Birthstone History

The History of Birthstones and Why These Gemstones Make Great Gifts

by James Greene

Birthstones are a common category of gemstone known to most people. Today these stones are used to represent the birth month of individuals and there is a certain stone designated for each month of the year. Some may think that birthstones are a relatively new phenomenon but this is not the case. Birthstones have been around for thousands of years and their history is quite fascinating to all types of jewelry lovers as well as why these gemstones make great gifts.

Intriguing History of the Birthstone
The first known significance of the birthstone was back in the times of the Bible when a High priest known as Aaron was ordered by God to construct a breastplate with 12 gems embedded within it. Many historians have linked this initial 12 gemstone occurrence with today's birthstones. During the 8th and 9th centuries, gemstones of this type were also connected to the 12 apostles. Throughout the years since then, the 12 stones were related to birth months, zodiac signs and even alluded to have magical significance. It wasn't until 1912 when a proper list was constructed by the Jewelers of America organization to state which month featured what type of stone. This list is the one currently used today to identify the particular stones.

Why These Gemstones Make Great Gifts
There are so many reasons why choosing a piece of jewelry with a birthstone in it is the perfect gift to give. The first reason deals with the significance behind a stone of this type. Making a gift selection of this kind of gem shows the recipient that the one giving the gift appreciates the significance of the stone and wants to provide the lucky individual with something special. Birthstones are gems which really stand for something and one can wear their new piece of jewelry with pleasure.

Another reason why these gemstones make such great gifts is that one will often have other pieces of jewelry with their birthstone in it. Therefore, when the individual wears multiple pieces of jewelry, they will most likely have gems on which coordinate with one another. Since many people own one type of birthstone jewelry or another, they are more than likely to have jewels in their collection to match their new item.

Different Shades and Qualities
Just like with any other type of gemstone, birthstones come in a wide array of shades and qualities. On the one hand, individuals are able to buy birthstones which are of the highest quality whereas on the other there are also stones available which are inexpensive due to their average quality characteristics. One may also find that the birthstones vary when it comes to the color of the stone. Certain gems will be light in color whereas others will take on a deeper shade overall. The best way to determine which birthstone is of the best quality is to do some independent research, have the gem appraised and inquire with the seller of the stone as to the value of the gem.

James Greene is a Graduate Gemologist and Master Gemologist Appraiser. James has been in the Diamond, jewelry, and appraisal business for over 25 years and specializes in Diamond Engagement Rings and Loose Diamonds.

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