Gemstones are undoubtedly dazzling and distinctive, but they also have rich history filled with legacy, lore, and legend. Whether they’re the precious kind, like diamonds, exotic like tanzanite, or one of the 12 birthstones, these stunning natural stones have become favored in the world of jewelry.
How Were Birthstones Born?
Birthstones are gems that have come to be associated with each month of the year, but according to legend, they were worn on the breastplate of Aaron, the brother of Moses to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. In the 5th century, the biblical scholar, St. Jerome, posited that the 12 gems should be used to represent each month, and thus the birthstone was born.
Sadly, there’s no agreement on which gemstones graced Aaron’s breastplate or compiled St. Jerome’s list, so in 1912, the American National Jewelers’ Association compiled a new birthstone list. A few amendments later, and we have the list we use today, with some months containing more than one.
January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine
April – Diamond
May – Emerald
June – Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite
July – Ruby
August – Peridot, Spinel
September – Sapphire
October – Opal, Tourmaline
November – Topaz, Citrine
December – Tanzanite, Blue Zircon, Turquoise
There are many myths and legends about the healing power and therapeutic impact of birthstones. Some people believe wearing a gemstone during its assigned month heightens its healing powers, and that individuals need to own all 12 and alternate them monthly for the full effect. Others believe simply carrying these gems with you can have positive health effects. Whether or not you are one of these believers, there’s no denying the place of the gemstone in the jewelry store.
How to Choose Gemstone Jewelry
From finding the right birthstones to selecting gemstones by color, jewelers can walk you through each step of the research and buying process. Most people are looking for gemstone jewelry that fits a special occasion, as well as the lifestyle of the recipient. Birthstone jewelry is an excellent choice because it’s personalized and thoughtful.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you shop:
- Some natural gemstones can be enhanced to improve their color.
- Manufactured or synthetic gems and birthstones may look nice, but they do not have the rarity or value. An expert gemologist or jeweler will know the difference.
- It’s important to make sure that your gemstone jewelry is kept in just the right conditions to keep it looking at its best.
- Many gemstones require special care over time.
Shop Gemstones by Color, Birth Month, or Original Design at Jewelry Design Gallery
At the Jewelry Design Gallery in Manalapan, we use only genuine gemstones and precious metals to make our jewelry, finished and treated using the same skill and high-quality processes. If you’re looking for spectacular gemstone jewelry in your local area, stop in today for a consultation.