Libra Birthstones: September 24 - October 23While the number of Libra birthstones may be small, the beauty of them is stunning. Peridot and Opal are possibly the most commonly associated; but Lapis Lazuli is also favored by many. Below follows a guide to all of these, along with points of interest.
Peridot ranges in color from a bright yellow green, through to a sparkling light green. The product of volcanoes, it is especially treasured in Hawaii where legend dictates the stone to be the tears of the goddess Pele. Peridot has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, where it was believed that if the sick drank their medicine from a chalice carved from it, the effects would be intensified. It is also believed to be a symbol of persuasiveness and eloquence, and has long been a wonderful gift for Librans.
The most common of the Libra birthstones, yet devastatingly beautiful, the Opal has a proud heritage. Claimed by the Ancient Romans to be the, "King of gems", for its natural ability to hold, "all the colors of the natural world", it was also a popular adornment for young maidens through mediaeval times. The number of colors that Opals come in is many and varied; yet all of them shine and sparkle as they reflect the light in a myriad of ways. Such is the beauty of the gem; the term "opalescence" was derived from its natural phenomenon.
The Black Opal is often not black at all; being found in rich blues, deep greens and even gray tones. They often have vivid color swirls running through them, which can be as stunning as the gem itself. The White Opal has an almost silver shimmer to it, and flashes of light reflect back. It is often set in white or yellow gold; depending on the depiction of color within, and can be found quite commonly in earrings and necklaces in a traditional teardrop fashion. It is thought by many to be able to cure depression, anxiety and stress. However, for a more romantic story; that it has been thought for centuries to help its wearer to find their one true heart, makes for a wonderful gift between lovers.
The Lapis Lazuli can be traced right back to the time of the Pharaohs, and makes for something a little different. With colors varying across the board from greenish blue to almost Jet black, it is from the flashes of golden pyrite within that they get their "midnight sky" tag. A stone, rather than a mineral, the Lapis Lazuli is cut into beads and highly polished, which can be set into jewelry and intricate ornaments to create a stunning look. Possibly the most intriguing of Libra birthstones, it has also been used as a medicine, an aphrodisiac and to make ultramarine paint.
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