Birthstones and their Origin

A birthstone is a gemstone that represents an individual’s period of birth; either the day of birth, the month they were born in or their zodiac sign. In the UK and USA, birthstones are often worn as center pieces in jewelry.

The History of Birthstones

Birthstones have a biblical origin. Some of the earliest historians believed that there was a connection between the 12 tribes of Israel that were represented on Aaron’s breastplate in the book of Exodus, the twelve months of the year and the 12 signs of the zodiac.

In the 8th and 9th century, Christians adopted birthstones as Foundation Stones and each one was inscribed with the name of an apostle and the virtue they represent. It was normal practice for Christians to keep all twelve stones and wear one for every month.

The current list of birthstones originated in 1912 and was the ingenious idea of ‘The Jewelers of America.’ At the time, it was classified as a way to standardize birthstones. However, the reality is that it was little more than a sales gimmick, given that today’s birthstones bear little resemblance to the historic originals.

In Eastern culture such as Hinduism, gemstones are associated with celestial bodies as opposed to birth months. In this case, Hindu astrology is used to determine which gemstones accurately represent an individual.

In Hinduism, pearls (muktāphalaṃ) are associated with Chandra, the lunar deity

Today, birthstones feature heavily in modern jewelry ranges, with millennials in the UK and USA, adopting them as birthday and anniversary gifts or center stones in wedding and engagement jewelry. The most popular pieces of birthstone jewelry include: birthstone rings, birthstone pendants, and birthstone earrings.

The List of Birthstones by Month and their Meanings

  1. January – Garnet

    Garnet is deep red and is the only one of the birthstones to be associated with just one month, regardless of culture.

    It is believed to represent goodwill, happiness, and purpose. Garnets are also believed to bring peace, prosperity and health to a home.

  2. February – Amethyst

    This purple-colored birthstone is associated with February and the zodiac sign of Pisces. It is believed to enhance creativity, passion and harmony.

    Historically, this birthstone was used as a symbol of wealth and royalty.

  3. March – Aquamarine
    March has two birthstones; aquamarine and the bloodstone.

    Aquamarine birthstones are pale blue, like the sea and are used to make stunning birthstone pendants. The color signifies purity, specifically of the soul and the birthstone itself is believed to have healing properties.

    Bloodstone, on the other hand, is believed to help with mental clarity.

  4. April – Diamond
    April has one of the rarest and potentially most famous birthstones.

    Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth. They are often linked to eternity, thanks to the popular phrase “Diamonds are forever” and this explains their popularity in intimate jewelry pieces such as birthstone rings and birthstone pendants.

    Specialized companies like LONITE also offer the possibility to custom craft and design diamonds as a memorial tribute to a deceased loved one. LONITE technology uses the carbon content extracted from the cremated ashes or hair of a deceased to create this type of memorial jewelry.

    A memorial diamond from LONITE’s laboratory

  5. May – Emerald
    Emerald birthstones symbolize love and are also intrinsically linked with fertility. In modern society, this birthstone is often viewed as a symbol of harmony and spirituality.

  6. June – Pearl
    June has two birthstones; pearl and moonstone.

    Pearl birthstones are associated with faithfulness, loyalty, modesty and purity. In ancient Greek history, pearls were a symbol of nobility.

    The moonstone, on the other hand, is associated with lunar gods.

  7. July – Ruby
    Many people refer to the ruby as the king of gems simply because, of all the birthstones, this has the deepest color.

    The ruby is a symbol of love, luck, good health, and even fortune.

  8. August – Peridot
    This precious stone is light green and creates an image of strength. It is often combined with gold to create birthstone earrings, birthstone pendants, or birthstone rings and is believed to prevent nightmares, bring prosperity and good fortune to its owner.

    August has two more birthstones; spinel and sardonyx

  9. September – Sapphire
    Sapphire has a rich deep blue color that perfectly symbolizes loyalty throughout the ages. These birthstones are believed to reflect wisdom and offer protection against poisoning.

  10. October – Opal
    Opal is one of the favorite birthstones for many people thanks to its ability to change color. In the past, it was believed to protect eyesight and to show the faithful and confident nature of the owner.

  11. November – Topaz
    November has two birthstones; Topaz, and citrine. Topaz symbolizes long life, beauty and intelligence, whereas citrine is believed to symbolize self-improvement

  12. December – Turquoise & Tanzanite
    December is also represented by two birthstones. Turquoise, a stunning blue-green color stone offers luck and protection, whereas Tanzanite offers wisdom, dignity, and an openness to new spiritual experiences.

Personalized Birthstone Jewelry in USA and the UK

There are many options for using birthstones in jewelry, some of which include custom designing your own birthstone jewelry from scratch. The timeless colors, personal meaning, and precious nature of birthstones have made them desirable throughout the ages.

An engagement ring with a diamond as the center stone

Birthstone Rings

Birthstone rings are the biggest trend in engagement and wedding jewelry as of 2020. Incorporating a birthstone in this important piece of jewelry has the precious appeal of something rare, coupled with a personal touch of the couple.

Birthstone Pendants

Birthstone pendants are another beautiful way to let your personality reflect in everyday looks. Birthstone pendants are available in a wide variety of styles and formats and can be personalized with meaningful quotes or special anniversary dates.

Birthstone Earrings

Birthstone earrings are a popular gift idea that symbolizes love and friendship in the UK and USA. Birthstone earrings are the perfect way to celebrate your loved one with a meaningful symbol that sums up their personality.

Whether you’re located in the UK or the USA, the fascination with birthstones and birthstone jewelry is unlikely to abate. Birthstones have been popular for hundreds of years and, thanks to their symbolic link to the past, mystical powers and celestial bodies, these gemstones are bound to withstand the test of time.