Birthstone jewelry is often purchased as a special gift for a loved one. But have you ever wondered why there’s a gemstone assigned to each month? Where did that originate? For thousands of years, gemstones have been thought to possess special healing properties or positive energies. The birthstone chart we know today has been used in the West since biblical times.
The brother of Moses, Aaron, was a prophet and the first High Priest of the Israelites. It is said that he had a ceremonial breastplate that held 4 rows that held 3 precious stones each, one for each tribe of Israel. The name and order of the gemstones have been debated, partially due to that fact that gemstones didn’t have specific names at the time.
In the first century A.D., the Romano-Jewish scholar, Titus Flavius Josephus connected the 12 stones with the 12 signs of the Zodiac and the 12 months of the year.
Later, in the 15th century in Poland, wearing birthstones became popular but instead of wearing the birthstone for the month you were born, those who could afford it bought a whole set of 12 birthstones. They would then wear the gemstones successively as they corresponded for each month.
In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers adopted the modern birthstone list that is currently used in the West. It has been periodically updated since then.
Other Birthstone Origins
The modern birthstone list of the West is the one typically used in the United States, but there are many others that did not originate with the story of Aaron’s breastplate.
A mythical birthstone list originated in Tibet over one thousand years ago, and the Ayurvedic birthstone list dates back to over three thousand years ago.
Nowadays, people traditionally wear the birthstone associated with their month of birth, sometimes with the thought that it has positive energies for anyone born that month.
What positive energies, do you wonder? Check out the list below and find your birthstone or one for a loved one.
Garnet, with its deep red color, is thought to be an energizing and stabilizing stone that can revitalize the whole body. It’s said to support a positive self-image, increase energy levels, and calm anxiety. Wearing garnet can also help to prevent nightmares and keep travelers safe.
Amethyst, with its rich purple color, is said to have the power to focus energy, bring courage, and support strong relationships. It can offer protection and strength to overcome challenges. Amethyst is also said to help to calm a restless mind and bring mental and emotional well-being.
Aquamarine, with its dazzling blue color, is believed by some to have wonderful calming energies that reduce stress and quiet the busy mind. It’s also thought to bring mental clarity and release negative energy from the wearer. Blue aquamarine gemstones are said to support self-expression, youth, and hope. Wearing this gemstone is thought to reawaken love and increase your happiness.
The sparkling diamond is thought to be an energy amplifier and is said to bring strength and endurance. It’s said to purify and detoxify all of the body’s systems, rebalance the metabolism, and build stamina and strength. It’s a very well-known symbol of purity, innocence, romance, and everlasting love.
The other birthstone for April is quartz. Found the world over, quartz is believed to enhance energy and clarification of thought.
The emerald, with the radiant color of green, has long thought to bring health and growth, along with supporting fertility, rebirth, and wealth within the wearer. The Ancient Romans even dedicated this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
Pearls are thought to calm a restless mind and anxious thoughts, as well as control anger. They have traditionally been a symbol of purity. The Ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
The other stone for June is the moonstone.
The ruby, with its dazzling red color, is considered to be a help in removing negative energies, overcoming exhaustion and promoting vitality. It’s a symbol of harmony and peace. It was regarded by ancient Hindus as the “king of gems.” Its beauty promotes strength and nobility of character while protecting the wearer from evil.
Peridot, with its light green color of spring, is a cheerful and uplifting stone. It’s said to reduce stress and increase strength. Traditionally, it’s thought to protect the wearer from evil, negativity, and depression.
The brilliant blue stone of sapphire was a favorite of priests and kings long ago, symbolizing dignity, loyalty, and wisdom. It was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning. It was believed that a venomous snake would die if placed in a vessel made of sapphire. Nowadays, it’s said to bring serenity, wisdom, and loyalty.
The radiant opal is purportedly known for its healing and restoring properties. It’s thought to increase the will to live and to strengthen memory. Opal also symbolizes hope, innocence, confidence, and creativity.
The other stone for October is the tourmaline.
Yellow topaz and citrine are thought to strengthen and heal the body and mind, soothing pain and inspiring peace. It’s believed that they can remove negativity, including the promotion of forgiveness and protecting the wearer from the negativity from others.
Turquoise has been traditionally regarded as a symbol of a happy life, filled with good fortune and success. It’s thought to support detoxifying the body and to enhance the immune system. Allegedly, it can relax the mind and protect its wearer from any harm. In ancient times, it was believed that turquoise would actually change color when the wearer was ill or in danger.
The other stone for December is blue topaz thought to support the spoken word and self-expression.
The birthstones associated with each month may offer the wearer the healing properties and positive energy for that month. This guide on birthstones could enhance your life and the lives of your loved ones. You also have the knowledge that your purchase will help support the lives of artisans from around the world.