History of Birthstones

When it comes to jewelry, we tend to gravitate towards pieces that have meaning, and the first connection most of us make with the world of gems are birthstones.

The origin of birthstones has become cloudy throughout time. Some believe it originated from the breastplate worn by Aaron in the book of Exodus, which was set with 12 stones that were believed to correspond to the 12 tribes of Israel- or the 12 months or 12 signs of the zodiac. A more modern theory can be loosely traced to 16th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders. The idea of each person always wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of their birth became more and more popular. Throughout time, jewelers jumped on the idea as a marketing opportunity and began promoting official lists and encouraging gemstone-themed jewelry as gifts.

No matter how it originated, there’s a charm factor about having a special stone dedicated to the month we were born. Diving into all the legends and stories around each gem only adds to the fun! We’ve put together a list of all the gemstones which are considered the primary stone(s) for each month along with the gemstone(s) associated with each of the 12 zodiac signs.


Now you might be wondering what the difference is between your birth month stone and your zodiac sign stone, right? Because they can be different! The 12 zodiac signs stem from Babylonian era studies of astrology and astronomy. Many people believe that zodiac stones can actually transmit energy from the planets because of the connection with our solar system. They are said to bring good fortune and luck to those who wear their sign’s stone. Writings from earlier centuries proposed that each of the 12 gemstones had special powers associated with the corresponding zodiac sign; and that wearing these stones at the right time would have therapeutic or talismanic benefits. Since zodiac signs follow the Astrological calendar, those stones are different from birth stones, which are based on the internationally accepted Gregorian calendar.


You will notice that some months have two or even three different gemstone that are classified as their birthstone. For example, October’s birthstones are both Tourmaline and Opal!

Every month, we will be doing a Birthstone Spotlight and will go more in depth on each primary stone during its month of glory… check back!