birthstone
what's your birthstone ?

Birthstone – Anything You Might Want To Know! We’ve all heard of birthstones and come across them at some point, and with this article I am going to look at birthstones in general but also look where the concept came from and what kind of magic van be woven using birthstones.

What is a birthstone?

Birthstones are precious or semi-precious stones and crystals that are associated with the month that you are born or your zodiac signs. Each crystal has its own powerful metaphysical properties, and while in the corresponding month these properties are amplified giving them a little more oomph.

Where and when did birthstones originate?

The concept of birthstones has been around for a very long time and initially were given as gifts to bring good luck on the day you were born. In Tibet, a type and a type of healing from India called Ayurvedic birthstones have been used, studied and taught for thousands of years. The Traditional birthstones as we know it has been used since the 15th Century, however the modern birthstone list was first created in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewellers in an attempt to bring a standarised list for jewellers.

The difference between the traditional and modern lists of birthstones is their core reason for being created. The traditional list is purely based on the societal constructs and traditions of the time period in which they are created. The modern list was created by jewellers to bring a set order to birthstones, making a list that all jewellers could work from.

Traditional Birthstone List (click on the crystal to read its properties)

January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Bloodstone

April – Diamond

May – Emerald

June – Pearl

July – Ruby

August – Sardonyx

September – Sapphire

October – Tourmaline

November – Citrine

December – Turquoise

 

 

Another list was created and adopted in Britain in 1937, and while there have been additions to the list in 1952, 2002 and 2016 there hasn’t been a complete overhaul of an existing list or the creation of a new list since 1937.

In 1952 the American list was updated by adding Alexandrite for June, Pink Tourmaline for October and Citrine for November.

Later, In 2002 the American was once again updated by adding Tanzanite for December.

In 2016 the list was updated once more by adding Spinel for August.

 

US Birthstone list as of 2016

January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Aquamarine and Bloodstone

April – Diamond

May – Emerald

June – Pearl, Moonstone and Alexandrite

July – Ruby

August – Peridot and Spinel

September – Sapphire

October – Opal and Pink Tourmaline

November – Topaz and Citrine

December – Turquoise, Zircon and Tanzanite

UK Birthstone List as of 2013

January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Aquamarine and Bloodstone

April – Diamond and Clear Quartz

May – Emerald and Chrysoprase

June – Pearl and Moonstone

July – Ruby and Carnelian

August – Peridot and Sardonyx

September – Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli

October – Opal

November – Topaz and Citrine

December – Tanzanite and Turquoise

 

Tibetan ‘Mystical’ Birthstone List 

January – Emerald

February – Bloodstone

March – Jade

April – Opal

May – Sapphire

June – Moonstone

July – Ruby

August – Diamond

September – Agate

October – Jasper

November – Pearl

December – Zircon and Turquoise

 

Ayurvedic Birthstone List

January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Bloodstone

April – Diamond

May – Agate

June – Pearl

July – Ruby

August – Sapphire

September – Moonstone

October – Opal

November – Topaz

December – Black Onyx

Astrological Birthstone List

Aries – Diamond, Bloodstone, Jasper and Topaz

Taurus – Sapphire, Amber, Coral, Emerald, Rose Quartz and Turquoise

Gemini –  Agate, Chrysoprase, Citrine, Moonstone, Pearl and White Sapphire

Cancer – Emerald, Moonstone, Pearl and Ruby

Leo – Onyx, Carnelian, Sardonyx, Golden Topaz, and Tourmaline

Virgo – Carnelian, Jade, Jasper, Moss Agate, and Sapphire

Libra – Peridot, Lapis Lazuli, Opal and Chrysolite

Scorpio – Beryl, Apache Tear, Aquamarine, Coral and Obsidian

Sagittarius – Topaz, Amethyst, Ruby, Sapphire and Turquoise

Capricorn – Ruby, Agate, Garnet and Black Onyx

Aquarius – Garnet, Amethyst, Moss Agate, Opal and Sugilite

Pisces – Amethyst, Aquamarine, Bloodstone, Jade, Rock Crystal and Sapphire

 

“Birth Day” Stones

The term birthstone is sometimes used as a synonym for birth day stones (click here to see what the day of your birth means). Each day of the week has its own associated crystals which are separate from the stones associated with each month.

Monday – Pearl and Rock Crystal

Tuesday – Ruby and Emerald

Wednesday – Amethyst and Lodestone

Thursday – Sapphire and Carnelian

Friday – Emerald and Tiger’s Eye

Saturday – Turquoise and Diamond

Sunday – Diamond and Topaz

 

Each month of the year has characteristics that each month has which correspond to why those certain crystals and stones have become associated with that month.

Month and their Qualities

January – faith, eternity and truth

February – luck, wittiness and health

March – happiness and understanding

April – eternity, courage and health

May – fidelity, goodness and love

June – peace, nobility and beauty

July – love, enthusiasm and strength

August – success, peace and love

September – Serenity and Truth

October – purity, hope and health

November – Wisdom, Courage, Sincerity

December – love, happiness and luck

Birthstones can also be found in 3 of the popular world religions too.

 

Judaism

In Jewish tradition, there was once a connection between the months of the year, the signs of the zodiac and the twelve stones that appeared on the ceremonial breast plate of the high priest; and this breast plate was believed to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Back in the 8th to 10th centuries these stones were also associated with the growing Christian movement and the twelve apostles and their names would be engraved into the stone with their virtues. In those times, all of the stones were kept and one stone was worn during the corresponding month. The tradition of only having one stone is actually a relatively new custom, and the stones that we use today have very few similarities to those of Jewish customs.

Hinduism

Birthstones can also be found in Hinduism, in a text called the Mani Mala, but I can’t find much information on this outside of the months and their associated crystals.

January – Serpent Stone

February – Moonstone

March – Gold Shiva Lingam

April – Diamond

May – Emerald

June – Pearl

July – Sapphire

August – Ruby

September – Zircon

October – Coral

November – Tiger’s Eye

December – Topaz

Christianity

As I previously mentioned birthstones have been associated with the twelve apostles, and the foundation stones of New Jerusalem. The gates were situated at each of the cardinal compass points. Within each ‘quarter’ contained 3 gates. Thus it makes a total of twelve gates. Also, the walls of New Jerusalem contained 12 foundation stones. Each of these foundation stones was engraved with the name of one of the apostles. Furthermore, these stones would be adorned with precious and semi-precious stones. Twelve is a powerful number in Christianity. The twelve apostles relate to the twelve foundation stones. Moreover, the twelve gates and by extension the twelve tribes of Israel – Jesus was a Jew and not a Christian.

**Note** Each stone in the following lists have ties that can be traced back to the first temple era

Original Version List

1st Foundation – Jasper

2nd Foundation – Sapphire

3rd Foundation – Chalcedony

4th Foundation – Emerald

5th Foundation – Sardonyx

6th Foundation – Carnelian

7th Foundation – Chrysoberyl

8th Foundation – Beryl

9th Foundation – Topaz

10th Foundation – Chrysoprase

11th Foundation – Jacinth (Zircon)

12th Foundation – Amethyst

 

New Version List

1st Foundation – Diamond

2nd Foundation – Lapis Lazuli

3rd Foundation – Turquoise

4th Foundation – Rock Crystal

5th Foundation – Agate

6th foundation – Ruby

8th Foundation – Golden Quartz

9th Foundation – Topaz

10th Foundation – Malachite

11th Foundation – Emerald

12th Foundation – Amethyst

 

Moreover, the twelve foundation stones not only carried the name of one of the apostles and encrusted in gems. But they were also given specific qualities. The crystals relate to the qualities of Jesus Christ, and qualities he taught.

Stones and Qualities of Christ

Jasper – Satisfaction

Sapphire – The Soul

Chalcedony – The Truth

Emerald – Kindness and Goodness

Sardonyx – Strength

Carnelian – Readiness to Help

Chrysoberyl – Excellence of his Divine Nature

Beryl – Control of the Passions

Topaz – Uprightness

Chrysoprase – Sternness towards Sinners

Jacinth – Dignity

Amethyst – Perfection.

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