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gemstones are precious and semi-precious pieces of rocks. some are minerals, like diamonds, and some are not, like pearls. generally, most people think of jewelry when gemstones are being discussed. that’s not surprising since they usually ornate a ring, or a pendant, or any piece of jewelry really. another thing that comes to mind when gemstones are mentioned is the theory of birthstones - the idea of gemstones representing different months of the year.

everyone knows what their birthstone is (if not, i gotchu in our jewel of the month section). but how did it come about? on occasions i’ve thought to myself, who sat down and said “you know what? january sounds like a garnet month.” after some research i can assure you that’s not how it went. it wasn’t a russian roulette type of thing. there is a lot of history and meaning behind birthstones.

gemstones as a symbol for the months can be dated as far back as the 1400s b.c.e when aaron, moses’ older brother, was anointed as high priest. in the bible, specifically the book of exodus, it was commanded that they make a breastplate consisting of twelve gemstones that the high priests would wear to communicate with god. the stones were to be attributed to the twelve tribes of israel. the twelve tribes of israel also represented months of the year. in true number twelve fashion -in numerology, the number twelve represents cooperation - all these elements were eventually linked to each other. around the fifth century, the connection between the months and the stones was made.

at the beginning, people would wear the gemstones only in their respective months. they thought wearing the gemstone of the month would put them in alignment with the universe. (and now that i think about it, this honestly doesn’t sound like a bad idea and i might try it for a year when i get my hands on all the gemstones required for this.) when traders from all around the world started travelling to do business, they naturally shared stories. people had access to information from all over the globe. it was found that gemstones were popular in most cultures, but it wasn't till jewish traders started travelling around the world that gemstones started being attributed to months of the year globally. it is also important to note that at the time, people would generally recognize the gemstones by color. so it was easy to get blue topaz and sapphires mixed up, for example. overtime, it became easier to classify these precious and semi-precious stones but there was still a lot of confusion in regards to which gemstone was attributed to which month. in 1912, the us national association of jewelers agreed on an official birthstone list. that’s the one we have been using ever since.

i find it interesting that the list was set in stone in 1912 and in numerology the number twelve also symbolizes completion. no such thing as a coincidence, soul fam.

birthstones are meant to help you in your journey on this earth by strengthening the gifts you already have. but, in the spirit of cooperation, every gemstone has something to offer. so don’t think you are limited to only wearing and using peridots because you are an august baby. anyone can wear and use any stone, as long as it resonates with the season of your life.

read more gems
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