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Birthstone Jewelry

Birthstone jewelry is very popular today and dates back to ancient history. Throughout the ages people have had the strong desire to adorn themselves with items not only of beauty, but also meaning and birthstone jewelry is just one example. These meanings can manifest themselves in any number of ways including personal meaning, belief that birthstones posses medicinal affects or several others. When searching for a piece of birthstone jewelry, it can be helpful and interesting to understand the history behind birthstone jewelry, the beliefs that some hold surrounding it and some of the most popular forms of this type of jewelry. Afterward, you'll be well positioned to enjoy your birthstone jewelry buying experience and find that perfect ring, necklace or bracelet.

The History of the Birthstone

Since ancient times, people from across the world have valued beautiful stones and minerals, incorporating them into their everyday lives. Civilizations including the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Persians, Incas and Aztecs strongly believed that these gemstones possess many attributes, curative powers and even the power to convey the soul to peace in the afterlife. While the value of gemstones is consistent across ancient history, the story of their integration as birthstones is less clear.

Although there is no definitive source for the assignment of gemstones as individual birthstones by the world's peoples, there are a number of legends and several lists that document differing groups of birthstones. They include:

Mythical Birthstones are said to come from the ancient Tibetan culture and date back thousands of years.

Biblical Birthstones were mentioned in the Bible's Old Testament suggesting that the twelve birthstones can be traced to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Ayurvedic Birthstones date back to ancient Indian culture and those who believed that specific stones have medicinal effects.

Zodiac Birthstones have evolved over thousands of years as astrologers have assigned gems of certain colors to the twelve signs of the zodiac to help people influence the planets in their favor.

Modern Birthstones did not exist until 1912 when the Jewelers of American developed a list of birthstones in an effort to settle on a standardized list of birthstones.

Despite the lack of clarity among the handful of different lists, it's clear that many people believe that some gemstones have special meaning and perhaps power. For the buyer of birthstone jewelry, it's certainly helpful to identify those qualities that he or she finds meaningful before making their purchase. For more information, here is a chart based on the list of modern birthstones:

Birthstone Chart
January Birthstone - Garnet February Birthstone - Amethyst March Birthstone - Aquamarine April Birthstone - Diamond
January February March April
Garnet Amethyst Aquamarine Diamond
May Birthstone - Emerald June Birthstone - Pearl July Birthstone - Ruby August Birthstone - Peridot
May June July August
Emerald Pearl Ruby Peridot
September Birthstone - Sapphire October Birthstone - Opal November Birthstone - Citrine Blue Topaz
September October November December
Sapphire Opal Citrine Blue Topaz

The Breastplate of Aaron: The First Piece of Birthstone Jewelry?

Whether you believe that birthstones possess meaning, beneficial qualities or not, birthstone jewelry is as ancient as the stones it uses. Like the history of birthstones, the origination of birthstone jewelry is vague, however one of the first descriptions of birthstone jewelry was seen in the Bible. The Breastplate of Aaron was said to be a religious garment worn by Aaron during religious ceremonies. The item was said to have twelve gemstones embedded within it, each representing one of the Israeli tribes. Regardless if this Old Testament story is true, presently gemstones of all sorts can be found in birthstone jewelry of all types with meanings as varied as the people that wear it.

Modern Birthstone Jewelry: Popular Styles

Since ancient times, people have continued to develop and wear many forms of birthstone jewelry. While there are many styles that have been popular over the years, here are the most popular types today:

Birthstone Necklace

Necklaces continue to be popular among the many forms of birthstone jewelry available today for a number of reasons. First, the color and brilliance of the gemstone creates an eye catching appearance that many desire. For those that believe that birthstones possess medicinal properties, it's said that wearing the stone close to the center of the body maximizes its positive effects. Finally, a necklace is a favorite clothing accent and can often be combined with other pieces of birthstone jewelry to create an attractive appearance.

Birthstone Ring

Rings are a popular form of birthstone jewelry because they are available in a wide range of styles, colors and finishes. Whether using gold, silver, platinum or some other metal, jewelers can get more creative with rings versus some other forms of birthstone jewelry, since the amounts of precious metal are small and less expensive as a result. Therefore an interesting and truly unique birthstone ring may be less expensive that comparable forms of jewelry.

Birthstone Bracelet

Bracelets continue to be a favorite form of birthstone jewelry, especially charm bracelets. Many enjoy giving the gift of a birthstone charm bracelet with the goal of giving the recipient additional gemstone charms during future occasions.

Although each of these items is popular by itself, matching birthstone jewelry sets are also extremely popular. Often two of the above components, the recipient can use the different pieces in a number of ways.

Best Occasions to Give Birthstone Jewelry

People wear birthstone jewelry not only because it's beautiful but also meaningful, so the best occasion to give a gift like this should be one that has meaning and substance. As a result, such a meaningful gift shouldn't be given to someone with whom you only have a casual relationship; so it's ideal to give a ring, necklace, or even a birthstone jewelry set to a spouse or significant other. Among the most significant occasions for the giving of birthstone jewelry include:

Birthday - Obvious or not, giving a gift of birthstone jewelry for one's birthday makes the greatest amount of sense.

Anniversary – Whether it's a wedding or some other significant milestone, an anniversary is a good opportunity to give a piece of birthstone jewelry.

Graduation – As a recognition of achievement and wish for future success, a birthstone ring or necklace is often among the most popular gifts.

Clearly, birthstone jewelry continues to be a favorite for a wide range of reasons. Not only is it attractive, but birthstone jewelry offers greater meaning as a form of personalized jewelry while offering the potential of positive mental and physical effects. If you're searching for a gift for someone special, consider Zales birthstone jewelry.