Traditionally, each month is associated with a particular birthstone, although some months have more than one. There are some cultural differences around the world with slightly different birthstone lists developed over the centuries. In addition, birthstones associated with particular months of the year will differ slightly from birthstones associated with particular zodiac signs. However, the most prevalent tradition is to own a gemstone associated with the month one was born in.
It is thought that the tradition of birthstones arose from the Breastplate of Aaron, a ceremonial religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. However, the tradition of birthstones might be far older as it probably began with having tribal elders or medicine persons who would ask for blessings upon a birth of a baby. There are numerous legends and myths about birthstone healing powers and their therapeutic influence. According to some of these legends, wearing a gemstone during its assigned month heightens its healing powers and one would need to own all twelve stones and alternate them monthly for full effect. However, the most prevalent tradition that lasts today is to own a stone that is associated with the month one is born in, which also makes jewellery with that particular gemstone a popular birthday gift that is thought to have a symbolic and meaningful aspect. The effects of gemstones might be myths and legends or they might be true, but this tradition adds a special value to the piece as a way of wishing oneself or a loved one some good fortune.
|January – Garnet||July – Ruby|
|February – Amethyst||August – Peridot|
|March – Aquamarine and Bloodstone||September – Sapphire|
|April – Diamond||October – Opal and Tourmaline|
|May – Emerald||November – Topaz and Citrine|
|June – Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone||December – Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise|