The History of birthstones dates back thousands of years
The origin of the birthstone and the history of birthstones is believed to date back thousands of years to the time of Moses, before Christ.
It was at Moses’ command that the Breast Plate of the High Priest was made with the twelve colors, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and a corresponding gemstone was attributed to each color. Over the centuries, the number twelve developed mystical proportions. There were twelve tribes of ancient Israel, twelve apostles, twelve foundation stones of the Holy City, twelve months of the year and twelve signs of the zodiac. As time went on, people wanted to own all twelve stones of the sacred Breast Plate and began wearing one gemstone set into a piece of jewelry each month and changing it as the months changed. Eventually, in a quest for individuality, people began wearing only his or her stone of birth all year, giving birth to the twelve birthstones. Each birthstone is believed to represent a mystical power. Some were believed to ward off evil, protect the wearer in battle, cure blindness, gout and palsy, and even immunize the wearer from drunkenness.
The History of Birthstones talks about 12 stones, one for each month. Some of the months actually have two birthstones.
Learn more about the Birthstones chart.
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