Common Questions About Birthstones

Chart showing a mix of modern and traditional birthstones by month.

Have you ever owned a piece of jewellery with your birthstone? Birthstones are an interesting concept and they are believed to have healing powers and therapeutic influence.

There is a birthstone associated with every month, from January to December. If you are wondering what your birthstone is you can find them all listed here. For example, March is aquamarine, June is moonstone, September is sapphire and October is opal. Perhaps you have heard about birthstones but you want to learn more? Here are some of the frequently asked questions that many people have about birthstones.

Where Did The Idea Originate?

Many gem historians believe that the tradition of birthstones came from the Breastplate of Aaron, which was a ceremonial religious garment that was set with twelve precious gemstones. The stones were meant to represent the twelve tribes of Israel as well as the twelve signs of the Zodiac. There are also Ayurvedic birthstones in ancient Indian culture and it was believed that specific stones had medicinal effects.

However, the modern lists of birthstones don’t have much to do with the breastplate or the Foundation Stones of Christianity. They have been passed down through translation and adapted by many cultures which has distanced them from their original origins.

Why Are There Different Gemstones Listed for Some Months?

You might notice that in some lists the gemstones are different, or there is more than one gemstone listed for each month. In ancient times people didn’t classify gemstones by mineral species like we do and there was some debate about which gemstones were described in the ancient texts. Different cultures around the world have adapted a range of birthstone lists.

In an effort to standardize them the American National Association of Jewelers met in Kansas to create a definitive list. The list was updated in 1952 by the Jewelry industry Council of America. The one that is commonly passed around is the most recent one, although there are some older lists that are still used.

Are All the Birthstones Minerals?

All of the birthstones are minerals, except for pearls – which were created in the earth and are considered organic. Of course, some of the minerals are more valuable than others – such as diamond. (So if you are born in April you are in luck!)

What are the Popular Styles of Birthstone Jeweler?

If you want to wear your birthstone in jewelry there are so many ways to do so. You could wear it in a pendant in a necklace, or in a birthstone ring. Some people wear their birthstone as a gem in a charm bracelet and others wear it as earrings. You could even look for decorations for the home or jewelry boxes that have your birthstone on them, or pins or brooches.

Another popular option is birthstone watches, which are available in a wide range of designs. Often they feature a simple watch face that is complimented with a birthstone. Or, they might feature a number of stones around the watch face at every quarter hour.


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