Birthstone jewelry is some of the most popular on the market. Rings and pendants seem the most common, but bracelets and earrings can also be set with birthstones.

Birthdays are excellent opportunities to give birthstone jewelry.

So exactly where and how did the concept of birthstones originate? They probably date back to biblical times and the breastplate of Aaron, brother of Moses and leader of the Levitical tribe. However, the gemstones in Aaron's breastplate may have represented the twelve tribes of Israel rather than months of the year.

That first suite of gemstones differed somewhat from modern birthstones. The original set may have been as follows. (and Hebrew names):

Sard - (odem)
Peridot - (pitah)
Emerald - (bareqet)
Turquoise - (nopek)
Lapis Lazuli - (sappir)
Moonstone - (yahalom)
Hyacinth - (lesem)
Agate - (shebo)
Amethyst - (‘ahlama)
Chrysolite - (tarshish)
Carnelian - (shoham)
Jasper - (yasepeh)

Birthstones by Month

January Garnet, Rose Quartz
February Amethyst, Onyx
March Aquamarine, Bloodstone
April Diamond, Rock Crystal (quartz)
May Emerald, Chrysoprase
June Pearl, Alexandrite, Moonstone
July Ruby, Carnelian
August Peridot, Sardonyx
September Sapphire, Lapis
October Opal, Tourmaline
November Citrine, Topaz
December Tanzanite, Zircon, Turquoise

Note: We have yet to find a biblical source that associates the gemstones with months of the year rather than the tribes of Israel. But we also understand that the jewelry industry is very good at making those sorts of connections.