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Birthstones By The Month: What's Yours?
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Birthstones By the Month: What\'s Yours?

Birthstones have been worn for thousands of years, and for many different reasons. For some, wearing jewels is a symbol of social status or wealth; for others, to cure an ailment or ward off evil. Then there are those who wear them simply because they feel better about themselves when a diamond is hanging from their neck. Whatever the reason, gemstones are fascinating objects: glittery, bright, almost heavenly objects, they have the ability to hypnotize you if you look too long.

Part of the fascination with birthstones is that there are no other replications in nature. The cloudless, daytime sky may resemble turquoise, or a calm lake an emerald, but one can get no further. There are no "ruby mountains" or "sapphire skies". They are rare as plutonium, so it's no wonder that they are not only valued for their visual qualities and how they make us feel, but also because the odds aren't in your favor if you go hunting for them in your backyard.

So it's a small wonder that birthstones are so popular with people regardless of what culture they belong to. Sure, the jewelry stores make billions from their sale every year, and the online market is so saturated I doubt this article will even find its way to even a few readers, but I would bet all the blades of grass in my neighbor's yard that even without jewelers and markets, the birthstone would still be just as popular. They're just too darned hypnotic!

The history of the birthstone can probably be traced best to the Old Testament's Aaron and his breastplate that contained twelve jewels, no two alike. They are said to represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel, but, arguably, they also represent the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Over the years, there has been much confusion over what birthstone was attached to what zodiac sign. This confusion only mounted when the Western World adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Julian. After this less-than-subtle change in the months, days and eventually years, people began associating birthstones not only according to their zodiac sign, which fit in quite nicely with the Julian calendar, but with the months themselves.

Since the switch to the Gregorian, each month now consists of two zodiac signs: Pisces and Aries both reside in March; Sagittarius and Capricorn in December, and so on and so forth.

We humans just LOVE to complicate simple things, don't we?

Street Talk

Hi Sean. Thanks for sharing. Interesting article. My birthstone is Garnet. The month of January.

  about 9 years ago

I always wondered why birthstones seemed to be different depending on where they were sold and why each month consists of 2 zodiac signs, cheers for the read Sean.

  about 1 decade ago
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