BirthstonesGemstones have been associated with the months of the year for a long time. In many cultures this use can be found and every culture basically has its own list of gemstones that is considered standard. The use of birthstones originates in Jewish religion, in the Thora and also in the Old Testament in the Bible, it is described how Moses makes a breast plate for the Jewish high priest, Aaron. Moses used twelve gemstones to create this breast plate, and these stones represent the twelve sons of Jacob, the founding fathers of the tribes of Israel.
Later on these stones were associated with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the months of the year. All stones that were associated with the months of the year were worn alternatively by one person, to make sure that this person could rely on the maximum amount of positive forces throughout the year. Catherine de Medici, for instance, wore a belt in which all birthstones were set so she would be able to obtain the highest result possible.
In 18th century Poland it became fashionable to wear the stone that was associated with the month one was born in. Gemstones are also associated with the days of the week and the hours of the day, which makes the subject birthstones a little more complicated. Below you will find two tables in which the associations with the days of the week and the hours of the day are displayed.
Days of the Week
Hours of the Day
In various traditions birthstones play a significant role, below you will find a table in which the various traditions are displayed. In the US and Europe the modern birthstones are used, but sometimes the traditional birthstones are used.