Birthstones or gemstones have long been associated with particular times of the year.
This dates back to pagan beliefs that the cycles of nature and the seasons directly affect a person’s characteristics and that his or her birth is itself part of a cycle of nature. In the bible, the breastplate of Aaron was set with 12 gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. (Exodus 28:15-19)
These beliefs exist today in astrology and in the association of certain stones and colours with each month. By 1870, Tiffany & Co were marketing Birthstones with a series of 12 poems – one for each month – describing how the birthstone associated with each month will help to shape the characteristics of a person born in that month . See this Wikipedia article.
However, this was not the only list; a number of competing sets of birthstones were circulated leading to standardisation by jewellery industry bodies across the world during the first half of the twentieth century. By 1937, the National Association of Goldsmiths in Britain set out this list which has become the internationally (almost) accepted one.
|Month||Stone||Swarovski Crystal Colour|
|March||Aquamarine, Heliotrope||Aquamarine 202|
|April||Diamond, Rock Crystal||Crystal 001|
|June||Pearl, Moonstone||White Opal|
|July||Ruby, Carnelian||Light Siam 227|
|August||Peridot, Sardonyx||Peridot 214|
|September||Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli||Sapphire 206|
|November||Topaz, Citrine||Citrine 249|
|December||Tanzanite, Turquoise||Tanzanite 539|