The idea of gems being associated with the months of the year is not a new one. The breastplate of Aaron as described in Exodus was adorned with twelve stones, and the first-century historian Josephus believed there was a connection between these stones, the twelve months of the year, and the twelve zodiac signs. Later in the Christian tradition, it became a religious practice to keep twelve stones, one for each of the apostles, and wear a different one each month.
Birthstones as we know them are much more modern. In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers met to adopt a standard list of monthly birthstones. While the list has been updated since then—for example, by changing December's birthstone from lapis to zircon—in general, the list has remained unchanged for over 100 years.
Today, birthstone jewelry remains a versatile gift sure to please any woman in your life, whether it's her birthday or some other gift-giving occasion like Valentine's Day, Christmas, a confirmation, a bat mitzvah, or a quinceañera. Birthstone jewelry is highly prized and regarded as one of the most thoughtful jewelry gifts for women.
Not sure what birthstone corresponds to what month? Here's a handy guide (with variants):
- January: Garnet
- February: Amethyst
- March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
- April: Diamond
- May: Emerald
- June: Pearl or Moonstone
- July: Ruby
- August: Sardonyx or Peridot
- September: Sapphire
- October: Opal or Tourmaline
- November: Topaz
- December: Turquoise or Lapis Lazuli
When you select a piece of birthstone jewelry, it's fun to tell the lucky recipient a little bit about it! For example, if she was a January baby, you could tell her that garnet comes from the Latin "granatus," meaning seed, as it reminded the ancient Greeks and Romans of pomegranate seeds. If she was born in February, she might be interested to learn that amethysts also have a mythological origin: the goddess Diana turned an unsuspecting maiden into a statue of quartz to protect her from the wrath of Dionysius. When Dionysius learned of his role in her demise, he wept tears of wine all over the statue, staining it purple. Other birthstones, like opals, turquoise, and sapphires, were believed to have protective properties against poison or the ill will of others. For your special lady, a little detail like that, along with a pair of birthstone earrings, a birthstone necklace, or a birthstone bracelet, will make the gift truly unforgettable.
If you're looking for the best in birthstone jewelry, come into TIVOL to see our selection of fine jewelry in Kansas City. Our Carelle line of necklaces is particularly elegant—consider, for example, their amethyst pendant necklace, which is perfect for a February baby. Looking for a different month? Visit TIVOL at one of our two Kansas City area locations or search for birthstones on the TIVOL website to see what we have to offer online.