Sunday, May 24, 2009

Birth stones have meanings!

Because Gemstones have been valued throughout history for their beauty and rarity, they have also become associated with objects and events. There gemstones associated with each of the nine planets. There are gemstones associated with astrological signs, days of the week, and wedding anniversaries. However, the most well know association with gemstones is the birthstone.

Giving gems often conveys a poetic and special significance and this can be made even more special when the stone relates to the month in which the recipient was born. Please, click the following link view birth gemstone chart and its history.

The idea of a stone associated with the twelve months began to evolve long ago, with the breastplate of Aaron.

Prior to 1300 B. C., gemstone legend and lore focused on mystical properties associated with gems. Gems were worn to bestow those properties upon the wearer. Thus, a person plagued by nightmares might choose to wear peridot as protection against them and a woman hoping to have a child might wear emerald for fertility. Other legends grew to explain the origins of the gem. For example, amethyst was said to have created by the Greek god of wine, Bacchus. This happened with a beautiful young woman cried out to the goddess Diana for protection against the murderous wrath of Bacchus. Diana changed the woman into a beautiful clear crystal. Bacchus then poured his wine onto the crystal, changing it to purple. Because of Bacchus’ hand in the creation of a amethyst, it was used as a protection against drunkenness.

According to Biblical, scripture, the Priest Aaron was to wear a breastplate adorned with twelve gems, chosen by God to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. There has been some debate about which gems actually appeared in the breastplate. This is because people did not always classify gemstones by mineral composition. In fact, the most frequent ancient method of classifying gems was by color, leading to confusion between such gems as garnet and ruby.

The idea of having gemstones represent specific desirable traits found in the twelve tribes of Israel led to the association between gemstones and signs of zodiac.

The gems chosen have changed many times through the centuries. For example, the Ancient Babylonians associated diamond with the astrological sign Libra. However, to the Greeks, diamond was associated with Cancer and, to the Byzantines, diamond was linked to Aries. The jump from stones associated with astrological signs to being associated to specific months came with the spread of Christianity.

Since the church desired to downplay the use of astrology, gemstone lore to become associated with twelve apostles. Then came a belief that people born in a certain month were assigned a specific guardian angel. Certain gems became associated with each angel, and thus the birthstone concept was born.

Originally, wealthy European owned one of each “birthstone.” and changed which birthstone they wore each month in order to be in harmony with the celestial spirits. As the months changed, the wearer hoped the stone would bring the special properties during that month. Each stone had certain traits and protections ascribed to it by legend. garnet would bring the wearer tranquility and protect against fevers and against harm during travel. Ruby would bring the clarity of mind and protect against harm from natural causes.

It was not until the 18th century that the idea of gemstones as birth amulets became popular. The logic behind the change is obvious; ownership of large numbers of gemstones was not a practice that could be embraced by most people, and eventually it became the fashion to wear only the stone associated with one’s birth month. One legend even suggested that it is unlucky for anyone who is not born in October to wear opal, but for those born in its month, opal would bring joy and contentment and protect against diseases of the eye.

The stones associated with each month have changed frequently. One reason is that identification of gemstones has been haphazard and often based on color, not composition of the stone. Also, birthstones have varied from country to country. And as people became more interested in wearing birthstones, less expensive stones have been substituted for some of the most rare gems. Finally in 1912, the National Association of Jewelers assigned the standard birthstones we recognize today. However, even in this list there were choices. A person born in March could choose between aquamarine and bloodstone, while someone born in June has the most choices with pearl, alexandrite and moonstone being equally acceptable.

Since the choice of “official” birthstones has been rather arbitrary, individuals could choose instead to wear “signature” stones based upon different standards. For example, a person who values courage might choose diamond as his signature stone since diamonds are said to ensure bravery for the wearer. Diamond is also a symbol of fidelity in love, which is why they have become the special stone for engagement rings. A different person might choose to wear the gem associated with their “guardian angel.” For example, a woman born in January is said to be looked after by the angel Gabriel, whose stone is onyx. Someone with a special affection for astrology might choose to wear the stone associated with her star sign. For example, a Libra may choose to wear peridot. There also stones associated with seasons and days of the week.

With the huge number of “correct” choices available to each person, the wearing of a birthstone can be individual and distinctive. Whatever stone is chosen, one thing is certain, the stone has a rich mythic tradition that can add depth and interest to your choice.

Choose the gemstone traditionally associated with your birth month or choose the ones you like the best.


Months

Modern

Ancient

Gemstone meaning

January

Birth Gemstone: Garnet
Color: Dark red

Garnet

Consistency, endurance, creativity, patience

February

Birth Gemstone: Amethyst
Color: Purple

Amethyst

Sincerity, intuition, motivation

March

Birth Gemstone: Aquamarine
Color: Pale blue

Aquamarine

Courage, creativity, health, perception, hope

April

Birth Gemstone: Diamond
Color: Clear

Diamond

Innocence, eternity, courage, health

May

Birth Gemstone: Emerald
Color: Deep green

Emerald

Love, Success, happiness, goodness

June

Birth Gemstone: Pearl
Color: Pearl

Alexandrite
Red

Pearl: Faith, charity, innocence, health, peace
Alexandrite: Love, joy, luck, courage

July

Birth Gemstone: Ruby
Color: Red

Ruby

Nobility, contentment, love, enthusiasm, strength

August

Birth Gemstone: Peridot
Color: Green

Sardonyx

Peridot: Success, peace, married happiness, luck, courage

September

Birth Gemstone: Sapphire
Color: Deep blue

Sapphire

Clear thinking, wisdom, serenity, purity, truth

October

Birth Gemstone: Opal
Color: Multi-color

Pink Tourmaline

Opal: Hope, purity, health, innocence
Tourmaline: Love, compassion, peace

November

Birth Gemstone: Golden Topaz
Color: Yellow

Citrine
Yellow

Topaz: Courage, fidelity, wisdom, serenity
Citrine: Energy, warmth, optimism

December

Birth Gemstone: Blue Topaz
Color: Deep Blue

Turquoise or Lapis
Blue

Topaz: Success, love, luck, happiness, prosperity
Turquoise/Lapis: Patience, happiness, peace



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