Origins and History of Birthstone Jewelry

Since the 1st century particular gems have been associated with the twelve signs of the zodiac and have been incorporated into gold and silver birthstone jewelry. Initially birthstone schemes were based on the individual color of the gemstones. The beginnings of the tradition are thought to be related to the Breastplate of Aaron which held gemstones associated with the twelve tribes of Israel. Each stone was engraved with the names of the tribes and they were sewn into the breastplate in 4 rows of 3. Although the names of the stones on the breastplate are accepted, the precise translation is debatable so the specific gemstones used are not known. This has resulted in various gemstones being associated with the various zodiac signs.

In later times birthstones have become linked to the months of the year instead of the twelve signs of the zodiac and there has been a lot of variation in the month to which a gemstone is assigned. The most commonly used listing nowadays is one which was put forward in America in 1902 by the Association of Jewelers, and has some substitutes for the higher-priced gemstones. One addition has been made since that time. Tanzanite was added as a birthstone for December in 2002 by the American Gem Association though it is not recognized by everybody.

Alternative listings which connect individual stones with the birth month include Ayurvedic birthstones and mystical birthstones. The mystical birthstones list originated over 1000 years in the past and originated Tibet, the Ayurvedic birthstones scheme comes from ancient Indian medicine and dates back to approximately 1500 BC. However the majority use the contemporary systems initiated by the Association of Jewelers.

Modern Listing

  • January – emerald, garnet
  • February – amethyst
  • March – aquamarine
  • April – diamond
  • May – emerald
  • June – pearl, moonstone
  • July – ruby
  • August – peridot
  • September – sapphire
  • October – opal, tourmaline
  • November – citrine, topaz
  • December – tanzanite, topaz, turquiose

Therefore there are some different gemstones to choose from. If you are not fond of your birthstone from the modern scheme, select one from the traditional list.There are exquisite examples of silver birthstone jewelry in the shops and they make fantastic birthday gifts for those we love, that show how much thought we put into picking a gift that is special to them. Read more at Birthstone Jewelry.

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