Birth Month Stone
Your Birth Month Stone And Birth Month Stone Jewelry
Buying a piece of birth month stone jewelry for a loved one can be tricky because these items have such a personal connection and there are so many varieties of stones. By knowing more about cultural differences, the history of the stones and the wearer preference, it is easier to find a treasured piece of birth month stone jewelry that they can wear with pride.
There are many symbolic forms of jewelry - such as the simple gold wedding band or religious pendent - and birth month stone jewelry is one of them because its significance is far more important than some people may realize. These treasured keepsakes help the wearer show their spiritual connection to the month in which they were born and, as a result, have been given as gifts for a very long time.
These Birth Month Stones Have A Long History And Many Cultural Variations
There are many different birthstone options and these associations have often changed over time. The Western approach to birthstone jewellery is said to begin in the 15th century and originate from the Jewish idea of Josephus, which attributes the stones to months based on the breastplate of Aaron in the bible. In 1870 a new tradition was introduced by Tiffany and Co. that added to the sentimentality of the gift. Each month also contained an accompanying poem "of the unknown author" to be recited to the recipient. Different stones have gone in and out of fashion since the original system was devised; some have been changed while others have been added.
These changes and additions mean that choosing the right stone is not always a straightforward choice. Just because some retailers may class blue topaz as the stone for December children, it does not mean that everyone will choose to wear it. This choice can be down to personal preference but it can also be due to cultural differences. The Hindi birth stones, for example, are determined by the 1879 Mani Mala text () and there are also a few variations between the British and American understandings of these stones. Interpretation is vital when determining birthstones, as is seen by the number of different opinions regarding Aaron's breastplate. Mani-Mala, Part 1: Or A Treatise On Gems (1879)
Do You Know Yours?
January has been associated with garnet since the 15th century by Brits and Americans. Hindu culture, however, favors the serpent stone.
For centuries, amethyst, hyacinth and pearl were associated with February, then in 1912 the West simplified this to just amethyst. The Hindi stone is chandrakanta (moonstone).
Bloodstone has been a British and American birthstone since the 15th century. At this point it was joined by jasper but in 1912 jasper was replaced with aquamarine. The Hindi version is Gold Siva-linga.
April is unusual because not only has the same stone - diamond - been used to symbolise the month since the 15th century, it is also used in Hindu culture. The only variant is the addition of rock crystal in Britain in 2012.
For May, every culture has emerald and the UK has added chrysoprase in 2012.
In 1912 the June stones were altered from cat's eye, turquoise and agate to pearl and moonstone while Alexandrite was added in America in 1912. In Hindu culture the stone is just pearl.
July originally was associated with turquoise and onyx but this was switched to ruby in 1912. In 2012 Britain added carnelian, while the Hindu's favor sapphire.
August has always been associated with sardonyx however in 2012 the US dropped its use, favoring just the peridot stone that was introduced in 1912. Hindu culture uses the ruby.
Sapphire has been associated with September since 1912 - previously it was chrysolite - in 2012 the British adopted the additional lapis lazuli but America did not.
Opal has been used in Western cultures for October since the 15th century. Since 1912 the US has also used tourmaline as a replacement for aquamarine but this is not recognised by the British. Hindu's favour coral.
November is associated with topaz - another Western tradition that has lasted since the 15th century. In 2012 this was accompanied by Citrine. The Hindi version is cat's-eye.
December is one of the most varied months. In 1912 ,Turquoise replaced bloodstone and ruby - with the US also using lapis lazuli. In 2012 Britain added tanzanite and US added tanzanite and Zircon. The Hindi stone is topaz.
The Tiffany and Co. Birth Stone Poem
By her who in this month (January) is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.
The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.