Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Birthstones. What's the Deal?

Birthstone Rings from Lunasa Designs on Etsy

The idea of Birthstones is interesting to me.  I didn't really think about it until recently, as I was writing about January's Birthstone Garnet, but I started to wonder why certain stones were chosen for certain months...and how the whole thing came about.

So, with a little time on my hands and easy access to the incredible interwebs, I thought I'd see what I could come up with!  Here goes:

Apparently, between 1400-1600 in Poland it became popular to wear specific gemstones for their astrological significance to the wearer and not just the beauty or color of the stone. Each gemstone was believed to hold special powers, which were strongest during the month it was assigned to. People believed that wearing these stones would empower them with certain special abilities, so they worked toward a collection of all twelve stones to be sure they could wear the right stone each month. 

The particular stones associated with the wearer's month of birth had importance for that person throughout the year, and in particular during certain astrological events (you know, like when the moon passes into the House of Aquarius...or something).

A Birthstone list with associated months was released in 1912 by the Jeweler's Association of America and was agreed upon as the modern standard worldwide.  As you will see, some months have more than one recognized Birthstone!
  • January - Garnet
  • February - Amethyst
  • March - Aquamarine
  • April - Diamond
  • May - Emerald
  • June - Pearl, Moonstone
  • July - Ruby
  • August - Peridot
  • September - Sapphire
  • October - Opal, Tourmaline
  • November - Yellow Topaz, Citrine
  • December - Blue Topaz, Turquoise, Tanzanite

I am currently working toward having all of these stones represented in my shop, and each month I'll write about the current birthstone and the lore and mythology behind it!  The links above will take you to the posts on each stone (when available) and the links below will take you to my Etsy shop. Thanks for looking!

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