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Birthstone Chart by Month and Zodiac Sign

six colourful gemstones
Contents

1. Most Popular Birthstone Charts
2. An Ancient Tradition
3. By Zodiac Sign
4. Four Main Charts

Most Popular Birthstone Charts

Birthstones are mostly gemstones that are associated with the month someone was born.  Although many different birthstones charts are in circulation around the world, the most popular are the modern, traditional, mystical and ayurvedic.

Mystical birthstones are believed to have originated in Tibet whilst ayurvedic have their roots in Indian medicine and Vedic astrology.

The modern birthstone chart is the most recent version.  Changes are made as and when different gemstones grow in popularity.  An example is spinel which was recently added to peridot as one of the birthstones for the month of August.  The stone was added to the modern birthstone chart by the Jewelers of America and the American Gem Trade Association.

Traditional birthstones vary widely from one country and culture to the next.  For this reason the modern chart was compiled to create a common list of the most popular gemstones.

In his book The Curious Lore of Precious Gemstones published in 1913 George Frederick Kunz says;

"As it might seem appropriate that one born in the United States should wear a gem from among those which our country furnishes, the following list was some time since prepared by the writer, not in any sense as a substitute for the real birth-stones, but as possible accessory gems which might be worn as a spirit of patriotism.

Of course where the stone in question is really that traditionally recommended, the fact that it is at the same time an American gem-stone is an added argument in its favor.
"   

The mineral Kunzite was named after Kunz by American jeweller Tiffany & Co.  He worked for the company as their chief gemmologist from 1879 until his death in 1932.

Throughout history different cultures and civilizations have attributed hidden meanings and powers to certain crystals rocks and minerals.  Today birthstones don't necessarily imply a belief that it has metaphysical properties.  With that said, stones are widely associated with luck, good health and prosperity.

A ring featuring garnet and pearl was given to Kate Middleton by Prince William early on in their relationship.  Garnet is Kate's birthstone whilst William's is pearl.

polished carnelian crystal

Carnelian zodiac birthstone for Virgo

An Ancient Tradition

The earliest idea of gemstones being used as birthstones is believed to come from the writings the Roman Jewish historian Josephus (Yosef Ben Matityahu) and Saint Jerome.  Josephus lived in the first century AD and Saint Jerome who's known for translating the bible into Latin lived in the fifth century AD.

Their proclamations made some 300 years apart connected the twelve gemstones in the biblical high priest breastplate to the twelve months of the year and twelve signs of the zodiac.

It wasn't until the eighteenth century in Poland however that birthstones first started being worn and used.

Each stone in the high priest breastplate was assigned a month of the year and sign from the zodiac.  Stones were placed according to the order in which they appeared in the book of Revelation.

Many centuries later when birthstones started being used for metaphysical purposes, the order in which they appeared and even some varieties had changed.  Using them in this way is believed to have been introduced by rabbis, Jewish gem traders and other influential members of society in Poland.

Many had a keen interest in the stones featured in the priestly breastplate.  Those who could afford to would carry a selection as talismans.

As bible texts were repeatedly re-written the gemstones and order in which they appeared continually changed.  Today there's a great deal of debate over the exact stones that were used.  This is not only because of inaccurate translations but also because many of the names have changed.  This is the reason why there are so many birthstone charts in circulation.  It's also the reason for the wide variation of different gemstones.

Some varieties such as tourmaline and possibly diamond would not even have been known during biblical times.

As an example of why there's so much confusion over names, the gemstone sapphirus once believed to be sapphire is now known to have been lapis lazuli.  Garnet was part of the group of stones known as carbuncle whilst peridot is believed to have been known as topazos.  Sardius is now called carnelian.

Some argue the correct way to assign birthstones is according to astrological or zodiac sign and not by month of birth.

The zodiac was first introduced at some time between 409 and 398 BC.  The word comes from ancient Greek meaning 'cycle (or circle) of little animals'.

birthstone chart with signs of the zodiac

Birthstones by Zodiac Sign

Zodiac Sign and NumberDate RangeBirthstone
Aquarius - Eleventh Astrological Sign January 21 - February 19 Garnet
Pisces - Twelfth Astrological Sign February 20 - March 20 Amethyst
Aries - First Astrological Sign March 21 - April 19 Bloodstone
Taurus - Second Astrological Sign April 20 - May 20 Sapphire
Gemini - Third Astrological Sign May 21 - June 21 Agate
Cancer - Fourth Astrological Sign June 22 - July 22 Ruby
Leo - Fifth Astrological Sign July 23 - August 23 Onyx
Virgo - Sixth Astrological Sign August 24 - September 22 Carnelian
Libra - Seventh Astrological Sign September 23 - October 22 Peridot
Scorpio - Eight Astrological Sign October 23 - November 22 Beryl
Sagittarius - Ninth Astrological Sign November 23 - December 21 Topaz
Capricorn - Tenth Astrological Sign December 22 - January 20 Ruby

Charts: Modern Traditional Mystical Ayurvedic

Month of BirthModern Birthstone(s)Traditional Birthstone(s)Mystical BirthstoneAyurvedic Birthstone
January Garnet Garnet Emerald Garnet
February Amethyst Amethyst Bloodstone Amethyst
March Aquamarine Bloodstone, Jasper Jade Bloodstone
April Diamond Diamond, Sapphire Opal Diamond
May Emerald Emerald, Agate Sapphire Agate
June Moonstone, Pearl Alexandrite, Emerald Moonstone Pearl
July Ruby Ruby, Onyx Ruby Ruby
August Peridot SardonyxCarnelian Diamond Sapphire
September Sapphire Sapphire, Peridot Agate Moonstone
October Opal, Tourmaline Tourmaline, Aquamarine (Beryl) Jasper Opal
November Topaz, Citrine Citrine, Topaz Pearl Topaz
December Turquoise, Blue Topaz Zircon, Ruby Onyx Ruby

Reference

George Frederick Kunz | The Curious Lore of Precious Gemstones. Published 1913.

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