Zodiac Wheel in Purple and WhiteThe beauty of the night sky is familiar to anyone who has ever looked upwards on a starry night. It is one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles that exists, and it is all the more potent because it is a sight which every man, woman and child can behold.
The inherent strangeness of this curtain of black with its scattering of bright lights has inspired generations to look to them for meaning, and a deeper understanding of our place in the universe. Modern scientific advances have allowed us to peer deep into space, observing the moon, stars and planets, and to understand what they actually are, but in ages past many different theories were ventured as to what meaning they held.
Star Signs - The Zodiac Birthstones
The patterns of stars in the sky were classified by the ancient babylonian civilisation into what came to be known as the signs of the zodiac. Constellations visible to the naked eye were classified into twelve distinct entities which rose and fell in prominence with the cycle of the year. These star signs were connected to specific dates, and people born within them were said to take on characteristics linked with their “star sign”.
Particular precious stones are associated with each star sign, and the character of each mimics the traits associated with them. You can find a full list of the zodiac signs and their corresponding birthstones below:
Aquarius Sign - The Water Carrier

Aquarius (January 21st to February 18th) - Those born under the sign of Aquarius, the Water Carrier, are friendly and loyal. They are often acutely aware of the feelings of those around them, and show great abilities in mediation and diplomacy. They often demonstrate strong independence, and are adept at solving problems in creative ways. The birthstone for Aquarius is Garnet, a deep red stone particularly valued during the mid-victorian period. It represents the strong but subtle bonds of friendship and an abiding, unique love for other people.
Pisces Sign - The Fish
Pisces (February 19th to March 20th) - Those who bear the star sign Pisces, the fish, are renowned for their imagination and compassion. They exhibit strong sympathetic tendencies, and are often extremely selfless when called upon to aid others. Their understanding is often intuitive, and whilst they may not be able to explain the root of their actions they are often able to help where few others can. The birthstone for Pisces is the deep purple amethyst a stone long associated with sensitivity and kindness, and one of the five cardinal gems of the ancient world.
Aries Sign - The Ram
Aries (March 21st to April 20th) - Individuals born under the sign of Aries, the ram, are strong-willed and confident. They are often extremely passionate, dynamic and quick-witted, with the drive and the strength of will needed to see things through. Their courage and resilience are represented by the Aries birthstone Bloodstone, a variety of deep green, almost black jasper flecked with bright red spots which resemble droplets of fresh blood.
Taurus Sign - The Bull
Taurus (April 21st to May 21st) - Those born under the star sign Taurus, the bull, are patient and persistent. They possess great reserves of inner strength and resilience, standing firm where others may fall. They value security, and work hard to ensure the safety of themselves and those they love. The birthstone for Taurus is the Sapphire, which is most often a deep blue, but can vary tremendously in colour, from a vibrant pink to a bright yellow. Sapphires, and their red cousins rubies, are the second hardest gemstone after diamond, representing the star sign’s extreme resilience.
Gemini Sign - The Twins
Gemini (May 22nd to June 21st) - If you were born under the star sign Gemini, the twins, you are likely to be extremely versatile in your approaches and flexible in your thinking. Geminis exhibit the ability to adapt quickly, changing their approach as the situation requires, and avoiding problems which may confound others. Gemini is represented by the birthstone Agate, perhaps the most widely varied gemstone of all. Agate can be found in almost any colour and colour combination, and is the most widely carved precious stone on earth.
Cancer Sign - The Crab
Cancer (June 22nd to July 22nd) - Those born under the sign of Cancer, the crab, are often extremely in touch with both their emotions and the feelings of others. They possess a deep understanding of the language of feelings, and form strong bonds with their friends and loved ones. They are also by nature extremely protective of those whom they care for, and can be relied upon to safeguard the wellbeing of others. Cancer’s birthstone is the Emerald, one of the rarest and historically valued gemstones. The beautiful green stone represents their connection with life, and the feelings which give that life meaning.
Leo Sign - The Lion
Leo (July 23rd to August 23rd) - People born under the star sign Leo, the lion, are natural leaders. Strong-willed and generous, they tend to inspire those around them with direct and assertive action where others may hold back. They are often extroverted, drawing strength from others, and this broad-minded approach means that they often have large circles of friends. Leo’s birthstone is Onyx, a black gemstone similar to jet, which is often used to create contrast with bright stones such as diamonds. These creations are all the more beautiful for their variety, just as the relationships that leos form are stronger for their union of different parts.
Virgo Sign - The Virgin
Virgo (August 24th to Sept 22nd) - People born under the star sign Virgo are modest and unassuming, requiring no praise or accolade for their actions, yet they also often possess keenly analytical minds. Virgos can often unpick and solve issues for which others may lack the subtlety or patience. They are also extremely charitable, putting others first and demonstrating a calm, methodical and unyielding support for those whom they love. Virgo’s birthstone is the Carnelian, an opaque red stone which can be intricately and patiently carved into the most beautiful of forms.
Libra Sign - The Scales
Libra (September 23rd to October 23rd) - Those born under the star sign Libra, the scales, are particularly balanced individuals, valuing fairness and justice and exhibiting the warmth and diplomacy to impart this sense of what is right to others. They can be heavily idealistic in their convictions, but possess the social awareness and compassion necessary to convey their beliefs in a persuasive manner. Libra’s birthstone is the Chrysolite, a term which has been applied to many stones throughout antiquity, but which is now most commonly associated with the bright green Peridot, a stone symbolising harmony.
Scorpio Sign - The Scorpion
Scorpio (October 24th to November 22nd) - People born under the star sign Scorpio, the scorpion, exhibit strong will and determination. They can be uncompromising and unyielding in their beliefs, a trait which often inspires those around them. They are often extremely active in their attitude, leading the way into adversity with the confidence and force needed to accomplish their goals. Scorpio’s birthstone is the Topaz, one of the gemstones most widely used in ancient jewellery. Topaz comes in a huge variety of colours, symbolising the adaptability of scorpios when faced with new challenged.
Sagittarius Sign - The Archer
Sagittarius (November 23rd to December 21st) - Individuals born under the sign of Sagitarrius, the centaur archer, are noted for their optimism. They often exhibit bright and bubbly personalities which inspire those around them with good humour and affection. Sagittarians also have a strong sense of self, which helps them to be resolute in their convictions. The birthstone for sagittarius is the Citrine, a honey-coloured golden stone which was favoured by Queen Victoria, and represents warmth and kindness.
Capricorn Sign - The Horned Goat
Capricorn (December 22nd to January 20th) - If you were born under the star sign Capricorn, the horned goat, you are likely to be practical and disciplined, with a strong sense of what must be done to achieve your goals. Capricorns have a strong drive to succeed, and their forward-facing determinism means that their ambitions are often realised. The birthstone for Capricorn is the Ruby, a bright red stone often more highly prized than diamonds. The ruby represents a vibrant, uncompromising attitude towards life which suits the Capricorn’s pragmatism and passion.
You can learn more about antique jewellery, and the deeper meaning of the signs and symbols used, by checking out the other articles in our advice centre.
If you have questions about any of the precious gems mentioned in this article, or their use in our collection of antique jewellery, please feel free to get in touch on enquiries@antiquejewellerygroup.com or via telephone on England: 0333 700 4500.