Dating back to the Bible, birthstones are gems assigned to a birth month. Patriarch Joseph of Egypt wore a coat of many colors, each color represented one of his 12 sons. In the Old Testament, Aaron wore a breastplate with 12 different birthstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
Today, birthstones are popular gifts for mothers, grandmothers, and children. It is also common to find birthstone jewelry as a way to commemorate important events such as anniversaries and birthdays.
Each birthstone has unique meaning and properties associated with it. For example, the March birthstone, aquamarine, is said to represent courage and hope. Birthstones are a beautiful way to celebrate the special people in your life.
In this article we will explore the origins and history of ‘Birthstones Birthstones Birthstones’. We will also talk about the birthstones representing each month of the calendar year and a little about the ‘healing and therapeutic powers’ of birthstones and their relation to the Zodiac Signs. We will also take a brief look at the ‘Breastplate of Aaron’ as described in the Book of Exodus in the Holy Bible and how it relates to the birthstone.
Okay, so, lets get on with it, shall we….
The History of Birthstones
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Google tells us that ‘Scholars trace the origin of birthstones back to the ‘Breastplate of Aaron’, as described in the Book of Exodus in the Bible. Aarons breastplate contained 12 unique gemstones that were a representation of the twelve tribes of Israel.
This breastplate was part of a religious garment with specific symbolism regarding these twelve tribes. These gems were set in Aarons breastplate in four rows of three stones each highlighting the special attributes of each of the twelve tribes.
In spite of their religious beginnings, modern day birthstones have been assigned to specific months of the year. Back in the first century AD, Flavius Josephus, followed by St. Jerome from the fifth century AD were the first to realize the connection between these twelve stones in the Breastplate of Aaron and the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
In spite of this, it still took at least another 1,300 years before these stones were assigned to specific months of the year. Once again, scholars are telling us that specific months were assigned to specific gemstones first in Poland.
The National Association of Jewelers finally determined our current list of birthstones in about 1912. Apparently this list has remained unchanged since that day. In 1952 the Jewelry Industry Council of America updated the list by adding additional gemstones for the months of June, November and October, and by also replacing the stones for December and March.
Todays list of birthstones have no direct correlation to its ancient beginnings in the Breastplate of Aaron.
JANUARY – The birthstone for January is Garnet. Some believe that Garnets will provide safety during travels. According to Google, Garnets virtues have long been believed to include passion, true friendship, fidelity, success, self-esteem, loyalty, devotion, energy, faith, consistency and truth. This stone is also used to celebrate the second year of marriage.
FEBRUARY – February s birthstone is the Amethyst, which has been thought to make you courageous. Amethyst has also been known in the past as the ‘all-purpose’ stone. It is said to be protective and helps to relieve stress and anxiety including headaches and fatigue. It is supposed to aid in cell regeneration supporting bones and joints, and can apparently improve one’s skin. Amethyst is a sweet healing gem that provides relief.
MARCH – The gemstone for those of you born in the month of March is the Aquamarine. Aquamarines have also been associated with some healing powers. Aquamarine is said to represent happiness, hope and lifelong youth. Centuries ago mariners would use this gem to protect them when out on the seas. Sailors would go out without fear of the waters,
APRIL – The traditional birthstone for this month is no less than the diamond. Diamonds have a very rich history as the birthstone for April. Those of you who were born in April are very caring and successful, as well as finding and keeping a forever loving relationship as well as a powerful inner strength.
MAY – The Emerald is the birthstone for those of you who were born in the month of May. The Emerald has long been known as the gem of rebirth. It is believed that those of you who were born in the month of May will have extremely good fortune as well as never ending youth. It is a symbol of unconditional and universal love.
JUNE – Pearls are the birthstone for those of you born in June. Pearls have been a symbol of innocence and purity for a very long time. Traditionally, pearls have often been given as a gift for weddings. In ancient times, pearls have been compared to ‘teardrops’ falling for the heavens. Once again, pearls have been associated with a sense of innocence and purity. In ancient Arabia, doctors used to think that powder from pearls could be used to improve eyesight and perhaps even relieve tension.
JULY – Rubies, Rubies, Rubies are the birthstone for those of you with birthdays in the month of July. As you may have already guessed, rubies have long been a sign of wealth and prosperity. Its deep red color has also been related to very deep love, passion and raw emotions. Many ancient crowns were profusely adorned with rich red rubies symbolizing good fortune, wealth and passion.
AUGUST – Peridot is your birthstone if you were born in the month of August. The Peridot has long been associated with strength, sometimes called the ‘Evening Emerald’. This birthstone is thought to have healing powers as well as the power to keep away nightmares. Traditionally, Peridot is believed to be a ‘Compassionate Stone’, bringing peace and balance to our mood and emotions.
SEPTEMBER – Sapphire is the birthstone for you folks who were born in September. This gemstone has built a reputation for guarding you against evil, especially poisoning. For those of you who claim the Sapphire to be your birthstone, know that you are purported to be truthful, sincere, noble and faithful. Sapphires have adorned the robes of the clergy and royalty for many centuries.
OCTOBER – The beautiful Opal is the birthstone for those born in October. The symbolism of this gemstone is faithfulness as well as self-confidence. In ancient times people would wear opals to keep away evil as well as to protect their eyesight. It is also said that if you were to dream of an opal that good luck would be coming your way. They also apparently have the ability to control tempers.
NOVEMBER – Topaz, the stone that is believed to provide you with an increase in your intelligence as well as make you stronger. Google tells us that the Topaz also symbolizes love and affection. Anciently, it was believed to make the person wearing it invisible. It is also known o represent honor and strength, wisdom and long life. Way back in the Middle Ages, they would grind the Topaz into a fine powder and administer it orally as a guarantee of a good night sleep.
DECEMBER – If you were born in the month of December, your birthstone is Turquoise. This stone has been known as a love charm. It is also known to symbolize success as well as good fortune, and rings made with Turquoise were supposed to keep evil spirits away. Anciently, these stones were attached to a horses bridle which was suppose to protect it from the effects of drinking cold water when over heated.
Birthstones & The Zodiac
Astral stones, or as they are more popularly known, Zodiac birthstones, are once again, gemstones, but rather than being connected to a particular month in our calendar year, they are associated with the Astrological Signs.
Some say that by wearing your Astrological Stone, you are able to take advantage of its inherent powers. This concept dates way back into ancient times.
Zodiac Birthstones & Astrological Signs
Aquarius – Jan 20 – Feb 18 – Garnet
Pisces – Feb 19 – Mar 20 – Amethyst
Aries – Mar 21 – April 20 – Bloodstone
Taurus – Apr 21 – May 20 – Sapphire
Gemini – May 21 – June 20 – Agate
Cancer – June 21 – July 22 – Emerald
Leo – July 23 – Aug 23 – Onyx
Virgo – Aug 24 – Sept 22 – Carnelian
Libra – Sept 23 – Oct 23 – Peridot
Scorpio – Oct 24 – Nov 22 – Beryl
Sagittarius – Nov 23 – Dec 24 – Topaz
Capricorn – Dec 25 – Jan 19 – Ruby
A very interesting topic I’m sure you will agree. Birthstones are gems that are associated with months of the year, and they are believed to have special powers. The origin of birthstones can be traced back to the Bible, where Aaron was instructed to wear 12 different stones on his breastplate to represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
Over time, different cultures developed their own stories and beliefs about birthstones. For example, in medieval Europe, people believed that birthstones had the power to heal different ailments.
Today, birthstones are worn for a variety of reasons, including fashion and as a way to connect with one’s birth month. Many people also believe that birthstones have special powers and meanings.
Whether you believe in the powers of birthstones, there’s no denying that they are beautiful gems that make wonderful accessories.
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