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The History and Meaning of Birthstones

October 13, 2020 5:59 pm Published by

Birthstones are traditional gifts that make thoughtful presents for birthdays, anniversaries, or any occasion. When attached to sentimental pieces of jewelry, the stones make gorgeous pieces that the recipient can wear every day. Many people are familiar with their birthstone, but their origin story and each stone’s meaning are not as widely known.

History of Birthstones

The origin of birthstones can be traced back many centuries to Biblical times. The Breastplate of Aaron is described in the Book of Exodus to have been adorned with 12 unique gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. St. Jerome in the 5th century AD is credited with making the connection between the 12 gemstones and the 12 zodiac signs. However, it wasn’t until 18th century Poland that gemstones began to be assigned according to birth month. Finally, in 1912 that National Association of Jewelers defined what we know today as our modern-day list of birthstones. While there have been a few edits over the years, the list has remained largely unchanged and is still what we refer to today when shopping for a birthstone for a loved one.

Meaning of Birthstones

Each birthstone was traditionally believed to carry religious significance or supernatural abilities. While the stones are not religiously affiliated to this day, some people still claim that each stone carries unique healing powers or brings superstitions such as luck or self-confidence. Regardless of whether you believe in the luck-bringing powers of the stones, it is still fascinating to discover the qualities that your unique birthstone is said to conjure. 

January — Garnet

Those born in January have the beautiful birthstone Garnet. Deep-red garnet is believed to aid the blood, lungs, and heart of those who wear it. The stone is also said to promote love, passion, faith, and courage as well as offer protection from nightmares. 

February — Amethyst

Those born in February have the rich-purple Amethyst as their birthstone. This bright gemstone is believed to reduce insomnia, as well as pain issues. It is also said to promote peace, balance, and inner strength. The Amethyst is also believed to help strengthen the romantic relationships of those who wear it.  

March — Aquamarine

March babies’ Aquamarine birthstone is said to release fear and calm nerves. It is also believed to promote mental clarity and aid in protection, especially of those at sea. It is also said to aid in liver, throat, and stomach health, as well as the health of teeth, ears, and eyes. The stone is also said to promote creativity and boost happiness, giving those who wear it a happy life. 

April — Diamond

Lucky people born in April get to have the highly-coveted diamond as their birthstone. This shiny and indestructible gemstone is believed to symbolize purity, perfection, and invincibility, gifting the wearer with strength and protection.  

May — Emerald

The deep-green Emerald is strikingly beautiful! This stone is traditionally believed to protect lovers from infidelity and to enhance memory, eyesight, and intelligence. The stone also represents hope!  

June — Pearl

The beautiful Pearl is associated with the month of June. This stone is said to bring calming properties as well as to promote purity, integrity, truth, and loyalty. Pearls are also associated with love!  

July — Ruby

The stunning red Ruby is said to aid the emotions and represent devotion and happiness. Those who wear Rubies are also believed to be protected against misfortune and supported during emotional times. 

August — Peridot

The yellowish-green Peridot is the birthstone of those born in August. The stone represents abundance and prosperity, as well as beauty. Peridot is also believed to heal relationship stress, to lessen negative feelings of anger and jealousy, and slow the aging process. 

September — Sapphire

The striking deep-blue Sapphire is said to promote creativity and to bring inner peace to those born in September. The stone also encourages pain relief as well as personal creative expression. Sapphires also promote truth, success, and loyalty. 

October — Opal and Pink Tourmaline

The two main birthstones associated with the month of October are Opal and Pink Tourmaline. Opals are associated with faithfulness and confidence and are said to strengthen memory. Pink Tourmaline is believed to signify unconditional love and compassion, as well as healing and happiness. Both stones are associated with creativity. 

November — Citrine and Topaz

The month of November has two main birthstones as well, yellow Citrine and bright blue Topaz. Citrine is said to increase the wearer’s success, clarity of thought, and wellness of body and mind. Topaz is believed to promote emotional balance, as well as to protect against greed and negative feelings.

December — Turquoise, Tanzanite, or Zircon

Turquoise was believed to be sacred by ancient Aztecs. The stone is believed to promote healing and balancing, as well as to bring happiness and good fortune. The stone also represents friendship! Tanzanite, a relatively recent discovery, is an exquisite blue-purple color that is believed to be helpful in uniting the heart and mind. Blue Zircon is an underrated gemstone that is said to promote sleep and bring compassion to the wearer.

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