How to Work with Birthstones + Zodiac Stones in Jewelry: Q&A with Bario Neal about the Meaning of Birthstones + Gemstones

If you’ve been to one of Bario Neal’s Showrooms or worked with us before, you know that BN is a staff of creative people who share a passion for ethically-sourced jewelry. We love becoming part of our clients’ stories when working to craft jewelry that commemorates significant life events or their personal style. Our clients often ask us to design jewelry with birthstones or zodiac stones – or ask us if we think there is meaning to birthstones. Below we’ve shared our perspectives on zodiac and birthstones, ways clients incorporate them into jewelry, and what we typically recommend. Above all though, we always recommend trusting your instincts!

On Clients + Birthstones/ Zodiac Stones

with Sarah Rachel Brown

BN Custom Design Specialist

Do clients often come to you wanting to make jewelry with their own or a loved one’s birthstone or zodiac stone? 

SRB: Definitely! Currently, I’m working on two different custom rings that incorporate stones based on their partner/children’s birthstone.

Have you ever had clients want to use a birthstone or zodiac stone which doesn’t work with the design? If so, what do you suggest doing?

SRB: I’ve encountered this situation a few times, especially when a client is creating a cluster ring and wants to include a birthstone or zodiac stone. I often suggest burnish-setting a 1mm or 1.3mm stone on the interior of the shank so that the stone is still incorporated into the ring but the color of the stone does not compromise the overall aesthetic of the design. This option also creates this special aspect of the ring that only the wearer and giver know about. 

If a client does not like the birthstone/zodiac stone of a loved one who they would like to represent in their jewelry, what do you suggest doing?

SRB: If the client is not a fan of their birthstone or zodiac stone, I first suggest researching further because often there are multiple types of stones or colors tied to a specific birth month or zodiac sign. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, instead of incorporating a stone to represent a birth month or sign, I would opt for a special engraving on the interior of the shank. There is plenty of symbolism tied to one’s birthdate or zodiac. 

BN Staff: Thoughts on Gemstones + Zodiac Stones

What month were you born? What is your astrological sign?

Page Neal: July – Cancer

Ivy Lieberman: January – Capricorn (double Capricorn Leo rising)

Ariel Yaroslawitz: May – Taurus 

 Sarah Rachel Brown: June – Cancer

Kelsey Cunningham: September – Libra

Jenna DuBose: August – Virgo

Jenny Weger: February – Pisces

Jessa Farkas: January – Aquarius

What is your birthstone? How do you feel about it? (Do you feel any connection to it? Would you ever want to make jewelry with it?)

Rubies

Page: My birthstone is the ruby. I’ve actually always loved the vibrancy of deep red rubies, but don’t feel much of a connection to the more pink rubies. As a child, it felt very glamorous to have ruby as my birthstone, however, I don’t have any jewelry with rubies. 

Ivy: Garnet which I love. It’s especially nice that garnets come in a multitude of colors other than that traditional oxblood red color, but that is my favorite. I especially like our anthill garnets because they have such a cool back story and great deep color.

Ariel:  Emerald, I love my birthstone and feel that it brings me warmth. I have birthstone jewelry from when I was a child that I have started to wear again over the past few years. 

Sarah: Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite. I’m apathetic when it comes to birthstones, I actually had to Google what mine are. If I were going to make a birthstone piece for myself, I’d likely incorporate Alexandrite. Again, not much for birthstones so probably won’t happen. 

Kelsey: My birthstone is a blue sapphire, thank goodness because they are beautiful! I would absolutely rock some sapphires, our Sapphire Slice Studs are perfect.

Jenna: Peridot is my birthstone; however, I’ve never particularly felt a connection to the stone.

Jenny: My birthstone is amethyst. Growing up I knew that it was my birthstone, but I never really felt any strong connection to it. It seemed more like a decorative stone to put on a shelf than something I would want to wear as jewelry. 

Jessa: My birthstone is Garnet, and as a younger person I used to really dislike the dark maroon color of the stone, which reminded me of the pleather seats in taxis where I used to feel carsick (haha!). When I was a kid, and paid too much attention to “rules,” I remember even being jealous of my friends’ “cooler” brighter-colored birthstones. In the past 5 years or so, however, I’ve come around to being really into garnet’s vampy-ness. Now I lust after Bario Neal’s Lash Linear Garnet Ring.

What is your zodiac stone? How do you feel about it? Do you feel any connection to it? Would you ever want to make jewelry with it?

Page: My zodiac stone is emerald & I have always been very drawn to the color, quality, and history of emeralds. I do think they have a water quality which resonates with Cancers. I wear our Sol Emerald Octagonal Ring almost daily & love it!

Ivy: I didn’t know there were Zodiac stones until I looked it up just now. Apparently they are Ruby, Agate, Garnet and Onyx, all of which I am very down with although only Garnet and Ruby are really suitable for long term jewelry. I do love red though!

Ariel: I know nothing about my zodiac sign stones.

Sarah: My zodiac stone is Emerald. I had to do some research to figure out the difference between a birthstone and zodiac stone. In general, I’m a fan of Emeralds so I wear them but it’s never been because it’s my zodiac stone. It’s nice to know. 

Kelsey: I am not sure what my zodiac sign is and wasn’t able to find it online.

Jenna: Apparently, the carnelian is one of the zodiac stones for Virgos. BN has some bright orange cabochon carnelians in stock, which I fell in love with during a shoot. Their warm vibe reminds me of a sunset in late summer, which is when my birthday is. I would definitely consider making jewelry with it. I’m envisioning it set in yellow gold as a solitaire ring!

Jenny: I had no idea what zodiac jewelry was before you asked me! I like the idea that there are a few different stones that have meaning in relation to your zodiac sign. For a Pisces, the stones that resonate with me are ocean jasper (the stone of happiness and joy), jade (brings renewal, endurance, wisdom, and spiritual growth), and amethine (manifestation, balance, courage, and opportunity). I really like the symbolism. I could see myself possibly wearing the ocean jasper since it’s so beautiful and dynamic. 

Jessa: I’ve never heard of a zodiac stone before—it seems that there are many “options” for Aquarius, including amethyst and amber. I have always been attracted to amber, and the pieces of amethyst in the old gem room at the Museum of Natural History. I don’t see myself making jewelry with either anytime soon, however.

Moonstones

What are your thoughts about birthstone or zodiac stone jewelry? Gimmicky or do you think it works?

Page: If you like your birthstone or astrological stone, then that is lucky & why not incorporate it into your jewelry? But, I really don’t put much weight on birthstones or astrological stones. I am always a fan of going with gemstones that you feel drawn to instinctively and aesthetically. When my children were born, I designed a ring for myself with gemstones that I felt were representative of each of them. When choosing the gemstones, I focused on the colors and the qualities of the stones that felt true to their personalities rather than relying on the assigned birthstone chart. I think that often can be a better way to go about choosing stones to represent yourself or someone you love. 

Ivy: Totally in the eye of the beholder. I like my birthstone so I am down for some jewelry that features it but I don’t think it has any specific meaning. I think this kind of jewelry works best when commemorating something or honoring a person. You should use the stones you love and want in your piece and the date and time you happened to be born shouldn’t keep that from happening.

Emeralds

Ariel:  I think birthstone jewelry totally works but only if it is done tastefully and created in a way where it is not obvious that it is ‘birthstone’ jewelry. I also like the idea of wearing birthstone jewelry paired or stacked with other jewelry new or heirloom to build a story. 

Sarah: In my experience, birthstone jewelry is typically worn in remembrance of or to symbolize someone close to you and this aspect I like. For the most part, not a fan of zodiac or birthstone jewelry. 

Kelsey: I like birthstone jewelry, I think it’s a subtle way to add color and sentiment to what you wear. 

Jenna: I think gemstones in general can be very meaningful. They are tiny treasures found in the earth! Looking into them, it feels like their beauty knows no bounds. 

Jenny: I don’t think it particularly works or doesn’t work but I do like that people have taken the time to put so much meaning behind all of these different stones. I guess if you believe it works it might!

Jessa: I think that, as with anything, there are no real rules on what you can pick out for yourself. Gemstones are supposed to resonate with you, so if you become fixated on a certain stone that isn’t related to your birth month or zodiac sign, there must be some other facet of you that it’s speaking to. 

If you had to pick a piece of jewelry with a birthstone or zodiac stone from BN’s collection to represent your birthday, what would it be?

Page: Our Sol Emerald Octagonal Ring

Ivy: Lash Linear Garnet Ring for sure

Ariel: Ray Fringe Emerald Studs 

Sarah: Ray Fringe Emerald Ring

Eternity Half Blue Green Sapphire Wide Band; Ray Fringe Emerald Ring

Kelsey: The Eternity Half Blue Green Sapphire Wide Band, close enough to my birthstone, right? 

Jenna: I think a cabochon carnelian would look amazing in the Sol Emerald Octagonal Ring setting!

Jenny: I think our Aira Oko Morganite Ring would be really beautiful with a bluish/green jasper. 

Jessa: Lash Linear Garnet Ring

THANKS, BN STAFF!

We hope it was helpful to get some different opinions on birthstones and zodiac stones. Ultimately, there are no real rules when it comes to choosing which stones you want to wear – but if you’d like some guidance, we’re always here to brainstorm with you!