What exactly are birthstones?

Today we are gonna talk about something a little bit less formal, we’ll move away from our usually topics which are various qualities that precious metals have, that gemstones have, which one to buy, where to buy, how to invest and all the other similar things which are usually the topic of our discussion. I’ll try to explain to you what exactly birthstones are, this again does talk about gemstones, but not in a way that we have been talking about them up until now.

Birthstones are basically gemstones which are mascots for each of the 12 months that exist in the calender that we use, the Gregorian calendar. The name birthstone, is not in any way connected to any gemstone in particular, it’s derived from the words birth and quite obviously the word stone. This entire thing is very similar to horoscopes, but without the prediction of the future, present or past for that matter. According to birthstones, each and everyone of us were given a type of a gemstone which is given to us based on the month that we were born in. In the past it was agreed by various sides on what stones will represent the months of the year and they are as follows:

January >> garnet
February >> amethyst
March >> aquamarine, bloodstone
April >> diamond
May >> emeralds
June >> alexandrite, pearl, moonstone
July >> ruby
August >> peridot
September >> sapphire
October >> tourmaline
November >> citrine, topaz
December >> turquoise, zircon, tanzanite

This is the modern list of gemstones which was decided upon by the American National Association of Jewelers at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1912 to be more precise.

How exactly these gemstones were picked it can’t really be told for sure, I noticed that for July, which is my birthstone by the way, ruby was picked. I can see why someone would choose ruby for that particular month, July is a very hot month and the color red of rubies is a great way to represent the heath which is present during July. Considering that the birthstones were first developed somewhere in the Middle East, where there are places which are very hot, particularly in the summer month, like the July, it’s probably not that far off. Although the fact that peridot is used to represent August isn’t very consisting with that theory, because even though this particular gemstone can come in yellow colors, its main color is green, and since green is the universal symbol for freshness I don’t see how exactly it could be used for August which is anything but fresh, at least where I live.

Ultimately you can never really know who or what exactly picked these particular gemstones to be birthstones. Majority of gemologist and historians agree that the list which I mentioned above has very little to do with the original intentions that existed behind the existence of birthstones, which either were somehow related to the twelve signs of the zodiac. You could then say that birthstones are loosely based of horoscopes, but the list above wasn’t exactly how it looked at first, and it has been changed a lot over time. In fact some places use different list for birthstones, they changed them in order to improve the sales of a particular group of gemstones, or because of different beliefs, one example would be India which has some of the birthstones different. Some of the poems that are written about the birthstones were even made by a jewelery stores, Tiffany & Co published short poems about each stone of the each month, describing what kind of strengths each and every one of them has.

You can even see on the list above that a particular month has several different gemstones attached to it, to cover the differences in the lists which are used in different places. But I’m sure that whichever stone your chose for April, for example you can’t go wrong;). That’s exactly what this list was imagined as in these modern times that we live in. All those who are born in this month should be presented with this particular stone, and things like that. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that a larger portion of the population were born in April, that research was conducted and that diamonds were chosen for April just so that the most expensive stone is sold in larger quantities, since diamonds have to be bought for all those who are born in April. But here again it doesn’t make sense to use such weak stones in December, so that theory of mine probably isn’t correct.

Bottom line is that birthstones can be used as a great conversation starter and it can keep the conversation going, especially on birthdays. Buy a birthstone to that special someone close from your life and then mention them in passing that this is their birthstone. From that point on things will work out on their own and everyone will pitch in. If anything birthstones can be used as that, but you can also use them based on their historical interpretations, to represent your zodiac signs and everything else that is in connection to the meaning of this tradition. Birthstones can also help you out picking out what kind of a gemstone to buy for that special someone, if you cannot decide on your own. Just buy a gemstones which is their birthstone and use that as an excuse if they don’t like jewelery with that particular gemstone. Now you know what birthstones are, or you don’t since there’s no way to be exactly sure why a particular gemstone was picked and why it’s different in some places. If you know someone who’s into horoscopes, palm reading and things like that, check and see what their birthstone is on the list above and buy it in jewelry they’ll surely enjoy it, and you’ll show that you care for them enough to look up what they love, it’s a win-win for everyone, you yourslef and the person who’s getting the present.