KNOW YOUR BIRTHSTONE
What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a birthstone? Usually found in the form of a ring or pendant, birthstones are gemstones associated with various qualities that symbolise the month of birth in the Gregorian calendar. How these gemstones were associated with different months isn't entirely clear but, like all traditions, they evolve over time. Some believe birthstones originate from Biblical times when a priest's breastplate was adorned with twelve different coloured gems. The first century Jewish historian Josephus is said to have believed there was a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate, relating to the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the zodiac. As the tradition developed, people wore a different gem each month as a sort of talisman, believing each stone held certain powers. And gradually, specific gemstones became attached to specific months. It was in 1912 that the American National Association of Jewellers created a birthstone list. Although it was controversially developed for commercial purposes, the list is now accepted worldwide as the definitive list of birthstones, with some months taking on more than one gemstone. There are of course numerous legends and myths about birthstone healing powers and their therapeutic influence. According to these legends, wearing a gemstone during its assigned month heightened its healing powers and for the full effect, individuals needed to own all twelve and alternate them monthly. Whether you take this as true depends entirely on your faith, but it never hurts to add a colourful gemstone to your collection with its own very special meaning.