Birthstones are gemstones that symbolize the months of the year. Birthstones hold unique qualities and energies believed to benefit people born in the respective month. The tradition surrounding birthstones suggests that wearing your birthstone can bring positive energy and spiritual connection.
The concept of birthstones traces back to the biblical story of Aaron in the book of Exodus. Aaron was a Jewish high priest who wore a breastplate featuring 12 unique stones representing the tribes of Israel. Birthstone beliefs initially encouraged wearers to adorn themselves with all 12 stones. However, modern culture has evolved to view birthstones as unique stones that symbolize the wearer’s birth.
Traditional and modern birthstones diverge in terms of their historical contexts and the folklore supporting the meaning behind each stone. The main difference is that modern stones are retail commodities that the Jewelers of America standardized in 1912. Each stone is demarcated with distinguishing properties that correlate to the months of the year.
Birthstones extend beyond the standard monthly jewelry list to include other cultures and beliefs. For example, the energy and traits associated with each zodiac sign connect to gemstones that represent the sun’s position at birth. Birthstones branch out further to include Hindu astrology and Rashi stones. Rashi stones, or natal stones, are gemstones that represent a person’s moon and sun sign in astrology.
Despite beliefs surrounding birthstones originating from religion, they do not supplement any religious belief system but rather coexist with them. Birthstones protect your energies and exacerbate your strengths, not subvert religion or tout evil. Birthstones enhance the greatest qualities of your birth month. Wearing your birthstone is believed to permeate positive energy that generates spiritual connectivity.
The following chart showcases each month’s birthstone.
|Birthstones by month
|Aquamarine and bloodstone
|Pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite
|Peridot, spinel, and sardonyx
|Opal and tourmaline
|Topaz and citrine
|Turquoise, zircon, and tanzanite
Below, we examine each month’s birthstone meaning, qualities, and purpose according to your birth month.
The January birthstone is a dark red garnet crystal. Red garnet’s name comes from the Latin granatus, meaning seed, which references the pomegranate seeds from the story of Persephone and Hades. Garnet means the wearer is imbued with protection, vitality, and well-being.
The January birthstone as garnet originates in traditional birthstone lists dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. For example, crusaders and explorers often carried garnet stones to ward off evil and guide them through nights. The modern interpretation of the January birthstone promotes safety, calm, and good spirits for those who wear garnet gems. People born in January wear garnet to show their birth month or to ground themselves in positive energies.
The February birthstone is the violet amethyst gemstone. Amethyst symbolizes peace, courage, and stability. Those born in February will feel a strong sense of calm and courage around the February birthstone. Amethyst’s name is derived from the ancient Greek word amethystos, which translates to not drunk. The Greeks believed that amethyst would ward off drunkenness if worn while imbibing. They would go as far as to craft drinking vessels from amethyst to prevent intoxication.
The protective qualities of amethyst stem beyond the mythology and societal practices of the Greeks and continue to represent protection against overindulgence and spiritual misfortunes. Traditional February birthstone lists use pearl, hyacinth, and amethyst; however, modern birthstone lists feature the singular amethyst for February. Amethyst continues to be cherished in contemporary times for its stunning color and the peace it bestows upon its wearer, gracefully bridging the gap between ancient traditions and modern aesthetic appreciation.
March birthstone options consist of aquamarine and bloodstone. The March birthstones embody a harmonious balance, intertwining the calm, endless expanses of the sea with the bold, vigorous essence of vitality. Each March birthstone offers a unique purpose and meaning. Firstly, the March birthstone aquamarine stems from the Latin aqua marinus, translating to “water of the sea.” The dazzling blue and blue-green hues are reminiscent of tranquil seawaters. The aquamarine gemstone was believed to offer ancient sailors protection and guarantee safe voyages across stormy seas.
Secondly, the March birthstone bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, originates from the Greek words helio, which means “sun,” and trepein, which means “to turn.” Bloodstone is a dark green jasper, speckled with vivid red spots of iron oxide, and was reputed in ancient times to turn the sun red when placed in water. Bloodstone is heralded for its protective and healing properties and has a historic use as an amulet in battle and to enhance circulation in medicinal practices.
The April birthstone is the diamond. April’s diamond birthstone is revered throughout history for symbolizing everlasting love, strength, and invincibility. The term diamond originates from the ancient Greek word adámas, meaning “invincible” or “unbreakable,” showcasing the gem’s superior hardness and durability. Diamonds are found in various colors, including yellow, blue, and black—the variation in hue results from the presence of different trace elements during their formation.
Diamonds have historically been used in various tools and weapons due to their hardness. Thanks to their unparalleled hardness, modern practices use diamonds in industrial applications for cutting, grinding, and drilling. However, the diamond’s main purpose in society carries a symbolic weight in engagement rings, representing pure and eternal love. The sparkling diamond is cherished for its metaphysical qualities of bringing clarity, balance, and abundance to those who wear it. Those born in April find a resilient ally in their birthstone, possessing a timeless beauty that has captivated humanity throughout the ages.
The May birthstone is a green emerald. Emerald is a beacon of lush vitality and enduring elegance that has enchanted individuals since antiquity. The emerald name stems from the ancient Greek word smaragdos, which translates to green gem. Emeralds are revered because they are embedded in many traditions and applications. For example, ancient Egyptians associated them with fertility and rebirth, utilizing emeralds in jewelry and burial artifacts for pharaohs. Additionally, emeralds have symbolized love, hope, and renewal.
In contemporary usage, emeralds continue to be sought-after in jewelry design, providing a timeless aesthetic conveying richness and a serene quality. Not only utilized for its stunning visual appeal, but the emerald is also often related to qualities such as foresight, prosperity, and wellness, providing a symbolic depth that enriches its physical beauty. Emeralds intertwine historical significance with contemporary appeal, making it a cherished gemstone for those born in the vibrant month of May.
June’s birthstones include pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite. The first June birthstone option is pearl. Pearls are created in freshwater mollusks and saltwater oysters. The name in Latin, “perna,” translates to “leg,” referencing the leg-of-mutton shape of a mollusk shell. The pearl birthstone symbolizes purity and offers protection. Pearls are cherished for their elegance and are prized in jewelry and fashion.
The second June birthstone is a moonstone. Moonstone is named for its resemblance to the moon’s ethereal glow and is believed in various cultures to bring good fortune and enhance intuition. Moonstone’s blue and white sheen is incorporated into jewelry, and the stone is esteemed for its association with love, passion, and fertility.
The third June birthstone is alexandrite, named after Russian Tsar Alexander II. Alexandrite is sought after for its chameleon-like ability to shift colors from green in daylight to red under incandescent light. The stone is thought to bring luck and is used in high-quality jewelry and as a potent talisman. People born in June are bestowed with a trifecta of gems, each with distinct narratives, colors, and spiritual attributes, offering a versatile and vibrant selection to express their personality and beliefs.
The July birthstone is ruby. A ruby is emblematic of passion and prosperity. Individuals born in July resonate with this fiery gem and experience a surge of vitality and enthusiasm in its presence. The name “ruby” traces its etymology to the Latin word “ruber,” which means red. A ruby showcases an intense crimson shade, sometimes with hints of pink.
This gemstone is historically believed to have the power to warn its owner of coming misfortunes, thereby offering protection. The ruby’s vibrant hue and symbolic richness render it not only a way to celebrate someone’s birth month but it’s a sought-after gem in fashion and jewelry, connecting age-old legends with present-day elegance.
The August birthstones consist of peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. The first August birthstone is peridot. Peridot’s name is derived from the Arabic word “faridat,” meaning gem. The precious stone has a signature olive-green hue and is believed to ward off evil spirits to bring harmony.
The second August gemstone is spinel. Spinel’s name stems from the Latin “spina” for spine or thorn. Spinel is found in many colors, from red to violet, offering the wearer peace. The third August birthstone is sardonyx. Sardonyx is a layered stone with white and brownish-red bands. Sardonyx can be traced back to antiquity when it was believed to bestow courage upon its wearers. The three August birthstones celebrate courageous energy and link historical reverence with contemporary admiration.
The September birthstone is sapphire. Sapphire symbolizes knowledge, loyalty, and nobility. The name “sapphire” originates from the Latin word “sapphirus” and the Greek word “sappheiros,” which translates to “blue.” Despite the name’s translation, sapphire comes in various colors, except red.
Throughout history, this stone was worn by royalty and clergy as a defense against harm and to attract divine favor. Sapphires were prized for their protective qualities against poison, evil spirits, and other malevolent forces. While modern birthstone charts predominantly feature the blue sapphire for September, its allure goes beyond the captivating color. Sapphires allure individuals with their radiance and symbolism, elegantly uniting age-old traditions with present-day appreciation.
October birthstone choices include opal and tourmaline. People born in October resonate with the shimmering hues and feelings of hope, faith, and compassion from each stone. Each October birthstone is charged with its energies and meaning. Firstly, the name opal is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word upala, meaning “precious stone,” and the Greek word opallios, which translates to “color change.” Opals are worn as talismans of protection against evil.
Secondly, the October birthstone tourmaline originates in the Sinhalese term turmali, a label given to all colored crystals on the island of Sri Lanka. Tourmalines are a guard against dangers and are worn to offer protection. People born in October should wear tourmaline to meditate and inspire positive energies.
November birthstone options consist of topaz and citrine gemstones. Individuals born in November are drawn to the warm glow of the topaz and citrine stones, which inspire feelings of joy, clarity, and resilience. Each November birthstone features unique qualities and histories that resonate with the wearer.
Firstly, the name topaz originates from the ancient Greek Topazios, which comes from the island in the Red Sea, where the stone is believed to have first been found. Topaz is thought to offer protection and happiness because it can cool boiling water, similar to quelling the bubbling anger within. Secondly, the November birthstone citrine comes from the French word citron, meaning “lemon,” because of the stone’s lemon-yellow color. Citrine is celebrated as a “merchant’s stone” because folklore traditions believe it attracts wealth and prosperity.
The December birthstone representation consists of turquoise, zircon, and tanzanite. People born in December use their birthstones to evoke tranquility, wisdom, and optimism. Each December birthstone has a separate meaning and purpose that adds to the allure and mystique. Firstly, the December birthstone turquoise is derived from the French term pierre turquoise, meaning “Turkish Stone,” because of a belief that it came to Europe through Turkey. Turquoise represents friendship and positive interactions.
Secondly, zircon comes from the Persian word zargun, which translates to golden or gold-colored. The zircon stone aids in meditation, spiritual prosperity, and metaphysical connectivity. Thirdly, the December birthstone tanzanite is the newest and was named after Tanzania, where it was discovered. Tanzanite is revered for its mesmerizing blue-violet shade, representing calm and spiritual illumination.
What is the history of birthstones?
The history of birthstones dates back to the biblical book of Exodus, and 12 stones represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Exodus describes a period when Moses was in power, and a high priest named Aaron wore an intricate garment adorned with 12 jewels. Each jewel held a significant purpose as they were inscribed with the names of the 12 Israeli tribes.
It wasn’t until the 1st century that a Jewish historian named Flavius Josephus studied the story of Aaron and believed that the plate was a remnant of God’s throne, imbuing the plate with divine powers. Josephus further linked the 12 stones to the astrological zodiac signs. Birthstones remained part of cultural practices throughout antiquity, where birthstones held healing and talismanic properties.
The practice of wearing a single stone for the month you were born dates back to the 16th century, according to the Gemological Institute of America. Modern interpretations of birthstone practices came into popularity in 1912. The American National Association of Jewelers, now called Jewelers of America, officiated the list of birthstones that correspond to each month, with an official list being written in Kansas, known colloquially as the Kansas List.
What is the difference between traditional and modern birthstones?
The main difference between traditional and modern birthstones is the stones’ transparency and manufacturing processes. Modern stones are more transparent than traditional birthstones because such stones can be manufactured in a higher volume. Traditional birthstones were highly sought after, but only a small percentage of the population could afford to buy expensive stones. Modern industrial manufacturing makes it possible to create many birthstones’ derivatives of quartz. Quartz is a mineral that makes many modern birthstones, such as amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, and the tiger eye.
Comparatively, traditional birthstones were excavated from natural resources and imported worldwide. Therefore, location influenced the availability of traditional birthstones, namely opals, lapus lazuli, and topaz. The modern birthstone list was created to promote specific gemstones monthly in the jewelry industry. The commodification of modern birthstones thus branded it as a marketing tool widely used in the retail jewelry industry, making it far more affordable.
Why do some months have multiple birthstones?
There are two main reasons why some months have multiple birthstones. Firstly, some months have multiple birthstones due to the influence of the month and their zodiac sign. The stone representing their month and zodiac signs that crossover in each month will sometimes differ. For example, the January birthstone is garnet; however, the Aquarius zodiac sign features January birthdays and corresponds to amethyst. Secondly, months have multiple birthstones because jewelers wanted more affordable options alongside expensive stones. A more affordable variety of birthstones means more people wear them, and jewelers sell more products.
What are birthday stones?
Birthday stones are gemstones for each day of the week. Birthday stones offer more nuance to the energies encoded in your birth time than the general birthstones by month. You should use your birthstone and birthday stone for manifesting, meditation, or everyday use. The combination of gem energies will amplify your strengths and positive energy to which the universe responds well.
Remember, the energy you send out is the energy that the universe returns to you in equal measure. For example, Sunday has a birthday stone, while July has a birthstone. The birthday stone for Sunday is topaz, and the common birthstone for July is ruby. The July ruby birthstone is full of energy, passion, and vitality, stimulating the heart chakra and supporting love and courage. The topaz birthday stone invokes calmness, communication, and self-expression. Blue topaz, in particular, is linked to clarity and emotional balance. Therefore, someone born on Sunday in July best suits ruby and topaz gemstones.
What do the zodiac birthstones mean?
Zodiac birthstones are the gemstone that embodies the attributes of each astrological sign. Below is a list of each zodiac’s gemstone and its meaning.
- Aries: The Aries zodiac birthstone is a diamond. The diamond represents strength, purity, and invincibility, which correlate to Aries’s authoritative nature. Aries are the conquerors of the zodiac signs who stop at nothing to attain their goals. A diamond is renowned for its magnetism and power. Therefore, it will enhance Aries’ natural leadership qualities and promote courage and determination.
- Taurus: The Taurus zodiac birthstone is emerald. Emerald symbolizes love, fertility, and abundance, strengthening Taurus’s compassion, beauty, and wisdom. Venus rules Taurus and prospers from the finer things in life. Wearing an emerald will attract love, abundance, and beauty into their lives.
- Gemini: Gemini’s birthstone is the pearl. The pearl represents wisdom, purity, and intuition. Gemini will benefit from a pearl because it boosts their communication skills and adaptability.
- Cancer: Cancer’s zodiac birthstone is ruby. Ruby symbolizes love, passion, and protection. Cancers are naturally nurturing, compassionate, and romantic individuals, and their energy can quickly tire from absorbing the emotions in their environment. Therefore, rubies will protect their love and give them sustained emotional energy to prevent burnout and isolation.
- Leo: Leo’s zodiac birthstone is peridot. Peridot represents positive energy, growth, and abundance, amplifying the confidence and creativity of Leo individuals. Leos are renowned for their charisma and holding center stage. A peridot birthstone will expound Leo’s poise and presence, captivating people’s attention wherever they go.
- Virgo: The Virgo birthstone is sapphire. Sapphire symbolizes wisdom, loyalty, and inner peace. Although Virgos are highly disciplined, it takes a lot for them to control their emotions. A sapphire will mitigate nervousness or anxiety while enhancing their analytical and organizational skills.
- Libra: Libra’s zodiac birthstone is opal. Opal represents balance, harmony, and love, strengthening Libra’s judiciousness, discernment, and self-confidence. Libras match energy and respond to other people’s body language, which confuses their sense of self. Therefore, an opal birthstone will maintain its identity and individuality.
- Scorpio: The Scorpio birthstone is topaz. Topaz symbolizes passion, strength, and protection. The topaz birthstone is particularly important for Scorpios because it enriches their magnetism, allure, and enchantment. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, the planet of destruction and rebirth, and Scorpios are constantly rediscovering themselves throughout their lives. Topaz will protect them from malevolent energies and strengthen their inner compass.
- Sagittarius: The Sagittarius zodiac birthstone is tanzanite. Tanzanite symbolizes enlightenment, intuition, and authenticity, resonating deeply with Sagittarius’ exploratory and philosophical spirit. Tanzanite’s unique color and properties encourage Sagittarians to embrace their journey with open-mindedness and clarity, ensuring each adventure they embark on is enriched with profound insights and personal growth.
- Capricorn: Capricorn’s zodiac stone is garnet. Garnet embodies commitment, success, and strength. Similarly, Capricorns are business-oriented and highly focused individuals who forge their path to success. Many Capricorns are self-made, so carrying the garnet gemstone will illuminate the road to their goals.
- Aquarius: The Aquarius birthstone is amethyst. Amethyst represents clarity, intuition, and spiritual growth, promoting Aquarius individuals’ humanitarian and innovative qualities. Aquarians are the innovators of the astrological signs who level up in life through humanitarian or environmental endeavors. Therefore, an amethyst birthstone will protect their energies and renew their foresight and spirituality.
- Pisces: The Pisces birthstone is aquamarine. Aquamarine symbolizes peace, intuition, and creativity. Pisces distinguishes between fantasy and reality because Neptune, the planet of mysticism and idealism, rules them. An aquamarine birthstone will encourage their creativity and artistic impulses while preventing disillusionment.
Traditional birthstones and zodiac stones exist separately but merge within a person’s personal beliefs surrounding gemstones. Zodiac signs connect with a person’s birth, and the corresponding stones subsequently relate to those dates. Each astrological sign has a birthstone that enumerates their traits and characteristics, working to strengthen their unique gifts. Familiarise yourself with the properties of your astrological gemstone to learn how it enhances the attributes of your zodiac.
What are the Hindu birthstones by month?
Hindu birthstones are gemstones associated with each of the 12 astrological signs in the Hindu zodiac. Another name for Hindu birthstones is “Rashi Stones” or “Zodiac Stones.” These stones bring luck, protection, and positive vibrations for those born under a particular zodiac sign. Below are the 12 Hindu birthstones by month, the deities associated with them, and their Sanskrit names.
- Mesha and ruby: Mesha represents Aries and the ruby gemstone, or Manik. Ruby is associated with passion, courage, and vitality, enhancing the passion and perseverance of Aries individuals.
- Vrishabha and diamond: Vrishabha is assigned to Taurus and is associated with diamonds or Heera. Diamonds represent love, clarity, and strength, which promotes stability and harmony for Taurus-born individuals.
- Mithuna and emerald: Mithuna represents Gemini and uses emerald, or Panna, as a symbol. Emerald is linked to intelligence, communication, and prosperity, which enhances the intellectual talents of Gemini natives.
- Karka and pearl: Karka is the deity associated with Cancer and pearl, or Moti. Pearl symbolizes purity, emotional balance, and intuition, promoting Cancerians’ emotional well-being.
- Simha and ruby: Simha represents the Leo zodiac and the ruby gem, Manik. Leo individuals find that rubies are natural people magnets, supporting their confidence and warmth.
- Kanya and emerald: Kanya is the deity that corresponds with Virgo and emerald, or Panna. Emerald is best-suited for Virgos, who are analytical and precise. Virgo-born individuals will find their judgment sharper and wit quicker when wearing emeralds.
- Tula and diamond: Tula relates to the Libra zodiac and the diamond, or Heera. Libra individuals are connected to the diamond birthstone, which enhances their sense of harmony and balance.
- Vrischika and coral: Vrischika is the Scorpio deity associated with coral or Moonga. Coral represents courage, protection, and strength, complementing Scorpio’s intense and passionate nature.
- Dhanu and yellow sapphire: Dhanu corresponds with Sagittarius and yellow sapphire, or Pukhraj. Yellow sapphire represents wisdom, prosperity, and luck, which is great for Sagittarians who are natural go-getters and adventurers.
- Makara and blue sapphire: Makara relates to the Capricorn zodiac and blue sapphire, or Neelam. Blue sapphire signifies discipline, focus, and determination, which aids Capricorn individuals in achieving their goals.
- Kumbha and amethyst: Kumbha is the Aquarius deity symbolized by the amethyst birthstone or Kataila. Amethyst is linked to spirituality, intuition, and peace of mind, guiding Aquarians to their higher purpose while supporting their individualism and intellectualism.
- Meena and topaz: Meena corresponds to the Pisces zodiac and topaz, or Pushparagam. Topaz represents creativity, compassion, and spiritual insight, which aids Pisces in their artistic pursuits and spiritual growth.
Are birthstones biblical?
No, birthstones are not explicitly biblical. The modern concept of birthstones and wearing birthstones by month was popularized in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers or Jewelers of America. However, the foundation for 12 birthstones came from biblical references. The Book of Exodus contains the Bible’s most eminent reference to gemstones. The High priest, Aaron, wears twelve gemstones on his ceremonial attire, representing the twelve tribes in Israel. However, no association was established between the type of stone and the month of the year. This link was later augmented during the 1st century CE when Flavius Josephus examined Aaron’s ceremonial breastplate and identified a link between the stones and the months of the year.
Are birthstones evil?
No, birthstones are not evil. Birthstones are vessels for vibrant spiritual energy, and that energy leads some people to question the potential for evil. Belief systems that reject pagan practices question the use of birthstones because of idolatry or interfering with their religious teachings. For example, using a birthstone as a spiritual tool for evil or malevolent purposes while effacing God’s authority is perceived as an evil intention by Christian practices. However, the evil intentions stem from the person, not the birthstone itself.
Birthstones are inscribed with positive energy, making it nearly impossible to corrupt the stone, and they are designed to protect against evil energy, not weaponize energy for evil. Each stone is imbued with special properties that correlate to a specific month, and using the birthstone of the month you’re born will purify and strengthen your energy. Your birthstone is not an evil object, nor does it subvert any religion’s power.
Does your birthstone impact your personality?
Yes, your birthstone impacts your personality by implying or suggesting personality traits. Suggesting the attributes of a person’s personality emboldens them with the belief their personality is predetermined. Beliefs surrounding birthstones suggest beneficial elements are resonating within them that strengthen your positive attributes. Birthstones are not run-of-the-mill gemstones because they’re designed to enhance your energy. Each birthstone correlates to some aspect of your personality. Different gemstones have unique vibrational frequencies that positively affect your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Each of these aspects interplays to form your personality.
Are there benefits to wearing birthstones?
Yes, there are three primary benefits to wearing birthstones. Firstly, birthstones are thought to bring luck because they amplify your manifestations. Your dreams and goals are imbedded with positive energy that advances your manifestations. Birthstones are like the booster shot that helps you attain your manifestations faster.
Secondly, birthstones transfer positive energy to your immediate environment. Birthstones ward off negative energy and purify the energetic fields in different environments. Therefore, your birthstone will protect your positive vibrations and emit these into your space. Wearing birthstones as necklaces, pendants, or bracelets ensures they always stay with you.
Thirdly, wearing birthstones is beneficial for healing your chakras. Different birthstones contain differing energy degrees, which will target a specific chakra. For example, aquamarine birthstones carry tranquil energy to help balance your heart and sacral chakra. Start utilizing birthstones in your meditation or everyday routine to heal your chakra.
What is the rarest birthstone?
The rarest birthstone is July’s red diamond. Red diamonds form due to trace elements and structural anomalies present during the diamond’s formation, making their striking color incredibly rare. The red color’s intensity and purity make these diamonds exceptionally scarce and valuable. Red diamonds are scarcely found worldwide, and there are roughly 30 that have ever been found. The rarity of red diamonds results in careful documentation of exceptional stones. For example, the largest and most famous red diamond is the “Moussaieff Red Diamond,” which weighs approximately 5.11 carats. Due to their extreme rarity, pure red diamonds command some of the highest prices per carat in the birthstone market.
What is the most expensive birthstone?
The most expensive birthstone is Alexandrite. Alexandrite birthstones are sold for upwards of $20,000 per carat. There are three reasons for the high price of an alexandrite gemstone. Firstly, the most visually appealing alexandrite is sourced from the Ural Mountains in Russia. Russian alexandrite birthstones are esteemed for their exceptional quality and pigmentation. The Ural Mountain source has few offerings today, which increases the sparsity of alexandrite.
Secondly, alexandrite is the most expensive birthstone because of its clarity. High-quality alexandrite has minimal inclusions (internal flaws) that lessen its beauty. Hence, clean alexandrite specimens with excellent transparency are more valuable and the most expensive. Thirdly, alexandrite forms under specific geological conditions. Alexandrite requires iron and beryllium to combine with chromium without other minerals interfering. Adding another element, such as silica, causes other gems and crystals to form.