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The Birthstone, Where Did It Come From?

Birthstones are simply known as gemstones which represent the month someone was born. Each gemstone full of history and legend behind it, holding a meaning thought to hold true to its wearer. They are usually found adorning all forms of jewellery, with rings and necklaces being popular ways to display the gem.

Traditional History

The first recorded history of birthstones can be traced back to biblical times. A breastplate worn by the High Priests of the Israelites was made adorning 12 different stones, each representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The stones were included to provide power and possessed the ability to tell people their fate.

At this time, gemstones were named purely on their colour rather than by chemical composition, making it difficult to determine which gems were used. However, from early translations we know that Agate, Amethyst, Topaz and Peridot were definitely used.

Image source; Gem Society. A sculpture showing what the breastplate may have looked like. You can see the twelve places where the gemstones would have sat.

Around 500 years later, a connection was made between the gemstones, the 12 months of the year and the 12 zodiacs. This began a tradition to encourage Christians to start using them, and by the 8th and 9th centuries, people would collect all 12 gemstones but only wear them during the given month, as they were thought to provide different forms of power and protection.

The modern tradition of wearing one stone for the month of birth didn’t begin until the 18th century, and is thought to have originated in Poland, due to the arrival of Jewish gem traders.

Modern History

In 1912, the National Association of Jewellers in the US created a standardised list of birthstones, providing a clear list of which gemstones went with which month, but also a list of practical stones for American jewellers to sell in larger quantities. In 1952 the list was updated by the Jewelry Industry Council of American to include some additional modifications, some months having additional gemstones added to it. Since then, the list remains largely untouched, except for the addition of Tanzanite in 2002, and Spinel in 2016.

Image source; Eluna Jewelry Designs.

People today love to own a jewel containing their birthstone, as we now have a greater understanding of the history and symbols these gemstones offer.

The Charlie Luxe Birthstone Guide


The red colour of garnets are often known to symbolise faith, trust and courage offering protection especially from nightmares. Garnets are also gifted to celebrate a 2nd wedding anniversary.


Amethysts are a gorgeous and popular gemstone, which can be found in an array of purple tones. Amethysts are calming and bring focus, thought to be extremely beneficial to the mind and body. It is said that it is best to wear an Amethyst as a necklace near the throat or heart, to channel its powers through your airways and bloodstream.


Aquamarines and Bloodstones are opposite colours and also have very different meanings.

Bloodstones are extremely unusual due to the varying colours seen in them, their symbolism linked heavily with religion, particularly with Christianity and the blood of Christ.

A beautiful shade of blue reminiscent to fresh seawater, wearing an Aquamarine is said to bring creativity, self-expression and courage, boosting love, youth and overall happiness.


Diamonds are the traditional stone for love, the Ancient Greeks wearing it as a symbol for eternal love.


Health, faithfulness and wealth are known symbols of Emeralds. Some even believe that the provide healing powers to provide good health and fertility.


Pearls bring calm to the wearer, protecting against nervous and anxious thoughts. It is one of the most desirable gemstones.

Moonstones are thought to bring good luck as well as love, passion and fertility. Their beautiful structure makes them amongst some of the most ethereal gemstones.

Like the moonstone, Alexandrite’s also bring luck and love. It is a relatively new gemstone, not being discovered until the 1830’s.


Rubies encourage the removal of negative energy and protect against misfortune whilst providing strength and courage.


Courage, wealth, wisdom and purity are what Peridots are known for. This light green gemstone relieves stress and protects against evil and negativity.

Roman soldiers would wore rings featuring Sardonyx gemstones, so it is no surprise that this stone is heavily associated with courage. It is also deemed to bring happiness and stability to relationships with happiness.


Sapphires are known for their beautiful shade of blue, but did you know that they are a symbol of truth and protection. Success is said to be brought to anyone wearing this stone.


Both opals and tourmaline gems provide healing and are symbols for creativity, hope and innocence.


The two birthstones for November complement each other with their shades of yellow, providing good health and wellness. Citrines are thought to improve intellect and a remove negativity from the wearer.

Topaz brings slightly different meanings through love and affection. Strength and intelligence can be brought to those who wear Topaz’s, no matter which colour of topaz you choose.


All of the December birthstones symbolise a wealth of positivity, Turquoise brings happiness and good fortune.

Tanzanite is believed to breakdown any negativity, and turn it into a positive. A great stone to wear for those who may need some more optimism.

Zircon wards off evil spirits, providing wisdom, prosperity, and confidence. It is also thought to aid in sleep quality.


Here at CLV we adore birthstones. We all love the idea of having a gemstone to wear that is perfectly personal, even more so when what it represents is so significant. We always have a wonderful selection of jewels for you to drool over, let us know what your birthstone is and how you would wear it!


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