Birthstones & Months
Categories: Jewellery 10102 Jan 2017
Birthstones and Months
While most people know their own 'birthstone', the story is as multifaceted as the stones themselves. Today, the birthstone attributed to someone's birth month is worn for special significance. This simple list is just the tip of the iceberg... or should that be diamond?
Many different cultures have attributed special meanings to different gemstones. Mystical Birthstones of Tibetan origin date back over a thousand years and the Ayurvedic birthstone list from ancient India dates back to 1500 BC.
Possibly the first written record of gems with meaning comes from the book of Exodus in the Old Testament where the Breastplate of Aaron is described as a ceremonial garment set with twelve gemstones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Over time, gems with special colours also became associated with the twelve months or signs of the zodiac.
During fifteenth century the custom of wearing birth stones became popular in Poland. Although custom then suggested that the stone for each month was worn by everyone as the powers of the gemstone were heightened during its month.
In 1870, romantic Tiffany & Co published Gregorian calendar poems "of unknown author" detailing birthstones and their meanings in a pamphlet. Most of the stones and meanings listed here are still popular today, although faceted stones are often used in place of bloodstone, pearl, opal or turquoise and some alternates have been adopted to be a less expensive substitute for a cut stone.
In 1912, the American national association of jewelers officially adopted a list that is still the most widely used list in the United States - the Modern Birthstone List. Tanzanite is the "newest" birthstone added to December in 2002.
And just in case you don't like any of your birthstone options, you can always choose the stone that represents the day of your birth... although this list can vary too!
Tuesday: Garnet or Ruby
Wednesday: Cymophane (Cat's-eye Chrysoberyl) or Amethyst
Thursday: Emerald or Sapphire
Friday: Topaz or Carnelian
Saturday: Sapphire or Turquoise
Sunday: Ruby or Topaz
Over the years, many different lists of birthstones and meanings have been developed in many cultures, and today many of these birthstone lists are still in existence. Whichever stone appeals to you, the idea that birthstones have special significance still captures the imagination of those gifted with a touch of romance.
Zodiac gemstone for Capricorn: ruby
Ancient birthstones: Hebrew: garnet, Roman: garnet, Arabic: garnet, Hindu: serpent-stone, Polish: garnet
Zodiac gemstone for Aquarius: garnet
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: amethyst, Roman: amethyst, Arabic: amethyst, Hindu: chandrakankta, Polish: amethyst
March Modern: aquamarine Traditional: bloodstone, jasper Zodiac gemstone for Pisces: amethyst Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: bloodstone, Roman: bloodstone, Arabic: bloodstone, Hindu: gold-sivalinga, Polish: bloodstone
Modern: diamond, cubic zirconia
Traditional: diamond, sapphire
Zodiac gemstone for Aries: bloodstone
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: sapphire, Roman: sapphire, Arabic: sapphire, Hindu: diamond, Polish: diamond
Traditional: emerald, agate
Zodiac gemstone for Taurus: sapphire
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: agate, Roman: agate, Arabic: emerald, Hindu: emerald Polish: emerald
Modern: moonstone, pearl, alexandrite
Traditional: alexandrite, emerald
Zodiac gemstone for Gemini: agate Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: emerald, Roman: emerald, Arabic: agate, Hindu: pearl, Polish: agate
Modern: ruby Traditional: ruby, onyx Zodiac gemstone for Cancer: emerald Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: onyx, Roman: onyx, Arabic: carnelian, Hindu: sapphire Polish: ruby, Russian: ruby
Traditional: sardonyx, carnelian
Zodiac gemstone for Leo: onyx
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: carnelian, Roman: carnelian, Arabic: sardonyx, Hindu: ruby, Polish: sardonyx
Traditional: sapphire, peridot
Zodiac gemstone for Virgo: carnelian
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: peridot, Roman: peridot, Arabic: peridot, Hindu: zircon, Polish: peridot
Modern: opal, tourmaline, pink zircon
Traditional: tourmaline, aquamarine
Zodiac gemstone for Libra: peridot
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: aquamarine, Roman: aquamarine, Arabic: aquamarine Hindu: coral, Polish: aquamarine
Modern: topaz, citrine
Traditional: citrine, topaz
Zodiac gemstone for Scorpio: beryl
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: topaz, Roman: topaz, Arabic: topaz, Hindu: cats-eye Polish: topaz
Modern: turquoise, blue topaz, tanzanite
Traditional: zircon, ruby
Zodiac gemstone for Sagittarius: topaz
Ancient traditional birthstones: Hebrew: ruby, Roman: ruby, Arabic: ruby, Hindu: topaz, Polish: turquoise