The History of Birthstones
Meaning of Stones




The History of Birthstones

By Jeremy Foster

Gemstones have long been valued by man, both for their beauty and rarity. The poor and rich alike have always been awed by the beauty that such stones give and are highly treasured.

Over the ages, we have given them magical properties or tied them to so many superstitions, they can not all be named. Nearly everyone knows what their birthstone is, but few know what they mean or where this tradition originated from. There are a few theories, but most gem scholars agree that the tradition originated due to the Breastplate of Aaron, a ceremonial religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel as well as the twelve months in the year. On this breastplate, the twelve gemstones were ruby, topaz, beryl, turquoise, sapphire, emerald, jacinth, agate, amethyst, chrysolite, onyx, and finally a jasper. More information on this can be found in the Exodus in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to tell which stones were actually placed in this legendary breastplate since the people back then did not use mineral names as we do today.

There were many traditions of birthstones until the year 1912 when the American national association of jewelers, Jewelers of America, officially adopted what is now the most widely used list for birthstones. The modern list is as follows:

January: Garnet                  July: Ruby
February: Amethyst             August: Peridot
March: Aquamarine               September: Sapphire
April: Diamond                      October: Opal
May: Emerald                       November: Topaz
June: Pearl                          December: Turquoise


Meaning of Stones

AGATE: The stone of balance. It is considered as a power stone. Agate is very solid, stable, and grounding, and has tremendous healing and protective energy.
Color: Green – color of healing and hope. Brown – color of stability and grounding in earth.

AMETHYST: The stone of spirit. It is a stone of the mind and spirit. It helps you contact with your feelings, values and intuition. This stone also helps you learn things that are mystics, spiritual, and psychic.
Color: Violet – believed to be the color of spirituality.

AQUAMARINE: The stone of serenity. It helps improve communication skills, especially useful for couples. Some people also believe this stone helps release depression and anxiety.
Color: Light blue beryl.

BLUE SAPPHIRE: The stone of trust. It is the symbol of truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. This stone is an appropriate choice for an engagement ring.
Color: Blue

CARNELIAN: The stone of action. It is known as a stone of ambition and drive. The stone is helpful in focusing, decision making, and self-actualization.
Color: Reddish or brownish orange.

CITRINE: The stone of success. It is perfect for men for courage and self discipline. This stone helps support those who are starting a new business. Citrine is also known as stone of joy and sun energy.
Color: Yellow – color of logic and intellect.

GARNET: The stone of love and devotion. It is the stone of passionate devotion and stimulates the senses, and increases vitality. Garnet is also known as a stone for career success, particularly for women. It also helps you become motivated and productive.
Color: Red – color of physical energy, emotion, passion, and desire.

JADE: The stone of fidelity. It is associated with spiritual practices, such as wisdom, serenity, balance, and healing. This stone helps release negative thoughts and ease anxiety and fear.
Color: Green – color of healing and hope.

OBSIDIAN: The stone of truth. It is the stone of honesty, sincerity and truth. This stone can help prevent negative thoughts and energy from affecting you.
Color: Black

ONYX: The stone self mastery and self control. It boosts determination and mind setting. This stone is helpful when you have difficult times.
Color: Black or brown.

PEARL: The stone of wisdom. It reflects honesty, purity, wisdom, and integrity. It helps elevate your spirits and self acceptance.
Color: White – color of innocence, faith, and pure heart and mind. Black – color of prosperity. Pink

PERIDOT: The stone of emotional healer. It promotes emotional balance, clear path to the heart, and heals emotional damages.
Color: Lime green – color of cleanse.

ROSE QUARTZ: The stone of universal love. It opens hearts, encourages peace and gentleness, and teaches tolerance and forgiveness. This stone is also believed to promote beautiful complexion, encourage fertility, and prevent wrinkles.
Color: Translucent pink.

SILVER: The mirror of the soul. It helps balance mind and emotion. As a mirror of the soul, it helps you see yourself as others see you.
Color: White to grey.

SODALITE: The stone of balance between head and heart. It cultivates learning ability, consciousness, and communication. It also promotes relationships and decreases disagreements. This stone is wonderful for enhancing all communication skills. It also balances the mind and emotion.
Color: Deep blue

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