Birthstones - An Overview

A birthstone is a gem that is associated with a month of the year.  According to tradition, a birthstone brings good luck to a person born in its month.  It is thought that the belief in birthstones originated from a Bible story about Aaron, the first high priest of the Israelites. 

The breastplate of Aaron is of interest to gem lovers and jewelers because it is an early account of the use of gemstones for both decoration and symbol. The breastplate is described in Exodus 28:15-20 where it states that Aaron’s breastplate was decorated with 12 precious stones that symbolized the 12 tribes of Israel.  The gemstones were to be attached in four rows of three and each gem was to have the name of a tribe inscribed upon it.   “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastplate of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord.” Exodus 28:29 Early writers later linked these 12 stones with the 12 months of the year.

The following is a list of the gem or gems that are accepted by most jewelers as the birthstone for each month along with the characteristic associated with that particular stone.

 

January-Garnet…………………………………………………………....Constancy

February-Amethyst……………………………………………………..…Sincerity

March-Aquamarine/Bloodstone……………………………………….….Courage

April-Diamond……………………………………………………………Innocence

May-Emerald……………………………………………………………...Love

June-Pearl/Alexandrite/Moonstone……………………………………….Health

July-Ruby…………………………………………………………………Contentment

August-Peridot/Sardonyx……………………………………………....…Happiness

September-Sapphire………………………………………………………Clear Thinking

October-Opal/Tourmaline…………………………………………………Hope

November-Topaz……………………………………………………….....Faithfulness

December-Turquoise/Zircon………………………………………………Wealth

   The custom of wearing the stone that represented a person’s birth month has become wide spread over the years.  Today, many people wear birthstones on bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings.  It is special to wear and give birthstone jewelry because it has a personal meaning and is more likely to be cherished.  Birthstone jewelry is perfect for meaningful gifts that will be treasured and passed down from generation to generation.

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