Birthstones are special stones associated with each month of the year. They’re great fun but they also have a place in history, in mythology, and in science. The bible contains the first association of a special gem with each month, in Exodus 28 and 39. An original breastplate of the High Priest of the Hebrews was said to be made by Moses in 1250 BC, according to instructions he received during 40 days in the mountains. The twelve gems in the breastplate were later linked with the signs of the zodiac, and later still associated with the months in the year
The precise identification of some of these precious stones is not certain. For example, if you turn to the same passage in the Revised Standard Version of Exodus, you’ll find that diamonds, sardius, and carbuncle [another name for garnet] are also included in the list of twelve biblically significant gemstones. Also, keep in mind that aquamarines and emeralds are forms of beryl; sardonyx is a form of onyx; and jacinth and chrysolite are also known as zircon and peridot, respectively.
The following is the list of birthstones for each month of the year:
- January Birthstone: Garnet or Rose Quartz
- February Birthstone: Amethyst or Onyx
- March Birthstone: Aquamarine or Bloodstone
- April Birthstone: Diamond or Rock Crystal (Quartz)
- May Birthstone: Emerald or Chrysoprase
- June Birthstone: Alexandrite or Moonstone or Pearl
- July Birthstone: Ruby or Carnelion
- August Birthstone: Peridot or Sardonyx
- September Birthstone: Sapphire or Lapis
- October Birthstone: Opal or Tourmaline
- November Birthstone: Topaz or Citrine
- December Birthstone: Tanzanite, Zircon or Turquoise
For more information on each birthstone for each month, try or birthstones month page.