It’s not 100% clear where the idea of birthstones originated, but it’s suggested that they’re linked with Exodus 28 in the Bible. Here, details are given of garments that were instructed to be made for Aaron, High Priest of the Hebrews. His breastplate featured 12 different stones, each representing a different tribe in Israel. Because there are 12 such stones, scholars later linked them with the twelve months of the year.

According to legend, these birthstones are supposed to bring good luck, and each month’s gemstone has its own meaning. The history of gemstones and birthstones varies quite a lot. You just have to do some research online to find a lot of interesting information on the history of gemstones, like how the word for ruby in Sanskrit means ‘king of precious stones.

Due to their various meanings and their beautiful colors, jewelry for someone which contains the birthstone for a specific month is a popular gift to give. While birthstone charts vary, and there are some classed as traditional or modern, below are just some stones which most commonly associated with each month:

January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine, Bloodstone
April – Diamond
May – Emerald
June – Pearl, Alexandrite
July – Ruby
August – Peridot, Spinel, Sardonyx
September – Sapphire
October – Opal, Tourmaline
November – Topaz, Citrine, Golden Topaz
December – Tanzanite, Blue Topaz, Blue Zircon, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli

Why is birthstone jewelry so popular?

Birthstones have always been popular amongst the spiritually-minded: their history, their meaning, and their mythological connections are perennially popular. However, in more recent years the trend of increased personalization has seen birthstone jewelry grow in popularity amongst a wider audience.

Including birthstones is a subtle way to personalize your jewelry, whether you’re buying a gift for a loved one or picking out a wedding or engagement ring with a difference. With so many colors of gemstone available, they can all look great with particular outfits as well.

The symbolization of each stone is also a key reason behind their popularity, from the strong and everlasting friendship that January’s garnet represents to December’s tanzanite being a symbol of generosity, it’s a way to attach greater meaning to the pieces that you wear.

jewelry with a birthstone

How to style birthstone jewelry

One of the beauties of birthstone jewelry is that it can be incorporated into any type of jewelry, set in a variety of different ways, and styled to match your personality. It’s the perfect way to complete your outfit and add a subtle hint at your personality without being too obvious.

Whether you choose a necklace, a ring, earrings, a bracelet, or a matching set, you’re sure to find options to suit your style. Wear an item of birthstone jewelry as a standalone, or statement piece, or layer it with other items in your jewelry collection to keep it more subtle.

You’ll find birthstones in all types of settings, from more traditional designs to more contemporary pieces of statement jewelry. One thing that’s important to remember, though, is to choose a setting that suits the hardness of the stone. April’s diamonds, for example, are incredibly tough, which makes them great for everyday wear. August’s peridot, meanwhile, generally measures around 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, meaning it’s less durable and may suit a necklace or earrings better than a ring or bracelet.

When choosing birthstone jewelry, you’ll also want to ensure that you buy pieces set in metals that not only complement the gemstone itself but also suit your personal taste. December’s turquoise and October’s opal make beautiful stones in silver necklaces of varying lengths, as the cool tones perfectly complement each other. May’s deep green emeralds often look their best in bright yellow gold, while pearls (June) and diamonds (April) are flattered by a rose gold setting.

Of course, this isn’t definitive: if you’re not a yellow gold fan, for example, then a two-tone setting of white gold/platinum and yellow gold can make your emerald sparkle just as much as yellow gold alone. Birthstone jewelry has an elegant, universal appeal – and with so many different ways of setting and styling birthstones, it’s easy to see why these meaningful gems hold so much appeal.