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The Fascinating History of Birthstones

Birthstones can be a super personal and stunning addition to your everyday jewellery collection. But did you know that their history dates all the way back to the time of Moses, a story recorded between 400 and 600 BC?

Associated with each month of the year, they are believed to have originated from the Breastplate of Aaron, a religious garment worn by Jewish high priests. The breastplate was adorned with twelve gemstones, each representing the twelve tribes of Israel and it was considered a sacred object that helped communicate with God.

Over time, birthstones have become more than just religious symbols. They are now a popular way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. In this blog post, we’ll explore the fascinating history of birthstones.

Add your Birthstone Charm to the Initial Necklace.

The Origins of Birthstone Jewellery

The concept of birthstones dates back to ancient times. The first known use of birthstones can be traced back to the ancient Babylonians, who believed that certain gemstones had magical powers that could bring good luck and prosperity to the wearer. They would wear these gemstones as talismans to protect themselves from harm.

The ancient Greeks also believed in the power of gemstones. They believed that each gemstone had its own unique set of properties and that these properties could be used to heal and protect the wearer. They would wear gemstones as amulets and talismans to bring good luck, protect themselves from harm, and ward off evil spirits.

Birthstone Jewellery in Modern Times

In the early 1900s, the National Association of Jewellers in the United States created a standardised list of birthstones. The list was updated in 1952, and it is still used today. The modern list includes twelve gemstones, each one representing a different month of the year.

The modern list of birthstones is as follows:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond or White Topaz
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Peridot
  • September: Sapphire
  • October: Opal or Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Tanzanite

A timeless ear stack: Croissant Hoops, October Opal Birthstone Studs, and the Petite Dome Hoops.

Birthstone Jewellery to Treasure

Birthstones have a rich and fascinating history that spans thousands of years. From their origins in ancient Babylon to their use in modern times, birthstones have been used as symbols of luck, protection, and healing. Whether you believe in their magical properties or not, birthstones are a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate special occasions and milestones in your life. So the next time you’re looking for a special gift for someone you love, consider a piece of jewellery that features their birthstone.

Explore our original, handcrafted and gold filled genuine birthstone collection here.

AUTHOR

Jess Kumanovski

Maison de Femmes founder and creative director.

A hopeful romantic, Jess lives and works in Melbourne, Australia and has always had a particular knack for untangling jewellery and dating idiots. She started Maison de Femmes in 2018 as an escape from the 9-5 office grind, and it's been a magical ride ever since.

Find out more about our humble origins on the About Us page.