Monday, February 1, 2010

History and Meaning of Birthstones

Birthstones, both precious and semi-precious, have a rich history spanning many cultures and centuries. According to the book of Exodus in the Bible, Aaron was ordered by God to create a breastplate with twelve gemstones, each representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel. During the eighth and ninth centuries, Christians also assigned stones to represent the twelve apostles.

The modern birthstone list that is widely used today was officially adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912.

To me, using birthstones can be a colourful and fun way to personalise your jewellery for yourself or your loved ones.  I have all the Swarovski crystal birthstones and also freshwater pearls in my shop. Swarovski crystals are quality Austrian crystals that are both beautiful and easy on the pocket.
Here is a list of the modern birthstones by month and the meanings associated with each. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and there are many other meanings associated with gemstones. Although I do not subscribe to the mystical powers some believe the stones have, I think the values each stone represent can be something that we all can strive for in our lives.

January - Garnet
Faith, Loyalty, Perseverance

February - Amethyst
Sincerity, Peace, Wittiness

March - Aquamarine
Purity, Happiness, Courage

April - Diamond (or Swarovski Clear Crystal)
Innocence, Love

May - Emerald
Faith, Courage, Fidelity

June - Pearl (or Swarovski Light Amethyst)
Purity, Nobility

July - Ruby
Strength, Devotion, Integrity

August - Peridot
Dignity, Truth, Love

September - Sapphire
Serenity, Love, Mercy, Wisdom

October - Opal (or Swarovski Rose)
Hope, Creativity, Happiness

November - Yellow Topaz
Fidelity, Providence, Friendship

December - Blue Topaz (or Swarovski Blue Zircon)
Piety, Courage

Click here to learn more about gemstones on the International Colored Gemstone Association website.

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