Introduction

Welcome to Birthstone Buzz.

The aim of this introduction is to explain what Birthstone Buzz is about, and to give you a very brief summary of birthstone origins.

My primary goal with Birthstone Buzz is to present birthstones in a simple form so you can easily choose the stone you feel best resonates with you, your life and dreams.

My secondary goal is to just give you all the buzz on birthstones. By that I mean any changes that may take place to accepted birthstones, information on notable people and where they fit into this subject, and anything else I can source.

What is a Birthstone?

A birthstone is traditionally a gemstone that is considered highly relevant and in harmony to some aspect of an individuals birth. For example, the month you were born, the Zodiac sign you were born under and even the day of the week you were born on.

A birthstone is generally worn or incorporated into ones life in some harmonious way so that it brings benefits in health, wealth and much more.

The complication is that there is no single globally accepted list of birthstones. There are a number of cultural and astrological birthstone lists that all differ in a number of aspects.

Therefore, in this article I will give you a background to just Traditional and Modern birthstones, but keep in mind this is a very brief summary.

Then in the individual articles for Birthstones by Month and Birthstones by Zodiac Sign I will list a single Primary modern birthstone, then follow that with a list of all relevant Secondary birthstones.

The Secondary birthstone list will be compiled from what I consider to be the most relevant birthstones sourced from the various lists I have researched.

Keep in mind that while birthstone lists don’t change often, they do change and researchers can change what they consider to be current and relevant birthstones. Therefore, this website and the content contained will always be a work in progress.

Traditional Birthstones

Aaron
In this sculpture Aaron is shown with a breastplate.
Photo by Wolfgang Moroder licensed under CC By-SA 3.0

Traditional birthstones date back to ancient times and are loosely based on the twelve stones in Aarons Breastplate. They represent the twelve tribes and sons of Jacob, later named Israel, the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Josephus, a first century Jewish historian, believed in this connection, though he did give two different lists of the stones.

The traditional stones listed in the By Month and By Zodiac Sign pages, while based on the stones of the breastplate, are more society based, and often are related to Polish traditions. This is reflected in the fact that some months have multiple gemstones.

In the eight and ninth century the stones were associated with the apostles, and the habit was to wear a different stone each month. In recent times, just a few centuries old, the practice changed to wearing just one stone, the birthstone, permanently.

Modern Birthstones

Modern birthstones came about through a desire to standardize the list of accepted birthstones.

In 1912 the Jewelers of America, then called the National Association of Jewelers, had a meetup and adopted a standard list.

During 1937, Britain’s National Association of Goldsmiths decided to split from this and create their own standard list of birthstones.

In 1952 the The Jewelry Industry Council of America added a couple of new stones to the list and removed one. They added Alexandrite for June, Pink Tourmaline for October and Citrine for November. They removed Lapis Lazuli for December and replaced it with Zircon. Not to stop there, they switched the primary and alternative gems for March.

Then in 2002 the American Gem Trade Association added Tanzanite to December.

Then again in 2016 the Jewelers of America and the American Gem Trade Association decided to add Spinel to August.

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