There are numerous legends/myths surrounding the therapeutic and healing powers of birthstone, including references in the Christian belief.
And thou shalt set in its settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald.
Looking at their origin, the traditional astrological concept of birthstones dates back to the Bible, and in particular the Breastplate of 'Aaron the Priest', the elder brother of Moses. The Breastplate of Aaron held four rows of three precious stones, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel, and was mounted on a gold base.
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When it comes to the east, the birthstones are associated to the Ayurvedic birthstone list, which is related to one of the oldest surviving medicinal systems in the world - the Ayurveda.
Commonly, people tend to wear their own birthstone all throughout the year. However, the Polish people followed another expensive custom, to own an entire set of 12 stones, each for each month, regardless of their own date of birth.
Given below is the American Gem Trade Association list of birthstones.
Color: Deep red hue (also found in brown, green, yellow, and in extremely rare cases, blue)
During the early days, garnets were exchanged among friends and families to show their affection for each other, as they are said to give strength, healing and prosperity. They are also said to relieve inflammations of the skin.
Color: Elegant Purple hue (ranging from deep purple to light lilac)
Throughout history the Amethyst has been used against drunkenness, to overcome addiction. They are said to provide the wearer peace, spiritual upliftment courage and happiness.
Color: Pale blue to blue-green or teal.
The most valuable Aquamarines come from Brazil. It is also mined in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and Sri Lanka. It is used for the treatment of anxiety, to calm the nerves and gain clarity.
Color: Ranges from champagne, cognac, and pink.
Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth and are one of the four stones classified as precious. The others being Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire. They are said to provide one with mental clarity and inspires love.
Color: Green (ranges from deep green to lighter green with yellowish shade)
They are not only Cleopatra's favourite gem, records show that the stone was known and sold in Babylon as early as 4000 BC. Deep green with the hints of blue and imperfections is desired more than the lighter shades. They are said to provide one with intuition and abundance.
Color: Ranges from white, cream, pink to lavender, brown, and black
Since the process of building solid pearl can take up to seven or eight long years, pearls are normally cultured. Pearls provide the sophistication of diamonds in a most modest and versatile way. They are said to represent honesty, integrity and purity.
Color: Green in daylight and purplish under incandescent light
A chameleon among gems, the Alexandrite changes its color with light. During daylight the gemstone exhibit a lovely green color (emerald by day), while under incandescent light it changes to brownish or purplish red (ruby by night). Th stone delivers discipline, self-control and concentration.
Color: Pink to blood-red hue
For thousands of years, Ruby has been considered as the king of gemstones. It has been associated as a symbol of passion, courage, love and passion. It is among the most valuable of all gemstones.
Color: Gorgeous green hue (also comes in small variations in green with hints of yellow, brown and olive green)
Normally called as the 'emerald of the evening', the stone doesn't change color with the change in outside light. Peridot is said to lessen anger, jealousy and boost personal growth.
Color: Blue (can also be seen in almost any color including yellow, green, white, pink, orange, brown, purple, or even colorless)
The power associated with Sapphires include spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. They are also considered good in bringing positive energy to the person wearing the stone.
Color: Color ranges from black to bluish-black, dark brown to medium brown, yellow, blue to neon blue, lime green to deep green, red to reddish-purple, pink and even colorless.
Tourmaline is said to strengthen the body and spirit, including the nervous system, blood and lymph. It is also said to inspire creativity, and hence the stone was used extensively by artists and writers.
Color: Ranges from yellow, blue, green, gold, brown, pink and clear.
The name Topaz comes from Sanskrit and it means fire . The most famous Topaz will be the clear Topaz which was once thought to be diamond. During ancient days, the stone was considered to heal both physical and mental illness and prevent death.
Color: Opaque, sky blue and earthy green
Turquoise attracts money, success and love. It is said to provide the wearer with courage, friendship and luck.