History of Birthstones | Birthstones for each Month

Birthstones History in Western Culture

The concept of birthstones in Western culture is believed to date back to the 1st century.  A Jewish historian named Josephus was said to be the first person to establish a connection between the twelve months of the year, the 12 signs of the zodiac, and the 12 gemstones that were represented in Aaron’s Breastplate, a sacred object worn by Jewish priests.  Traditionally, one would own all 12 of the represented stones and would wear them one at a time according to the designated stone for the month.  It was only more recently that the birthstones became more specific to those born within a certain month and more strongly associated with those individuals.

What birthstone represents each month?

While there are a number of accepted groups of birthstones in existence, the traditional list of birthstones tends to be the most widely accepted.  This list dates back to the mid 1800’s and was first believed to have been put in print in a pamphlet created by Tiffany & Co. that explained the birthstone for each month in poem form.  Aside from a few more recent substitutions, this list still stands today as the most most widely accepted.

The month of January has always been associated with the garnet gemstone; a deep burgundy stone that is said to represent friendship and fidelity.

February, on the other hand, was designated a the month for the amethyst; a stunning purple gem tied to meaning of both sincerity and passion.

March was once assigned to the bloodstone, however the traditional list sees aquamarine as the assigned birthstone, representing loyalty.

Those born in the month of April are sometimes considered the luckiest when it comes to birthstones as they have the diamond, a symbol of strength.

May babies have others green with envy as their month is represented by the emerald gemstone – the ultimate symbol of health and hope.

Those born in June are lucky as they have both Pearl and Alexandrite associated with their month. Pearls symbolise both wealth and purity.

The beautiful red ruby serves as the birthstone for the month of July, and is seen as a representation of both love and passion.

August was once tied with the unique sardonyx, however, recent times have associated the peridot,
symbol of beauty, as its birthstone.

The sapphire is the traditional birthstone of September. A symbol of truth and loyalty, these beautiful blue stones are historically linked to royalty.

October has long been tied to the eye-catching opal, but it is also notably linked to a tourmaline. Both happen to signify hope and healing.

For the month of November, both the lovely topaz and warm citrine are associated birthstones. While citrine brings joy, topaz brings good health.

If you’re a child of December, your options are both turquoise and tanzanite. Friendship is a sign of tanzanites while turquoise is a sign of success.

Whether buying a birthday treat for someone you love or treating yourself to a special piece of jewellery with a birthday sentiment, birthstone jewellery can be a great way to add a splash of colour to your fine jewellery collection.

Buy Birthstone Jewellery

​Whether you’re looking to treat yourself to some birthstone jewellery or indeed purchase a personal gift for a loved one, we have 11 of the 12 birthstones (sorry January) available on our website.

Amethyst Birthstone Aquamarine Birthstone
February March
Shop Amethyst Shop Aquamarine
Diamond Birthstone Emerald Birthstone
April May
Shop Diamond Shop Emerald
Pearl Birthstone Ruby Birthstone
June July
Shop Pearl Shop Ruby
Peridot Birthstone Sapphire Birthstone
August September
Shop Peridot Shop Sapphire
Tourmaline Birthstone Citrine Birthstone
October November
Shop Tourmaline Shop Citrine
Tanzanite Birthstone
Shop Tanzanite