotion to high ideals. Hence for hundreds of years it has been used in ecclesiastical rings and is still worn by Bishops. Likewise it is a stone of royalty in England being first worn by Edward the Confessor in the eleventh century. Amethyst was said to be Saint Valentine's favourite stone, his ring being engraved with a cupid. Hence amethyst became a popular token for lovers. The name amethyst comes from the Greek meaning "not drunken". The qualities of amethyst are said to be serenity & authority.
March - "But oh what shall a March maid do? Wear an Aquamarine Brave and True." The literal interpretation of aquamarine is "sea-water", descriptive of its soft sea-blue or green colour. It is a variety of beryl and comes from Russia, Brazil, USA and Burma. The spirit of hope and the promise of better things to come are the ancient associations with its mystic powers. It is also known as the stone of eternal youth and is regarded as a lucky gem. In the Middle Ages it was known as the "magic mirror" and was used for telling fortunes and answering questions about the future. Aquamarine was also worn as an amulet to guard against harm and gained a reputation as the "stone of safety". Aquamarine has the qualities of happiness, everlasting love and courage attributed to it.
April - "The April girl has a brave defence The Diamond guards her Innocence." The diamond is a cubic system crystal of pure carbon. It is found in India, Brazil, South Africa, Canada & Russia. Diamonds are unique as they are the hardest natural substance known to man and exhibit remarkable transparency. Diamonds were known to early civilisations and the term adamantine is used to describe their unique brilliant lustre. This is derived from the Greek word "adamas" meaning unconquerable, from which diamond also takes its name. In the Middle Ages diamond was thought to be a protection against the plague. Apparently Queen Elizabeth I were one on her bosom to guard against infection. Diamonds have the legendary power of protecting the wearer against evil, especially when worn on the left side. This may well have been another reason when Maximnillian of Hapsburg became the first person to give his fiancee, Mary of Burgundy, a diamond engagement ring in 1477. Indeed there is the belief that a gift of a diamond "quickens the affection and restores love between husband and wife".