With so many lists of gemstones by month and so many birthstone lists – many of them with contradictory information – it’s not surprising that many of us get confused as to which ones are correct. Well, quite simply – they are all correct in one way or another.
The history of birthstones goes back many years to various points in history – and to different cultures. In ancient times, gemstones were ascribed specific qualities that related to beliefs about health, healing, astronomy and astrology. Some of these cultures include: Hindu, Hebrew, Roman, Arabic, Polish and European pagan civilisations – all with different beliefs about the qualities and meanings of the different gemstones that they were familiar with. As a result, we now have an abundance of information about many of the gemstones currently used for jewelry today – much of which is paradoxical .
In the early part of the last century, an attempt to produce an official list of birthstones by month was made by the American Gem Trade Association – in 1912 to be precise. This list has now become known as the “Modern” gemstone list to differentiate it from all the previous ones.
However, the rationale that the American Gem Trade Association used for designating a gemstone for each month is unclear – and if anything has only served to confuse people even further. The more cynical gemstone experts consider that the “Modern” list was constructed purely in order to promote certain gemstones on a commercial basis and bears no relationship to any of the underlying belief systems, customs or traditions of the different ancient cultures. Continue reading Birthstones by month: which data to believe