Many say birthstones have magical properties. At Herman Hiss, we believe in the magic of jewelry.



Whether it’s a class ring, a mother’s pendant, or something else altogether, birthstones are a classic way to personalize a piece of jewelry. Herman Hiss & Co. has worked with thousands of Great Lakes Bay Region families to create beautiful jewelry featuring every birthstone.

  • Myths and legends tell of the powers that birthstones possess.
  • Different birthstones have developed in different cultures.
  • Birthstones, like Zodiac signs, represent personality traits.

  • Wearing birthstones is supposed to bring good health and luck.
  • Herman Hiss & Company can custom design birthstone jewelry.
  • Mother’s jewelry often features the birthstones of her children.


Garnet is a group of minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gems and abrasives. Garnets are most often red, but are found in a variety of colors.


Aquamarine (Latin aqua marina, meaning “water of the sea”) is a gemstone-quality transparent variety of beryl. It has a delicate blue or turquoise color, suggestive of the tint of seawater.




Amethyst is a violet or purple variety of quartz often used as an ornament. The name comes from the Greek “a,” meaning “not,” and “methuskein,” which means “to intoxicate,” a reference to the belief that the stone protects its owner from drunkenness.



The gemologists at Herman Hiss & Company will tell you a diamond is the allotrope of carbon where the carbon atoms are arranged in an isometric-hexoctahedral crystal lattice. Its hardness and high dispersion of light make it useful in industry. Our customers are usually more interested in the timeless appeal of this classic gem.


Emeralds are variety of the mineral beryl, colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. The origin of the word “emerald,” is said to be a Sanskrit word meaning “green.”



A cultured pearl is created by a pearl farmer under controlled conditions. A pearl is formed when a small object, typically a parasite or piece of organic matter, becomes embedded in the tissue of an oyster or mollusk.



Ruby is a pink to blood red gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide.) It is considered one of the four precious stones, together with the sapphire, the emerald and the diamond.


Sapphire refers to gem varieties of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide, when it is a color other than red. Sapphire can be found naturally or manufactured in large crystal boules. Because of its remarkable hardness, sapphire is used in applications such as infrared optical components, watch crystals, and high-durability windows.




Peridot is the gem quality variety of forsteritic olivine. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that comes in only one color. Peridot crystals have been collected from iron and nickel meteorites.



Opal is amorphous hydrated silicon dioxide.  Opal hues range from clear through black. Of these hues, red against black is the most rare. Whites and greens are most common.


Citrine, also called citrine fortz, is a variety of quartz. It ranges in color from a pale yellow to brown. Citrine has ferric impurities and is rarely found naturally.



Tanzanite is a blue/purple variety of the mineral zoisite discovered in northern Tanzania in 1967. It is a popular and valuable gemstone when cut, although its tendency to break sometimes precludes use as a ring stone. Tanzanite is noted for its ability to appear sapphire blue, violet and sage-green.