A birthstone is a gemstone that represents the month you were born. Because everyone has their own birthday month and birthstone, it feels personal; we attach special meaning to our birthstones. This is one reason why birthstone jewelry is so popular.

The origin of birthstones goes back to biblical times with the breastplate of Aaron, which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The priestly breastplate (Hebrew: חֹשֶׁן‬ ẖošen) was a sacred breastplate worn by the High Priest of the Israelites, according to the Book of Exodus. The first century Jewish historian Josephus believed there was a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate, the twelve months of the year, and the twelve signs of the zodiac.  There are varying opinions about the spiritual meaning and healing powers of gemstones, as well as various beliefs in diverse cultures.

Over the years, American and British gemstone associations have made additions and updates to the list of twelve stones. The following is the most modern accepted list of birthstone gems.

January: Garnet

February: Amethyst

March: Aquamarine, Bloodstone

April: Diamond

May: Emerald, Chrysoprase

June: Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite

July: Ruby, Carnelian

August: Peridot, Spinel, Sardonyx

September: Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli

October: Opal, Tourmaline

November: Topaz, Citrine

December: Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite