Annoushka Christmas
I have always felt as though gemstones speak to the individual.

Looking back through history, gemstones have always been used as symbols of luck, protection and strength. Hundreds of years ago, gemstones would have been worn by royalty or religious figures, whereas today they are a part of our everyday lives – little talismans which remind us of the unique moment each of us arrived on this planet and in that moment, the connection we have to the sun and moon throughout our lives.

When John proposed, I was completely convinced I’d have an emerald engagement ring, but the colour just didn’t work for my skin – I tried all kinds, but in the end, I chose a rather lovely ruby – arguably the furthest from an emerald you can get! I designed my ring with the ruby at its centre - a beautiful rich red, said to symbolise passion and harmony (not bad associations for marriage!) so it’s no surprise that garnet (also a beautiful deep red) is my birthstone. 31 years on, I’m convinced the stone chose me.
THE GEMSTONE STORY
The notion of assigning a birthstone to each astrological sign or a month of the year stems from a passage written in the bible, however it was not until the 1st and 5th-century AD that two scholars connected the gemstones to the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Some say it was Middle Ages when it became common to own a set of twelve gemstones and alternate them, depending on the month of the year; others pinpoint Poland in the 18th-century as to when the custom started. In Hindu culture, an astrological chart is always plotted at birth, taking into account the position of the sun, moon, planets and constellations, and then specific gemstones are suggested that are said to protect the individual. This meaning has found its way to the west and, as our wearing of gemstones has evolved into choosing one corresponding to the month of our birth or our astrological sign, we now attribute these jewels with talismanic safeguarding and strengthening properties too.
BIRTHSTONES TODAY
The modern birthstone list which is related to birth month was first devised in 1912 and remains unchanged, however there are also lists of ancient and traditional birthstones, which is why today they are often organised by colour rather than specific stones. For instance, January’s stone is a deep red garnet, which is thought to protect wearers from nightmares and guide them in the dark while an opal, for October, signifies healing.

Annoushka’s new Birthstone Locket collection, celebrates 12 birthstones, each corresponding to a calendar month. In true Annoushka style, each locket allows the wearer to both engrave the reverse with a personal message or significant date, but also house a small token, photo or memento within its hidden chamber.

The Mythology collection also celebrates birthstone gemstones, each meticulously chosen for its colour and texture but also its storytelling qualities. So March’s dreamy aquamarines are celebrated through pieces such as Dusty Diamond earring drops and a Touch Wood charm – both of which denote health and hope. And November’s citrine and topaz stones – which are associated with the strength of body and mind – can be found as charms, rings and earrings, all of which are meant to be worn and treasured forever.
(read on for the full list of birthstones, and their meanings).
LOOK TO THE STARS
Of course, while gorgeous birthstones such as peridot (for August) and sapphire (for September) are symbols within astrology there is so much more to it than that. No-one is sure exactly when we began seeking answers and making predictions by studying

the movement of celestial bodies in our solar system (or setting any store by avidly reading our horoscopes) but records show ancient cave paintings of animals which are believed to represent the shapes of star constellations.

It is thought that the ancient Egyptians saw patterns in the stars, which form constellations through which the sun travels at certain times of the year (farmers used the sky as a calendar to work out the best months for growing crops) but it was the ancient Greeks who we believe first recorded the twelve signs of the zodiac – based on the divisions of celestial longitudes – as we know them today.
THE MAGIC OF MYTHOLOGY
At Annoushka, gold zodiac pendants are part of the Mythology collection and made from solid 18ct gold – a material which has a visceral magnetism that perfectly aligns with the experience of gazing up at a mesmerising star-filled, inky night sky. Honouring this precious metal through high quality, detailed craftsmanship ensures that, just as the moon and the sun are everlasting; gold is something eternal that can be passed down through the generations. This is emotive astrological jewellery which is both a portal of the past and a magical talisman, full of promise for the future.
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