Home DM News Birthstones: a look into the history and meaning of birthstone jewellery

Birthstones have become an international jewellery trend, designed and crafted in both the most simplest and extravagant styles, representing not only someone’s birth month but also personality traits and historical meanings. Crafted into rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, birthstone jewellery is gifted for a variety of occasions and can be designed with a spectrum of precious metals, cut types, diamond encrusting and customisation.

The secret history of birthstones

Each gemstone found on the earth carries its own unique history. But the concept of a birthstone also comes with a tale to tell. Like many trends and objects throughout time, birthstones are interpreted differently by different cultures and religions, with biblical and Hindu beliefs being prominent when it comes to birthstones.

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Biblical origins

Birthstones were first used in ancient times, dating back to the Breastplate of Aaron as described in the book of Exodus. The breastplate had twelve stones that illustrated the different tribes of Israel. There were four rows made up of three stones each. According to first-century translations, the first row included carnelian, chrysolite, and beryl. The second row contained jacinth, agate, and amethyst, and the third row contained topaz, onyx, and jasper. The naming of minerals at the time was dependent on colour rather than chemical composition, so it is difficult to determine which gems were actually used.

Around 500 years after Aaron’s breastplate was described, a historian named Joseph believed there to be a connection between the 12 stones found in the breastplate and the 12 months of the year. Historian St. Jerome, referencing Joseph, started to encourage the use of these stones by Christians, establishing a tradition that would last for centuries.

People used to gather all 12 stones to wear together in luxurious belts, bracelets, and other types of jewellery. By the 8th and 9th centuries, this trend evolved into owning a collection of all the jewels but wearing only one stone each month, as it was believed to have heightened powers during its designated time. The modern tradition of wearing a birthstone for the month of one’s birth began in the 16th century, originating in either Germany or Poland.

Hindu origins

The tradition of stones representing your birth month with mystical powers can also be found in Hindu traditions. The Ratna Pariksha, a 5th-century Hindu text, chronicles the relationships between gemstones and deities, celestial bodies, and days of the week.

Hindu practices link nine gemstones to different celestial forces, known as navaratna in Sanskrit. Jewellery in this style always features a bright red ruby or spinel at the centre, surrounded by the other gems. These pieces are believed to provide the wearer with cosmic harmony and serve as symbols of status and wealth. Vedic astrologers recommend specific stones based on astrological birth charts to harness the power of certain planets or protect against negative influences.

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The different birthstones and their months

The modern birthstone list has been largely unchanged since 1912. There is no doubt that birthstones are eternally thought-provoking and retain their value amongst customers and jewellers. Whether you want to wear your personal birthstone or just have a favourite gem, these accessories hold a great depth of meaning, thoughtfulness and timeless style.

  • January birthstone: The Garnet gemstone is the birthstone for January and is also the stone for the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Highly valued since ancient times, the Garnet gemstone was considered a sign of wealth and success.
  • February birthstone: For those born in February, Amethyst is the chosen gem. This stone can be found in the collections of royal families throughout Europe and Asia and is a symbol of personal empowerment and inner strength.
  • March birthstone: Two birthstones are associated with March, one being aquamarine and the other one being bloodstone. Two very different stones both with rich historical significance.
  • April birthstone: The diamond is the traditional birthstone of April and possesses significant meaning for those born in that month, providing the wearer with improved relationships and greater inner strength.
  • May birthstone: Emerald, the birthstone for May, has been adorned for centuries, evoking rebirth and renewal. Emeralds are also associated with the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.
  • June birthstone: The June birthstones are pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. Symbolising purity and generosity, it’s also traditional for brides to wear pearl jewellery and they’re often given as graduation gifts.
  • July birthstone: Ruby is the July birthstone and it’s one of the most desired gems across the world. A true symbol of love and passion, rubies are a powerful gem that holds great meaning and power.
  • August birthstone: Peridot, spinel and sardonyx are the three birthstones for August. The original birthstone for August was sardonyx, and then peridot was added, becoming August’s primary gemstone.
  • September Birthstone: September’s glamorous blue birthstone is the sapphire. With luxurious blue colouring, sapphire has been a global favourite for centuries.
  • October birthstone: Opal and tourmaline are both the birthstones for October, both of which are adorned with endless colour combinations and a unique characteristic.
  • November birthstone: November birthstones are known to have calming energies which also bring fortune and warmth to the wearer. Those with November birthdays have two birthstones, topaz and citrine.
  • December birthstone: December birthdays have claim to three gemstones; Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise, each of which carries a unique blue tone and romantic aura.
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Birthstone Jewellery Handcrafted by David Morris

From dazzling sapphires to a classic pearl, our birthstone jewellery makes for the perfect gift. Delve into the world of gemstone jewellery and treat a loved one to a precious birthstone with our selection of high jewellery stones and precious metals, crafted to celebrate your day of birth.

Made up of a collection of rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, our birthstone jewellery collection offers a selection of different styles, themes and stone types, carefully selected from the world’s array of rare gemstones. Our high jewellery gemstones include magnificent rubies, white diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rare-coloured diamonds, pearls, opals and paraiba tourmaline.

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