Where did the traditional birthstones come from?

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Cayla Haag asked a question: Where did the traditional birthstones come from?
Asked By: Cayla Haag
Date created: Wed, Apr 14, 2021 1:03 AM
Date updated: Sat, Jan 15, 2022 3:25 AM

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Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Where did the traditional birthstones come from?» often ask the following questions:

✨ Where do birthstones come from?

Experts believe that birthstones can be traced back to the Bible. In Exodus 28, Moses sets forth directions for making special garments for Aaron, the High Priest of the Hebrews. Specifically, the breastplate was to contain twelve precious gemstones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

✨ Where did the 12 birthstones come from?

We can actually trace the ancient beginning of birthstones to the Breastplate of Aaron, described in the book of Exodus in the Bible. The Breastplate was a religious garment with 12 gemstones (set in four rows of three, in a gold filigree) that represented the 12 tribes of Israel.

✨ Where do all the birthstones come from?

Experts believe that birthstones can be traced back to the Bible. In Exodus 28, Moses sets forth directions for making special garments for Aaron, the High Priest of the Hebrews. Specifically, the breastplate was to contain twelve precious gemstones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

9 other answers

It was in 15th-century Poland that wearing these birthstones gained popularity. In contrast to today's custom of wearing your birthstone throughout the year, the early mechanics of birthstone power included owning a full set of 12 and wearing each particular month's powerful stone, no matter your birthday.

This most likely came from eastern traditions believing that birthstones can provide the wearer with protection and powers, as trade between the east and west began to surge during this time period. The modern tradition of wearing one stone for their month of birth did not begin until the 16th century and originated in either Germany or Poland.

The idea of birthstones - a gemstone assigned to each month of the year - is thought to be an ancient one, and scholars trace it back to the Breastplate of Aaron that was described in the book of Exodus in the Bible. The Breastplate was a religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel.

According to scholars, the tradition of month specific birthstones began in Poland. In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers defined the modern day list of birthstones and the list has remained unchanged. Today, there are three separate lists of birthstones for each month: ancient, traditional, and modern.

The custom of wearing a single birthstone is only a few centuries old, though modern authorities differ on dates. Kunz places the custom in eighteenth century Poland, while the Gemological Institute of America starts it in Germany in the 1560s.

In 1870 Tiffany & Co. published a pamphlet containing these poems, but attributed them to an “unknown author” still yet to be identified. These stones are now known as the ‘traditional birthstones’.

Did you know all traditional birthstones have a history? Learn about the origin of birthstones by month and what their history is. Find out more at AmericanGemSociety.org.

The list of traditional or ancient birthstones most well-known in the United States actually originated in Poland between the 16th and 18th centuries. In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers released a list of so-called “modern birthstones.”

January Birthstone: Garnet Garnet is the traditional January birthstone, it symbolizes faith, fidelity, and true friendship. The name is derived from the Latin word for pomegranate due to its rich red color. In the past, the garnet was worn for protection and extra boldness in battle or while traveling and as a guard against poison.

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