Gemstones that have a unique meaning and historical significance have been long associated with one's birth month and are termed as birthstones. From ancient times, birthstones have been known to possess great powers to ward off evil effects and bring goodness to the wearer. They include rare and expensive gemstones like diamond, ruby, pearl and sapphire and the semi-precious and cheaper gemstones like garnet, amethyst, peridot, opal, moonstone, etc. The gemstones are said to have the highest power for the month they are assigned to.
Birthstones for the 12 months continue to stay as such from ancient periods with a slight change or additions according to modern trends. Our list has the modern gemstones along with the mystical stones and Ayurvedic gemstones. The wearing of birthstones traces its origin to the time of Priest Aaron, the brother of Moses who was recorded to have worn 12 gemstones signifying the 12 tribes of Israel. The breastplate had four rows of precious stones. In the first row there was a ruby, a topaz and a beryl; in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald; in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst and in the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper.
The present list of birthstones by month has been developed in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers. There are numerous traditions, legends and lores associated with the assignment of the gemstones for the 12 months. They are a mainstay in many households these days. Wearing the gemstones according to our month of birth will give us a special character. Birthstones vary according to Hindu, Russian, Roman, Mythical, Ancient and Modern classifications. Of late the modern gemstones according to the Gregorian calendar has been adopted.