CANCER BIRTHSTONE: 8 Lucky Stones for the Nurturing Crab

Cancer is the zodiac’s gentle and caring sign. Men and women born under Cancer are introspective and serene folk who love solitude yet care deeply for the people around them. The Cancerian’s receptive nature, however, makes him extremely sensitive and easily hurt. To protect these vulnerable folk, choices of Cancer birthstone have been identified that not only reinforce their peaceful and nurturing qualities, but also make their timid and delicate personality stronger.

Emerald

The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, lapis lazuli … the fourth, emerald …

— Revelation 21:19

Emerald is the Cancer birthstone from the Bible. Known by the Hebrew name vareket1 and Greek smaragdos,2 emerald is the 4th Foundation Stone of Revelation, and is accordingly the birthstone of the 4th sign of the zodiac, Cancer. In addition, emerald has long been connected with Artemis,3 goddess of wildlife and the Moon, which is Cancer’s ruling planet. The emeralds of the ancients came mostly from Egypt, where the green gemstone is likewise associated with the Moon and the tide,4 as is the Cancer zodiac sign.

From Mauro Cateb, CC BY-SA 3.0

The intense green of emerald is the source of many metaphysical properties attached to the stone. Just as an optometrist may advise his patient to rest the eyes by looking at green grass and leaves, the ancients turned to the green of emerald to refresh their eyes. Emerald was accordingly reputed to restore the eyesight.5 This same connection between emerald and Nature is true of Cancer. Green is the color of living nature, and the Cancer folk, who love Nature, find deep affinity with this color.

Emerald is so deeply associated with Cancer that a Catholic bishop of the 12th century, Marbod, said that emerald’s beneficial powers work only with people born from June 22 to July 23 — birth month of Cancer — or whose birth is favorably influenced by the Moon — Cancer’s ruling planet.4

Moonstone

Moonstone is Cancer birthstone by virtue of its association with the sign’s ruling planet, the Moon. Europe drew this association by the Middle Ages, and the Hindus in the East hold the same belief.6

Moonstone is a feldspar gem that consists of alternate layers of orthoclase and albite. Light is refracted between these layers, giving moonstone the look of glowing from within.

From Mauro Cateb, CC BY-SA 4.0

Pearl

By as early as the 1500s, pearl has been associated with the Moon,6 making this organic gem a planetary birthstone for Cancer. In India, pearl is even recognized as the primary Moon gem,7 superior in importance to moonstone as Cancer birthstone.

Unlike other gems, pearl is a product of biological process, not of geologic activity. Pearl occurs when a foreign particle, like a grain of sand, enters a mollusk. To relieve the irritation, the creature coats the foreign particle with mother of pearl. Over time the small particle grows in size, and becomes the gem that we call pearl.

White Quartz

Since the Middle Ages, white quartz has been associated with the Moon,6 and is accordingly a planetary Cancer birthstone.

Also known as rock crystal, white quartz is free of impurity, hence its colorless clarity.

Chalcedony

Under the name leucachate, chalcedony was considered sacred to Diana,8 the Roman goddess of the Moon. The Moon’s rulership over the zodiac sign makes chalcedony a Cancer stone.

Chalcedony is the translucent or opaque form of quartz. The name refers in particular to the white or pale blue variety.

Aventurine

Aventurine is a sparkling green Cancer birthstone.9 This green gem makes a great substitute for the fine emerald in fashion jewelry.

Aventurine is a beautiful variety of chalcedony characterized by a glittering phenomenon called aventurescence, which is caused by platy inclusions of fuchsite. Though also found in peach, aventurine was first discovered in green in the 1700s, and remains most popular in this color.

Aquamarine

Beryl is a gemstone associated with Cancer’s ruling planet, the Moon, from as early as the 1500s.6 The Moon’s rulership over the zodiac sign makes beryl a planetary Cancer birthstone.

The Cancer gemstone from the Scripture, emerald, is itself a variety of beryl, and the ancients were aware of this fact. Since antiquity, the most popular of beryls besides emerald reproduces the green of the sea.10 This refers to the blue-green beryl, aquamarine, whose name literally means “seawater.” Aquamarine’s connection to both the sea and the Moon makes the sea-green gem a Cancer birthstone.

From Ra’ike, CC BY-SA 3.0

Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase is a pale green Cancer birthstone.9

Like aventurine, chrysoprase is a variety of chalcedony, but lacks the glittering brilliance otherwise known as aventurescence. Most popular in apple green, chrysoprase makes an exquisite substitute for emerald in fine jewelry.

Cancer Jewelry

Cancer Birthstone Color

Do you find the choices of Cancer gemstone relatively coherent? They are either green or white. The white birthstones — namely, moonstone, pearl, white quartz and chalcedony — are all associated with the Moon. While other ruling planets govern 2 signs at the same time, Cancer is ruled by the Moon alone, giving the white birthstones an even more intimate connection with Cancer.

However, if the Cancer desires to be consistent with the list of birthstones from the Scripture, emerald is the Cancer birthstone to choose, with aventurine and chrysoprase as alternatives.

Know Their Magic

Each birthstone for Cancer is attributed with magical properties. Know the magical powers of Cancer stone when you read my book Power Birthstone.

Learn the magic of Cancer Birthstone

See Cancer in Action

Curious about Cancer and other zodiac signs? An enjoyable way to understand the different signs is to see how they behave, interact or fight in a narrative. Deomar Pandan has recently started a novel whose character profiles are based on astrology’s zodiac signs. Read his fantasy novel for FREE: Cosmons and the Tree of Immortality.

The character on the cover is Aries. He is the strongest warrior of the Kingdom of Ashera.

Footnotes

1

“Exodus 28.” The Bible. Bible Hub, biblehub.com/interlinear/exodus/28.htm. Accessed 28 July 2019.

2

“Revelation 21.” The Bible. Bible Hub, biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/21.htm. Accessed 28 July 2019.

3

Conway, D. J. “Emerald.” Crystal Enchantments: A Complete Guide to Stones and Their Magical Properties. Crossing Press, 1999. Google Books.

4

Knuth, Bruce G. “Emerald.” Gems in Myth, Legend and Lore. Revised ed. Parachute: Jewelers Press, 2007. pp. 93-100.

5

Pliny. “Book 37 – XVI.” Natural History. Trans. D. E. Eichholz. Loeb Classical Library ed. Vol. X. Harvard University Press, 1962. Wikisource, en.wikisource.org/wiki/Natural_History_(Rackham,_Jones,_%26_Eichholz)/Book_37. Accessed 27 July 2019.

6

Knuth, Bruce G. “Birthstones.” Gems in Myth, Legend and Lore. Revised ed. Parachute: Jewelers Press, 2007. pp. 293-327.

7

Sastri, V. Subramanya. “Adhyaya 2 – Sloka 21.” Jataka Parijata. Bangalore: V. B. Soobiah & Sons, 1932.

8

Conway, D. J. “Chalcedony.” Crystal Enchantments: A Complete Guide to Stones and Their Magical Properties. Crossing Press, 1999. Google Books.

9

Conway, D. J. “Personal Gemstones.” Crystal Enchantments: A Complete Guide to Stones and Their Magical Properties. Crossing Press, 1999. Google Books.

10

Pliny. “Book 37 – XX.” Natural History. Trans. D. E. Eichholz. Loeb Classical Library ed. Vol. X. Harvard University Press, 1962. Wikisource, en.wikisource.org/wiki/Natural_History_(Rackham,_Jones,_%26_Eichholz)/Book_37. Accessed 27 July 2019.

Discover More of Cancer

Learn more about the zodiac sign, its symbol, element and other information.

Published October 22, 2019