February Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst has been a prized gem to man for thousands of years.

These gems have been set in religious and crown jewels and have been worn by bishops and figures of the Christian church for ages. It was even thought that Saint Valentine wore a ring set with an antique amethyst with a carved image of Cupid, which then connects the dots to the gem’s ties with the month of February!  The stone also symbolizes the 6th anniversary of marriage.

With being such a popular gem used throughout history, there are many legends and folklore that can be found for amethyst. At one time, true amethyst was valued equally with the diamond. However, after large amounts were found in South America and eventually all over the globe, the gem’s rarity and value decreased.


We can thank the Ancient Romans for the most famous folklore legend about amethyst. Because of the gem’s grape-like color, the Romans associated it with the god of wine, Bacchus.  They believed that wearing an amethyst could protect you from drunkenness and instill a sober mind. The name “amethyst”, is actually derived from the Greek word amethustos, meaning sober.

The legend goes:

Long ago, a beautiful woman was on her way to worship at the Temple of Diana. However, she had the misfortune of crossing bath with Bacchus, the god of wine. Bacchus was angered since he’d just been disrespected, he vowed he would take revenge on the next person he met. He spied the woman and unleashed his two guardian tigers on her. As the great beasts bounded towards her, the goddess Diana intervened. To spare her such a terrible fate, she turned her into pure, clear stone.

With immediate remorse, Bacchus wanted to atone for his actions. He poured his tears of wine over the stone, staining her a deep, violet hue. And so, the maiden Amethyst lent her name to the crystal.

Throughout time, many other legends and uses appeared for the amethyst gemstone; but we think we can all agree that the Roman’s legend for the gem is our favorite!


Like we said earlier, amethyst is the gem that modernly symbolizes the month of February and the 6th anniversary of marriage. During the Renaissance period, amethyst stood for humility and modesty. Throughout the ages, the gem was also used by rich and powerful monarchs for symbolize royalty. It’s rumored that the gemstone was a personal favorite of Queen Katherine the Great of Russia, who reigned during the late 1700s. Amethyst has always been a symbol of religious classes that have ruled human cultures. In the Chinese philosophy of Feng Sui, amethyst is said to give and receive material wealth. At the highest level of the philosophy, the gem is said to give the spiritual understanding required to reach the state of bliss. Even today, amethyst represents the crown chakra at the top of the head where divine essence enters.

Mystical Properties:

To this day, amethyst is still used for healing remedies and spiritual enlightenment. For over two thousand years, the gems have been saturated with ancient magic. They are just as popular today as were back then!

Amethyst has had a presence in cultures all over the world. Centuries ago, amethyst was actually moistened and rubbed on the skin to prevent pimples and rough skin. In traditional Chinese medicine, it was used for stomach pains and bad dreams; and ancient civilizations believed that if the gem was placed under the pillow while sleeping, it was supposed to banish insomnia and promote pleasant thoughts and often prophetic dreams.

From alleviating headaches and depression, to being valuable for treating the central nervous system & brain, amethyst has hundreds of healing properties. It’s been said for centuries that the gem can bring forth the purest aspirations of human kind: chastity, sobriety, and control over one’s thoughts. The stone encourage calm, bravery, and contemplation.

This post could go on and on if we listed all of the properties and historical value associated with amethyst gemstones!

One thing is for sure- no matter if February is your birth month or not, sporting this stone can give you some serious health benefits and not to mention good graces while enjoying a few adult drinks!

source: jewelsforme.com



January Birthstone: Garnet

The new year is all about resolutions and high hopes for a fresh start for the year ahead.

What better way to represent that state of mind than with a beautiful garnet gemstone? Known for bringing a sense of goodwill, happiness, and prosperity, whether red is your color or not; having a garnet on you to start out the new year is never a bad idea!


The word garnet is originally derived from the Latin word, ‘garantum’, meaning seed. This name for the gem came to be because of the gem’s resemblance to the bright, beautiful red seeds of the pomegranate. Although the most common garnet range in tones of

These are actual garnets, not seeds!

red, the rarest garnets are blue and colorless, or color-changing in different lights (extremely rare!). The use of garnets can be traced back all the way to the Bronze Age. Garnets were actually found in a necklace worn by a man whose grave dates back to 3000 B.C.. Other references go back to the Ancient Egyptians, who used the gem in jewelry and artwork. The gem’s popularity didn’t skyrocket until 18th century in Europe, where is was very popular in Victorian era jewelry.


The list of symbolic meanings for wearing the garnet goes on and on. Not only is garnet the designated gem for births in the month of January, it also symbolizes the the 2nd anniversary of marriage. For centuries, garnet’s virtues have been believed to include passion, eternity, and love. One of the stone’s strongest virtues is the ability to help overcome depression. It was believed that the stone could dissolve behavior that is no longer positive, and aids in letting go of useless or old ideas. Supposedly, the garnet gemstone has extreme benefits in the realm of business. It’s said that the stone attracts people to the wearer which aids in business as well as personal success!


Mystical Properties:

For thousands of years, garnets have been said to bring a plethora of mysticalbenefits to those who wear it, both mental and physical. Throughout history, it has been said that a garnet engraved with a lion will protect and preserve health, cure the wearer of all disease, and could warn the wearer of approaching danger.  For this reason, and because of how durable garnets are making them last throughout the ages, determined the gems were used as a talisman for protection that were worn by warriors during battle. 

In ancient and medieval times, color played an important role in determining the use for different gems. Garnets were thought to relive skin conditions and regulate the heart and blood. The gem had different healing effects for men and women as well. For men, it keeps the reproductive system healthy; for women, it promotes hormonal balance and was thought to reduce swelling.

There are so many beneficial characteristics of the garnet. From helping you start off the new year with a fresh, positive outlook, to curing you of disease and promoting your reproductive system. We can’t think of a better way to start the new year off with positive vibes than to sport a garnet in our favorite setting!

December Birthstones: Winter Blues


Although the main colors associated with this time of the year are red and green, some are already feeling the winter blues; especially to those of you who aren’t used to the cold like us Montanans. If you spend any time researching how to cure the winter blues, there are three main remedies that are listed in every article: exercise, take vitamin D if the sun isn’t very reliable in your area, and get out of the house. We translate that last one into Shopping!

Those of you born in December are in luck, you have three different birthstones to represent your battle with the winter blues; which are tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise. The three of them each have special qualities that make them stand out among other gems. All are known for their intense shades of blue.

Zircon: one of the oldest gems on earth

Turquoise: one of the most used gems in jewelry

Tanzanite: one of the most recently discovered gem


Zircon is one of the oldest minerals on Earth! The mineral has been found in the Earth’s crust for over 4.4 billion years. Gems with this much history are so fun to research and learn about because of the range of legends, mystical properties, and trends the gem has curated over time and throughout different cultures.  During the middle ages, people believed that zircon can induce sleep, promote prosperity, and even ward off evil. The gem was most popular, however, during the Victorian age, in English estate jewelry throughout the late 1800s.

The world Zircon, likely comes from the Persian word zargun, which means “gold-colored” This is because the gem most commonly occurs in a brownish-red, making the stone well known for its Earth tone colors. Not until the stone is heat-treated, do we get that intense, deep shades of blue that tie us back into winter. Today, zircon is thought of as the mother of all gems for increasing confidence and compassions.


Turquoise has been admired since ancient times and across TONS of cultures. The word, turquoise, dates back to the 13th century. It’s meaning: “Turkish Stone”. The stone was introduced to Europe by travelers from Turkey.  With a powdery blue to robin’s egg green color, it’s an easily recognizable gem to trace back through cultures.

According to Persian legend, turquoise is made of bone of those who died of unhappy love. They also believed that the gem ensured protections, so they heavily adorned their daggers, warrior’s armor and horses’ bridles with the stone. Early Native Americans mine the stone and shamans used them in sacred ceremonies to commune with the spirit of the sky.  Many other legends and artifacts show the gem was used in Aztec cultures, Ancient Egyptians, and kings and warriors throughout history.

The stone has been prized throughout the past for mystical and healing properties. The use of healing crystals is even totally trending in modern-day society. To this day, the gem is still one of the most-used stones in jewelry.  The gem’s properties are said to reconcile all hostile forces, to stop quarrels, establish peace in the family, and to even take away anger. According to legend, those who looked at turquoise in the morning would be care-free and easy-going all day long. Listen to this myth:  In the Medieval age, people believed that if a woman wished to win over the heart of a man, she should secretly sew a piece of turquoise into his clothes! (Does this really work? Asking for a friend….)


Tanzanite is one of the newest gem that people have discovered. It wasn’t until 1967, when livestock herders came across the blue gem in the country of Tanzania, in Africa. To this day, the gem can still only be found in a few square miles in Tanzania, right near Mount Kilimanjaro; and it can’t be found anywhere else in the world! Because of the stone’s deep blue color and its extremely limited supply, this gem is treasured by many.  Almost all tanzanite stones on the market today are heat-treated to minimize brown and earth tone colors that are naturally found in the stone.

Almost immediately after the stone was introduced to the public, the infamous jewelry company based out of New York City


known as, Tiffany & Co. recognized the gem’s potential and agreed to become its main distributor. The company is actually who deemed the stone’s names as “Tanzanite” in order to highlight the stones exclusive geographic origin. They introduced the gem to the public with a promotional campaign in 1968.

Whatever your style or budget, at least one of December’s three birthstones will match your true-blue desires. All of them are relatively inexpensive, and they give those December babies a great selection of gems to choose from when shopping for a birthstone!

November Birthstones: Part II

(view part 1 of November Birthstones)

Hello! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Our favorite holiday. Not only for the pie- but for the shopping! The start of the holiday season is always the best. It calls for baking cookies and snuggling up next to the fire, and concocting a well-thought-out list for the big man in red. (plus, it never hurts to hand out the list to your loved ones!)  Most people build a list based on the winter season; things like snowboards, remote car-starters, and heated blankets are commonly asked for here in Montana (and for those others who actually get to experience a white Christmas!).


Being a family owned and operated, fine jewelry store, there’s one thing that always makes it onto our list. And that’s Citrine. Here at Greenleaf’s, we’ve always carried a pretty large selection of Citrine. Sometimes during our long, dark winter you just need a pick me up and get the essence of that summer sun. With Citrine’s golden, sunny glow it’s the perfect fit.

So, you should already know that the month of November has two different gems associated with it from our Part I post. We went over Imperial topaz, which also has that warm, sunny, golden glow to it!

Its history goes way back- like all the way to Ancient Greece. From its history to all its claimed mystical properties, Citrine is the gem that is a must-have on this year’s Christmas list!


  • Citrine is part of the quartz family. It’s the sister stone to Amethyst. (February’s birthstone, ranges from deep violet to lilac).
  • The only difference is when quartz is heated, iron impurities are reduced resulting in less amounts of violet & purple and stone yellow and orange tones
  • Natural citrine is very rare, and is much more valuable than other varieties of quartz.
  • Much of citrine today is heat-treated to achieve its golden orange colors
  • The name citrine is an old French word, “citrin” which means “lemon”.
  • Citrine became more popular toward the end of the 18th century in Europe. This time is referred to as the Romantic Period for having artistic, literary, and intellectual movements.


The use of citrine goes back far into history. It’s know that even the Ancient Greeks used citrine in jewelry and tools during the Hellenistic Age (300-150 B.C.)! Citrine also made a large appearance in the decorative handles of daggers and swords used by 17th century Scottish warriors. However, the gem’s most recent pop culture appearance was during the Art Deco era. The gemstone was known for large, oversized pieces worn by movie stars and celebrities between World War I and World War II.


Natural citrine has long been associated with mental clarity. Many ancient cultures believed that wearing the gem would help open up their mind and give energy to their creative and intellectual sides. It doesn’t hurt that the warm sunny tones of citrine can evoke thoughts of joy and elevated moods and thoughts! The gem has also long been associated with luck especially to those involved in business situations. Perhaps this is related to the idea that this gem helps you think clearly and make good business decisions.

Mystical Properties:

For centuries, citrine gemstones have been sought after for their healing properties. The warm golden yellows were known to be used to purify the body of toxins, strengthen the immune system, and improve blood circulation. The gem’s vibrant hues were thought to have to ability to elevate your moods, and treat depression and even heartache! (Talk about powerful!) Now although most don’t believe in the healing powers of crystals and minerals that are trending though pop culture right now, the association of citrine with health, hope and joy remains!

*Emotional benefits of sporting a citrine gem:
relieves depression, self-doubt, anger, and irrational mood swings

*Physical benefits of sporting a citrine gem:
beneficial for digestion, stomach problems and sleep apnea

As you can see, November has beautiful, sunny birthstones you can wear to warm you up a bit this season, with some amazing, positive, uplifting properties to get you through the winter!

November Birthstones: Part I

As the air turns crisper, the need for a cozy, warm- fuzzy feeling rises. Lucky for those born in November, because their two birthstones come in some of those, feel-good colors.


Like October, November has two gemstones that are associated with the month! Citrine and Topaz are the chosen lucky gems. Now, although Topaz comes in many different colors, the yellow topaz is the designated shade. These warm, sunny tones are sure to help you cozy up as winter sets in!

Both citrine and topaz are known for their calming energies, and bringing warmth and fortune. They actually look so similar that throughout history, they’ve often been mistaken for one another. (only the yellow topaz, of course!). Because of all the color topaz occurs in, it’s been mistaken for many other gems over history as well. Most natural topaz is a pale blue shade, while the most rare and valuable topaz is yellow, or pink to reddish-orange; while red and violet shades are incredibly rare. These gems are commonly treated to enhance their hues for jewelry.

Because imperial topaz is November’s original birthstone, we’ll go into detail in Part I.


Topaz has a history that goes back at least two thousand years! Use of the gem can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, when they believed that the yellow topaz got its golden hue from the Sun God, Ra. The Christian Old Testament even refers to topaz! The name topaz derives from ancient Sanskrit language and means “fire”.


Yellow topaz, also known as Imperial topaz, is well known for its smoky brown color and golden yellow tones, which have long been associated with the earth and harvest. These hues represented planting seasons and the fertility of life. Throughout history, yellow topaz gems have been symbolic of the outdoors and induce images of all things organic; the rich soil, harvest grains, even the sun.

Many believe that yellow topaz represents serenity and empathy. That’s because the brown and golden colors have long been associated with the home and family. Some even swear that when wearing a topaz pendant while entertaining guests, it will help foster an atmosphere of harmony, warmth and pleasantness. The stone is a symbol of balance and is believed to promote emotional stability and hospitality.

Mystical Properties:

In Ancient Greece, topaz was a powerful stone that could increase strength of the wearer and, (get this…) provide invisibility in desperate times. For centuries, topaz has been thought to be beneficial to those in creative fields, like artists, public speakers, writers, and actors. The gem supportive of visualization, manifestation, creativity and generosity, which will attract prosperity into one’s life. The golden rays of Imperial topaz will recharge the wearer, both physically and spiritually. Wearing the gem is thought to allow you to overcome self-imposed limitations, and help to recognize your abilities and move forward with generosity and an open heart.

All you November babies out there can cozy up with your own sunny gem this winter- and you only know the half of it!

Check back for Part II of our November Birthstones post to discover another golden gem associated with this month, the beautiful citrine. Happy welcoming winter! EDIT: Part II is here.

History of Black Friday

This time of year, we want food, and we want to shop!

Every Thanksgiving, millions of American stuff themselves with turkey and pie; and then wake up at dawn to try and get in on black out discounts in basically all retail stores. It may make you think, what is Black Friday? Where did it come from? Why is it such a big deal? Well, you’re about to find out!

There are many myths and conspiracies of where the term ‘Black Friday’ first came from. The first recorded instance of the term being used was all the way back in 1869. When two Wall Street financers tried to scam the system by attempting to buy as much of the nation’s gold as they could, causing the price to shoot up and then sell it for massive profits. On a Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the market into free fall and bankrupting everyone from barons on Wall Street to farmers. They called it, “Black Friday”. However, this use of the term is not the story behind our holiday shopping send-off tradition.

The true story behind Black Friday is not as great as many retailers may want you to believe.

It was back in the 1950s in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. The term was used by police to describe the chaos that occurred when the hordes of suburban shoppers and tourist flooded the city in advance of the big Amy-Navy college football match-up. Not only would police have to work on the Friday, they would get extra-long shifts to control crowds and traffic. By 1961, the term had caught on in Philly, but the term didn’t spread to the rest of the nation until the 1980s. Retailers around the country used it to their advantage and basically fashioned a holiday out of the term. Retailers pretty much gave the term their own ‘version’ of how it came to be. As the story goes, stores would be experiencing loss all year (“in the red”) until the day after Thanksgiving, when stores would supposedly earn a profit (“in the black”) due to the fact that holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted items. Though retailers do record losses in red and profits in black, this is not the true upcoming of the “Black Friday” term.

In 2016, over 154 MILLION consumers shopped in stores and online- no wonder retailers start their Black Friday flash sales earlier and earlier every year! Just internet sales racked up over $3.3 billion last year. The main question consumers must ask is if fighting the crowds is worth the insane discounts and deals retailers put forth to kick off the holiday gift-giving season… I think everyone’s wallet would say it is!

**Don’t forget to stop by the store and see us on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, (November 24th & 25th). We will be offering up to 50% off on items throughout the store; and this will be your last chance to get in on some awesome savings before the holidays!

Source: money.cnn.com & history.com

History of Birthstones

When it comes to jewelry, we tend to gravitate towards pieces that have meaning, and the first connection most of us make with the world of gems are birthstones.

The origin of birthstones has become cloudy throughout time. Some believe it originated from the breastplate worn by Aaron in the book of Exodus, which was set with 12 stones that were believed to correspond to the 12 tribes of Israel- or the 12 months or 12 signs of the zodiac. A more modern theory can be loosely traced to 16th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders. The idea of each person always wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of their birth became more and more popular. Throughout time, jewelers jumped on the idea as a marketing opportunity and began promoting official lists and encouraging gemstone-themed jewelry as gifts.

No matter how it originated, there’s a charm factor about having a special stone dedicated to the month we were born. Diving into all the legends and stories around each gem only adds to the fun! We’ve put together a list of all the gemstones which are considered the primary stone(s) for each month along with the gemstone(s) associated with each of the 12 zodiac signs.


Now you might be wondering what the difference is between your birth month stone and your zodiac sign stone, right? Because they can be different! The 12 zodiac signs stem from Babylonian era studies of astrology and astronomy. Many people believe that zodiac stones can actually transmit energy from the planets because of the connection with our solar system. They are said to bring good fortune and luck to those who wear their sign’s stone. Writings from earlier centuries proposed that each of the 12 gemstones had special powers associated with the corresponding zodiac sign; and that wearing these stones at the right time would have therapeutic or talismanic benefits. Since zodiac signs follow the Astrological calendar, those stones are different from birth stones, which are based on the internationally accepted Gregorian calendar.


You will notice that some months have two or even three different gemstone that are classified as their birthstone. For example, October’s birthstones are both Tourmaline and Opal!

Every month, we will be doing a Birthstone Spotlight and will go more in depth on each primary stone during its month of glory… check back!