The History Of Birthstones
Jewels and gemstones have been around since the earth was formed but were only discovered once geology began. There are many different kinds of gems each having their own significance and meaning, beauty and character. Historically gems were reserved for the wealthy and ruling classes. Gemstones are without a doubt beautiful to behold and are held in high esteem and for this reason have been given places of honor over the years. One such place of honor is in the English Imperial State Crown which is adorned with sapphires, rubies, pearls, emeralds and more than 3000 diamonds. This crown also boast the second largest polished diamond in the world, the Cullinan II as well as the magnificent Black Princes ruby.
The Birthstone List
Certain gemstones have been given honorary places on a list known as the birthstone list as well. This list comprises of a gemstone for each month of the year with some months having more than one gemstone allocated to it. Little is known where the idea for this list came from but there is speculation that it may have originated from the Israeli people in the time of the great exodus out of Egypt. The high priest in biblical days wore a breastplate adorned with twelve jewels each representing the twelve sons of Israel. Their names were engraved in order of their birth month and each one had a jewel representing them on the breastplate. In those days the jewels were a ruby, topaz, beryl, turquoise, sapphire, emerald, jacinth, agate, amethyst, chrysolite, onyx and jasper. The official birthstone list that we follow today was designed in 1912 and has changed very little since then. There are two birthstone lists, one being the modern birthstone list and the other being the traditional birthstone list. There are slight differences between the two but it is up to you which list you prefer to follow. The modern list is as follows:
The most well known and also the hardest on the Mohs scale of hardness, is the diamond. Songs have been written about it, perfumes have been named after diamonds and it is also the most desired gift for any future bride. Traditionally the pearl was worn by many brides over the decades as it symbolized purity but in this modern day and age, very few brides still wear pearls on their wedding day. Many people believe that wearing your specific birthstone will bring you good fortune while others simply see them as being another piece of jewelry like any other.
Symbolism And Significance Of Various Birthstones
No matter which category you fall into, there is just no question that birthstones are great to wear and beautiful to look at. Birthstones tend to have symbolic meaning for those that wear them both in our modern age as well as in the ancient days. The garnet starts the year off with a bang in its vibrant colors and is believed to have the ability to illuminate the night. Some say that Noah used one as a lantern while decades ago travelers used to carry one with them as they believe the garnet had the power to protect them. The amethyst birthstone is believed to protect against snakebite as well as drunkenness and is believed to inspire intellect, ward off evil spirits and bring the wearer good fortune during times of war. Since the aquamarine is blue, it is believed to have a soothing effect, can bring emotional healing and is associated with confidence, courage and is believe to increase happiness. Diamonds have always been “a girl’s best friend”, associated with eternal love and since it is clear/white, symbolizes purity and innocence. Next we find that the green of the emerald birthstone symbolizes life and fertility, youth and vigor. It is also believed to be worn for improved eyesight and overall health.
The month of June brings with it pearls for purity and the moonstone is believed to enable the wearer to see into the future by holding the stone in the mouth during a full moon. The red rubies of July birthstones symbolize fiery passion, strength and courage and is said to attract good friends and good luck. The peridot seems to be especially good in guarding against nightmares and the ability to instill influence and power in the wearer. The sapphire birthstones and their multiple colors speak of loyalty, dignity, wisdom and faith and is also believed to bring spiritual enlightenment. It is considered to have healing properties for colic, mental illness and rheumatism as well as a potential aid for depression. If you are interested in bringing out your creative side then the opal and tourmaline are said to do just that. These gems were also worn to protect you from those with ill intensions. Now the yellow topaz is believed to support good mental health while the warmth of the citrine is known as the “healing quartz. For the last month of the year it was believed that if you wore a turquoise stone and it changed color then it meant doom and gloom was on its way. On the brighter side it was supposed to relieve headaches, improve material wellbeing as well as protection from the powers of darkness.
Gemstones In General
Whether it symbolizes great wealth, royalty or friendship and great trust, a birthstone is a very nice gift to give someone that places a substantial amount of value in these stones. You can never go wrong when presenting a girl with jewels of any kind as most women have a particular fondness for objects that sparkle and have such rare and special beauty. Anyone of these beautiful gemstones is sure to bring delight to anyone who wears them. What used to be the prized possession of only the wealthy is now more accessible to almost everyone today.
Birthstones By Month
- January Birthstones: Garnet
- February Birthstones: Amethyst
- March Birthstones: Aquamarine & Heliotrope
- April Birthstones: Diamond
- May Birthstones: Emerald
- June Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone & Alexanderite
- July Birthstones: Ruby
- August Birthstones: Peridot
- September Birthstones: Sapphire
- October Birthstones: Opal & Tourmaline
- November Birthstones: Topaz & Citrine
- December Birthstones: Tanzanite & Turquoise
Meaning of Birthstones
- January Birthstone: Constancy
- February Birthstone: Sincerity
- March Birthstone: Courage
- April Birthstone: Innocence
- May Birthstone: Success in Love
- June Birthstone: Health & Long Life
- July Birthstone: Content
- August Birthstone: Conjugal Felicity
- September Birthstone: Antidote to madness
- October Birthstone: Hope & Faith
- November Birthstone: Fidelity
- December Birthstone: Prosperity