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A Brief History of Birthstones

Birthstones are precious gemstones or semi-precious gemstones associated with each month. Gem researchers believe that assigning meaning to birthstones began with the Bible's Exodus 28:15-30. This passage describes the Breastplate of Aaron, a ceremonial garment adorned with twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. These birthstones are also aligned with the dozen zodiac signs and calendar months.

People started attributing the qualities of gemstones with the personalities of those born in a specific month or astrological sign. Since birthstone history spans 1,000s of years, it's no surprise that multiple birthstone information guides exist and vary among cultures.

In addition to the monthly birthstones guide and the birthstones of the zodiac, there are also Ayurvedic birthstones hailing from 1500 B.C. India. Another list is mystical birthstones which come from Tibet and date back 1,000 years. Traditional birthstones were chosen in the 1400s and today's modern birthstones were adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912.

No matter which birthstone you choose, reference our birthstone information guide to learn more about its history rich with mystery, mysticism and tales of magic

The breastplate of Aaron (Exodus 28:15-30) was a piece of body armor encrusted with 12 precious and semi precious gemstones (representing the 12 tribes of Israel) encased in gold. Authorities agree that this was the first introduction and possible origin of birthstones in Western culture.

The popularity of precious and semi precious gemstones today is based on "healing earth energies" where minerals and crystals were thought to contain magical powers used in healing many types of illness.

The clearer and more perfect the gemstone, the more healing power it contained and hence why today, the most sought-after gemstones are those with the most exceptional clarity and colour.

In ancient times, lucky charms were made of various combination's of gemstones to ward off evil spirits, sickness and bad luck. Circular stones, worn as armbands, were also believed to give the wearer special powers of strength.

Do you know that if you search hard enough you will find you have the choice of selecting a stone for the day you were born, your birth month, zodiac sign, season of the year, religious choice and by the colour if you choose a synthetic stone.

Before the modern twelve-month Roman calendar, astrologers endowed the symbolism of early religious beliefs to the various gemstones assigned to the zodiac. Below is a list of the various stones in the order they are thought to be the closest to vibrate to their particular sign