All About Birthstones

“Where did the idea of birthstones come from?” Perhaps your customers are asking you the same question. Here’s the short story on birthstones’ origins:

The history of a special gemstone for each month can be traced back to the 12 stones on the breastplate of Aaron in the Bible. Certain gemstones were believed to have certain therapeutic virtues and were first assigned to be worn according to the person’s affliction rather than their birth month. Wearing a different stone during its respective month was believed to best exercise its virtue during that month.

The basic birthstone list, as we use it today, was established in 1912 by the National Association of Jewellers to promote the sale of gemstones. Not all months had just one birthstone either. For example, the March birthstone was a bloodstone with an alternate listed as aquamarine. June had both pearl and moonstone listed; August named sardonyx and peridot; October had opal and tourmaline; and December was turquoise with the alternate being lapis.

Perhaps due to the popularity of faceted gemstones over opaque and polished ones, zircon was added for December and alexandrite for June. For tanzanite, it was most recently added in 2002 based on its new popularity overall.

With today’s interpretations, multiple colors of a gemstone are also used where only traditional colors once were. For example, January’s birthstone is garnet — typically red. Today, however, there are beautiful and rare green garnets, known as tsavorite. And, for September, we recognize the traditional blue sapphire; but, sapphires in pink and yellow are very popular today.

For more on the early history of birthstones, locate the book, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, by George Frederick Kunz. Your customers will love a good story!

AGS exclusively endorses Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company as a provider of insurance protection to jewelry businesses and owners. Jewelers Mutual serves as the presenting sponsor of AGS Conclave, the preeminent annual convention for the education and professional development of principals in the jewelry industry.

– Story contributed by Diane Flora, CGA, director of education for the American Gem Society.

Each and every birthstone has a magic all its own. There’s one for every month of the year, so giving One is the perfect way to commemorate a birthday, an anniversary or another very special occasion.

GARNET – Heart Chakra – Red
Once thought to provide guidance in the dark. Strengthens the bloodstream. Aligns subtle energies: (love, compassion, imaginations)
AMETHYST – 7th Chakra – Third eye crown.
Coveted by royalty throughout the ages as symbols of wisdom, strength and confidence. Calming, strong protective qualities. Increases divine love, intuition and inspiration.
AQUAMARINE – 5TH Chakra – throat
Beloved for its cool serene ice blue color. In ancient times, this gem was thought to be capable of preserving youth and health. Symbolizes peace and tranquility. Enhances clarity of mind and aids creativity.
DIAMOND – Symbol of love, perfection, innocence, purity and faithfulness. Alignment with higher self. Master healer. Enhances brain function. Ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars that had fallen to Earth.
EMERALD – 4th Heart Chakra -(Compassion & Love)
Beloved by Venus the Roman Goddess of Love. A precious green stone symbolizing growth and fertility. Strong emotional balancer. Enhances dreams, meditation and spiritual insight.
PEARL – A gift from the sea.
A symbol of purity Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love considered the pearl to be sacred.ALEXANDRITE – 7th (crown chakra)
Aids internal and external regeneration. Spiritual transformation and oneness with life.
RUBY – (1st Chakra red) Base or root.
Prized by kings throughout the ages. Ruby is one of the rarest of gems and extremely durable. A symbol of happiness and good fortune. Enhances circulation and strengthens immunity. Enhances courage, integrity, power and leadership.
PERIDOT – 3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus) Navel
French word for “gem”. Ranges from light yellow-green to deep olive. The versatile peridot is often referred to as “Evening Emerald”. Admired for its sunlit glow it symbolizes warmth and charity. Reduces stress, increases awareness and growth.
SAPPHIRE – (5TH Chakra Throat)
& ( 6TH Chakras Third eye)
Known for its brilliance and durability. Although it occurs in every color except red, the stone is best known and loved for its deep celestial blue. A symbol of faith and goodness. Stimulates psychic abilities, clarity, inspiration, creative expression, loyalty and love. Excellent for meditation it dispels confusion.
OPAL – A symbol of hope and inspiration.
Known for its dazzling fiery combination of colors. The unique formation of tiny spheres create this magnificent play of colors. Aids eyesight and enhances intuition. The full spectrum of colors resonates with all chakras. Helps conscious connection with highest aspects of being.
PINK TOURMALINE -RUBELITE (heart/root chakras)
Aids sleep. Dispels fear and negative conditions. Strong protective influence. Enhances sensitivity, understanding, and inspiration.
Symbolizes truth and integrity. Ranges in color from lemon yellow to amber brown. Citrine is popular for the flattering glow it casts on every complexion. Member of the quartz family. Symbolizes truth and integrity. (Solar/Navel 3rd chakra) Good for tissue regeneration. Enhances healing energy. Raises self-esteem, hope and cheerfulness. Detoxifies and energizes. (Citirine, Topaz)
BLUE TOPAZ – (5th & 6th Chakras)
Considered a source of great strength and intelligence. Popular semi-precious stone available in hues ranging from cool sky blue to deep Swiss blue. Enhances metabolism, strengthens emotional balance with cooling, soothing, peaceful tranquility within . (Blue Topaz, Zircon, Turquoise)