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LIBRARY

GEMSTONE & CRYSTAL RESOURCES ALL IN ONE PLACE

Directory of Birthstones

Traditional Birthstones

Often combined with modern birthstone lists, traditional birthstones are older society-based birthstones. Since many different cultures had their own list, jewelers’ lists are often inconsistent over what constitutes a traditional birthstone. The table below contains many stones which are popular choices, often reflecting Polish tradition.

Modern Birthstones

In 1912, in an effort to standardize them, the American national association of jewelers, officially adopted a list, shown in the “Modern” column in the table below. It is currently the most widely used list in the United States and many other locations, including Australia blue topaz adopted to be a less expensive substitute for a cut stone. Tanzanite was added to December by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002. Most organizations do not recognize tanzanite as a December birthstone, however, as lists of birthstones continue to be published that do not list it. AGTA’s move to make it a December birthstone has generally been viewed as a marketing technique.

Mystical Birthstones

Mystical Birthstones are of Tibetan origin and date back over a thousand years.

Ayurvedic Birthstones

The Ayurvedic birthstone list is from the ancient Indian medicine and philosophy dating back to ancient India (1500 BC).

By Signs of Zodiac

Early civilizations such as India and Babylon have attributed gemstones with magical properties. Over time, astrologers assigned gems of certain colors to the twelve signs of the zodiac to help people influence the planets in their favor.

Sign
Dates
Stone
Aquarius
January 20 – February 19
Garnet
Pisces
February 20 – March 20
Amethyst
Aries
March 21 – April 19
Bloodstone
Taurus
April 20 – May 20
Sapphire
Gemini
May 21 – June 20
Agate
Cancer
June 21 – July 22
Emerald
Leo
July 23 – August 22
Onyx
Virgo
August 23 – September 22
Sapphire
Libra
September 23 – October 22
Peridot
Scorpio
October 23 – November 21
Beryl
Sagittarius
November 22 – December 21
Topaz
Capricorn
December 22 – January 19
Ruby

By Culture of Times

Month
Traditional
Birthstone(s)
Modern
Birthstone(s)
Mystical
Birthstone
Ayurvedic
Birthstone
January
Garnet
Garnet
Emerald
Garnet
February
Amethyst
Amethyst
Bloodstone
Amethyst
March
Bloodstone, Jasper
Aquamarine
Jade
Bloodstone
April
Diamond, Sapphire
Diamond
Opal
Diamond
May
Emerald, Agate
Emerald
Sapphire
Agate
June
Alexandrite, Emerald
Moonstone, Pearl
Moonstone
Pearl
July
Ruby, Onyx
Ruby
Ruby
Ruby
August
Sardonyx, Carnelian
Peridot
Diamond
Sapphire
September
Sapphire, Peridot
Sapphire
Agate
Moonstone
October
Tourmaline, Aquamarine
Opal, Tourmaline
Jasper
Opal
November
Citrine, Topaz
Topaz, Citrine
Pearl
Topaz

December

Zircon, Ruby
Turquoise, Blue Topaz
Onyx
Ruby

History of Birthstones

The first century Jewish historian Josephus proclaimed a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate, the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the zodiac. The Breastplate of Aaron, referred to in Exodus 28:17-20:

  • 10 Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. In the first row there was a ruby, a topaz and a beryl;
  • 11 in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald;
  • 12 in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst;
  • 13 in the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. They were mounted in gold filigree settings.
  • 14 There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.

The precise list of birthstones however can be found in Revelation 21:19-20 where the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem are listed, in the order of the Roman calendar:

  • 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
  • 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
  • 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

The custom of actually wearing birthstones first gained popularity in Poland in the fifteenth century. Tradition suggested everyone wear the birthstone for each month, since the powers of the gemstone were heightened during its month. For the fullest effect, individuals needed to own an entire set of twelve gemstones and rotate them monthly.

Birthday Stones

While this word has also been used as synonym of Birth stone (see above), there is a separate list of assignment according to the day of the week of the recipient’s birth:

Monday: Pearl

Tuesday: Garnet

Wednesday: Cymophane (Cat’s-eye Chrysoberyl)

Thursday: Emerald

Friday: Topaz

Saturday: Sapphire

Sunday: Ruby

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