Birthstones And Their Meanings
There are a lot of legends and lore surrounding the practice of wearing birthstones. Many people believe that the idea of wearing birthstones started out as a marketing ploy by companies selling jewelry, but the reason behind the practice is much, much deeper than that. The practice of wearing birthstones has deep roots in religion and astrology.
The Myths Behind the Practice
One of the earliest stories connected to the practice of wearing birthstones comes from the Christian Bible. In the book of Exodus, the Breastplate of Aaron is described to have been mounted with twelve precious stones: ruby, topaz, beryl, turquoise, sapphire, emerald, jacinth, agate, amethyst, chrysolite, onyx and jasper. These twelve stones represented each of the twelve tribes of the Hebrews.
Other ancient cultures, the Hellenics and the Babylonians in particular, have associated certain precious stones with their gods and goddesses, and later on with the planets and the stars represented in astrological signs. These stones were given attributes pertaining to the astrological signs they are linked with, as well as supernatural, protective powers. To wear the particular gemstone associated with a particular month on that given month is to invoke the protection offered by the power of the stone.
Over time and as Christianity came to rise, the Church tried to downplay astrology in the lives of the flock, and so wearing gemstones came to represent guardian angels and the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ instead. The idea that gemstones have the power to protect its wearer was nonetheless retained. However, since only wealthy people can afford owning a different gemstone for each month, most people have adopted the practice of wearing just the gemstone that represents the month of their birth. Since then, these gemstones were referred to as birthstones.
Here are the different birthstones for each month of the Gregorian calendar and the meaning behind these stones.