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The Story Behind Birthstones

You probably know the gemstone associated with the month of your birth, but what is the story behind the birthstone? How did the tradition of wearing a special stone for your month begin? How did birthstone jewelry become so popular?

As you have read in previous Apples of Gold jewelry blog articles, many of the gemstones we value today are mentioned and valued in the Bible. In the book of Exodus, twelve stones adorned the breastplates of the priests who served in the temple. Each stone represented one of the tribes of Israel. In the book of Revelation, twelve stones appear again, this time adorning the walls of the new Jerusalem.

Josephus and St. Jerome connected the twelve stones to the twelve signs of the zodiac. They believed that each stone corresponded to a month, and possessed its own special powers. To benefit from the powers of the gemstones, the wearer would own one stone for each month and would change stones with the changing of the zodiac signs.

Several centuries later people began to associate specific gemstones with the month of one’s birth. Thus began the practice of owning and wearing the birthstone. While the exact details of how this tradition began are uncertain, most believe it was a practice initiated in Poland during the 18th century.

In 1912, the Jewelers of America published a standardized list of birthstones. Today, several months have alternate stones, but the list of gemstones persists essentially unchanged. 

January: Garnet

February: Amethyst

March: Aquamarine

April: Diamond

May: Emerald

June: Pearl, Moonstone

July: Ruby

August: Peridot

September: Sapphire

October: Opal, Pink Tourmaline

November: Topaz, Citrine

December: Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite, Blue Topaz

How Do You Display And Wear Your Birthstone? A Few Of Our Favorite Birthstone Pieces:

Personalized Tension-Set Gemstone Birthstone Ring. This ring (shown above left) lets you not only display your special stone, but can also be personalized with your name and birthdate. The birthstone ring comes in 10k or 14k gold with the gemstone of your choice.

Personalized Birthstone Circle Pendant. This pendant (shown above) is perfect for displaying your own birthstone, or for creating a series to represent the birthstones of your children. Each 9mm circlet can be purchased separately with the stone of your choice. Available in 14k white or yellow gold. And don’t forget to add a matching chain!

Sterling Silver August Full Swarovski Crystal Bead. Another fun way to display your birthstone is with a Swarovski crystal bead. The colored crystals, corresponding to your birth month, are set in sterling silver and can be strung on a chain or cord. String several of the crystal beads for a bold and dramatic look!


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