Birthstones and Gems
What's a birthstone? Simply put, it's a stone which is linked to the month of your birth. So if you were born
on May then your birthstone is the emerald.
So what's your Birthstone? Well, that depends. The Wikipedia states that the American National Association of Jewelers created the
modern list of birthstones in 1912.
There are other lists, though. You can see some of them in our birthstone chart. In addition to the modern list, you find a traditional list, plus lists for the
mystical and ayurvedic traditions.
But birthstones in general have a tradition that dates back thousands of yearseven as far back as
Biblical times. For example, the Breastplate of Aaron, which is referred to in Exodus 39:10-14:
- 10 Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. In the first row there was a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl;
- 11 in the second row a turquoise, a
sapphire, and an emerald;
- 12 in the third row a jacinth, an
agate, and an amethyst;
- 13 in the fourth row a chrysolite, an
onyx, and a jasper. They were mounted in gold filigree settings.
- 14 There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal
with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
Now, they probably didn't use these names for the gems back in those days, but the modern names are
believed to refer to the correct gemstones.
The precise list of ancient birthstones can be found in Revelation 21:19-20, where the foundation stones of
the new Jerusalem are listed, in the order of the Roman calendar:
- 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first
foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
- 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz;
the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
Since then the traditions of which stone, and which color, goes with which month has varied from time to time.
The astrologers have one list, the Ayurvedics another, and then there's our modern list. The modern list was
designed primarily to sell jewelry, so has little astrological or spiritual significance.
Want more? Check out the following pages for more details on your favorite birthstones.
- The January Birthstone: Garnet
Garnet is a beautiful stone that comes in quite the range of colors. Large garnet gems, whicle not approaching diamonds or rubies in price, can make your wallet take a deep breath.
- The February Birthstone is the Amethyst
The amethyst is the February birthstone and, in finer quality examples, is a beautiful purple color. The color purple, of course, is the color of royalty,
- The March Birthstone: Aquamarine
Were you born in march? Then your birthstone is the aquamarine. This lovely blue-green crystal is a semi-precious stone and looks terrific wrapped up in silver wire...
- The Dazzling Diamond is the April Birthstone
Look at a fine diamond in sunlight and see that stunning dazzle burn its way into your brain cells for all time.
- The Emerald is the May Birthstone
If you were born in May then this gorgeous green stone will bring luck to its wearer in the month of May and just looks great reagardless of the month.
- The June Birthstone: Pearl
Orginally pearls were found by luck. Divers would open many oysters for every decent pearl found.
- The July Birthstone is the Ruby
They all agree, modern, traditional, mystical, and ayurvedic - the July Birthstone is the dazzling ruby.
- The August Birthstone is the Peridot
A beautiful green to yellow-green in color, the peridot is often mistake for an emerald. In fact, legend has it that Queen Cleopatra preferred Peridot over other gems...
- Sapphire is the September Birthstone
Birthdays are just a little more special when they have a stone as special as the sapphire asociated with them. The blue sapphire is an ancient stone...
- The October Birthstone is the Opal
This beautiful, iridescent gem changes color depending on the lighting, which is one of its defniing characteristics. Because of this color shifting Opal Jewelry, in the right settings, can be stunning.
- November's Birthstone:is the Citrine
The traditional november birthstone is Citrine, but the mystical tradition has the pearl and the Ayurvedics use the Topaz.
- The December Birthstone is the Blue Topaz
December’s official birthstone, according to the American National Association of Jewelers, is the Blue Topaz. This beautiful blue gemstone...
- More Gems
More beautiful gems that aren't generally conside4red birthstones.
Birthstone Links and info
A more traditional view of what birthstones are about, tying them into astrology. Actually, he says
the modern list is bunk.