Traditionally a birthstone is associated with each month of the year and is worn in jewelry. But how did this come to be? What are the birthstones for each month and what do they represent?
The first century Jewish historian Josephus believed there was a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate signifying the tribes of Israel in the book of Exodus, the twelve months of the year, and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Each culture has different meanings for birthstones; here we will discuss modern western culture birthstone meaning.
In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers created a list in an effort to standardize birthstones. This list has been updated somewhat since, but the original remains as the primer with the color being the most important feature of the stone.
The word garnet comes from the 14th-century middle-English word gernet, meaning 'dark red'. Garnet traditionally is a symbol of faith, love and constancy. The garnet is a stone of regeneration, energy, and revitalization. It is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel and help provide guidance.
At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication adding the stone to their cup. Amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning “sober.”. Purple amethyst speaks of peace, temperance, serenity and royalty.
It is a symbol of protection and has the power to overcome difficulty and bring courage. It encourages self-control and strengthens the bond in a love relationship. Amethyst is also believed to help bring mental and emotional well-being. Amethyst is a common gemstone worn by healers, having the power to focus energy.
Early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans, etched with the likeness of the Roman sea god Neptune, protected them against ocean dangers. Aquamarine’s soothing blue color is believed to bring mental clarity and releases negative energy. Blue aquamarine gemstones are associated with good health, youth, love, creativity, self-expression, and hope. It is a protective stone for pregnant women, as it a protective stone for mother and child. It is thought to help thyroid, liver, hormones, and the heart.
In ancient times, it was believed that diamonds were the tears of the gods. In Sanskrit, it is called “vajra,” meaning lightning; in Hindu mythology, vajra was the weapon of Indra, the king of gods. Once thought to bring courage, it is the symbol of everlasting love…it’s no wonder it is the most popular gem for engagement rings. The diamond is the symbol of purity, innocence, eternity and courage. It also used as an energy amplifier bringing strength and endurance.
The emerald was the favorite gem of Cleopatra. Ancient Romans dedicated this stone to Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Thought to be a symbol of fertility, rebirth, and love. Today, emeralds signify wisdom, growth, and patience. Emeralds are believed to aid in recovery for disorders of the heart, lungs, vision, spine and muscular system.
June- Pearl or Moonstone
Pearls have been a symbol of purity throughout history. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. They are thought to help the wearer calm a restless mind and control anger. Pearls are worn to protect soft organs, as well as improve the skin.
Moonstones most prominent features are calming and soothing of emotions. It is the Yin to the Yang. Moonstone is filled with passive female energy and that is why it is believed to calm strong reaction and restore conscious control over our emotions. Itis sacred in India, where the popular belief is that it brings a long and healthy live.
Traditionally, the ruby has been regarded by ancient Hindus as the “king of gems.” It was believed to protect its wearer from evil. Today, the ruby’s deep-red color signifies love and passion. The ruby is associated with harmony, protection, enthusiasm, contentment, success, integrity and strength. The ruby encourages removal of negative energies from your path. It overcomes exhaustion and lethargy and imparts potency and vigor.
Peridot is a symbol of strength. It is sometimes called the “evening emerald” for its light green color. It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares. Tradition says you will be able to successfully ward off evil, enchantments and depression and battles lethargy, apathy, and exhaustion.
Once believed to ward off evil and poisoning, It was believed that a venomous snake would die if put in a container made of the stone. A favorite gem of priests and kings, the sapphire symbolizes purity and wisdom. They symbolize dignity, loyalty, serenity, faith, purity and wisdom. It is also believed it helps combat blood disorders.
The opal symbolizes hope, innocence, faithfulness, and confidence. The word comes from the Latin opalus, meaning “precious jewel.” Necklaces with opals set in them were worn to repel evil and to protect eyesight. It is believed that they help strengthen memory and fight infection.
November- Topaz or Citrine
Available in an array of colors, the topaz symbolizes love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect. Topaz is also linked with wisdom, strength, courage and serenity. It is believed to stimulate digestion and metabolism.
Turquoise, is regarded as a love charm and is a symbol of good fortune and success. It is believed to calm the mind and to protect its wearer from harm. Turquoise rings, specifically, are thought to ward off evil spirits. It is believed to enhance the immune system.