Gemstones, also popularly known as birthstones, are famous amongst different cultures. They play a pivotal role in many customs and belief systems. While each month might have more than one birthstone, there are 12 ruling stones affiliated with every month of the year.
Concepts of gemstones’ origin have ties to both Eastern and Western history. Concerning western history, gemstones occur from the Bible in which Moses, the highest priest for Hebrews, had to have a breastplate made of Aaron and, it had 12 different stones joined to the plate that represented 12 Israeli tribes. According to history, each stone had its specific meaning and property.
Eastern culture adjoins concepts of birthstones to zodiac signs and astrology. An individual’s birth chart is custom made according to their zodiac sign which helps explain problems or situations they might be facing in their lives. Gemstones are recommended by astrologers to help create ease in the physical, romantic, spiritual, mental, and material world.
MONTHS and STONES
How did the western and eastern concepts merge to create a tradition of a birthstone for each month of the year? Since stones have been worn since the middle ages, this tradition slowly evolved towards the concept of birthstones. Each stone is believed to have its individualistic properties making it beneficial for people that wear them thus showing an intermingling of both eastern and western concepts.
The American National Association for Jewelers, officially adopted the list for 12 stones and standardized them in 1912 while minor changes were made up till 1937.