Brief History of Birthstones
Birthstones, gemstones assigned to each month, are an ancient tradition. They trace all the way back to the Breastplate of Aaron as described in the Book of Exodus. In 5th century A.D., a connection was made between the 12 stones in the Breastplate and the 12 signs of the zodiac, and it was believed that each of the gemstones had special powers associated with their corresponding astrological sign. It was believed that wearing all twelve stones throughout the year and alternating them monthly had healing effects.
The concept of individuals wearing a gemstone corresponding to their birth month is a much more modern idea. Scholars trace this to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders to the region. The modern list of birthstones was not defined until as late as 1912, and was created here in the USA.
Today, we still wear some of the original twelve gems. Though there have been changes to exactly what makes up the list of birthstones, the significance of these stones has not diminished. Wearing one’s birthstone is the ultimate form of self expression, and jewelry designers today are still inspired by the beauty of these twelve jewels. Birthstone jewelry also makes excellent, personalized gifts. Take a look at the list below to find the stone that corresponds to your birth month, or that of a loved one.
November Topaz or Citrine
December Tanzanite or Turquoise