At a young age most of us learn what our birthstone is either from seeing a list at a jewelry store or being given a gift featuring our birthstone. However, though we may be familiar with our birthstone most of us dont know the history of birthstone jewelry and how each gemstone came to be assigned a birth month to represent.
Many jewelry historians agree that birthstone jewelry seems to have its roots in the biblical story of Moses brother Aaron who was given a breastplate with 12 embedded stones when he was named high priest. In the Bible each of these 12 gemstones is said to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Exodus 28:15-30 actually lists out the 12 gemstones that were used in the high priests breastplate and these may or may not have been the 12 original birthstones. However, its highly likely that even though the names were the same the birthstones themselves were different stones.
Gemstones continued to be popular throughout the middle ages and beyond, when certain stones were thought to have special properties such as amethyst to guard against drunkenness. Throughout history different cultures have attributed different properties or powers to gemstones. In fact, the study of gemstones can be a fascinating one for anyone who is interested in jewelry or mythology.
In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers published an official guide naming and associating a gemstone to each month of the year. Since then birthstone jewelry has continued to remain popular whether its necklaces, bracelets, or rings. Some of the birthstones have changed over the years, but the list for the most part remains fairly similar to the one which was first published in 1912. In addition, some people choose to use the older list while others choose to use the new modern incarnation.
Below is a modern birthstone chart that you can use to choose birthstone jewelry for a loved one. Please note that there may be variations between older and newer charts, but they will be minor and the gift recipient is sure to love a birthstone jewelry gift either way.
March Aquamarine, Bloodstone
June Pearl, Moonstone
October Opal, Tourmaline
November Topaz, Citrine
December Turquoise, Blue Topaz
If you are looking for a unique gift to give a loved you can be sure that birthstone jewelry will be appreciated and loved.