Traditionally, a birthstone is associated with each month of the year. The origin of them is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron. Which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then. The tanzanite was added to December.
There are 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. For the full effect, individuals need to own all twelve and alternate them monthly.
Modern birthstones (Wikipedia)
In 1912, in an effort to standardize birthstones, the (American) National Association of Jewelers met in Kansas. And officially adopt a list. The Jewelry Industry Council of America updates the list in 1952 by adding Alexandrite for June. The citrine for November, and pink tourmaline for October. They also replace December’s lapis lazuli with zircon. And switch the primary/alternative gems for March. The American Gem Trade Association adds tanzanite as a December birthstone in 2002. In 2016, the American Gem Trade Association and Jewelers of America added spinel as an additional birthstone for August. Britain’s National Association of Goldsmiths creates its own standardized list of birthstones in 1937.
Birthstone list by month
January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine/ Bloodstone / Jasper
April – Diamond
(rhinestone is called people’s diamond)
May – Emerald
June – Pearl/ Alexandrite/ Moonstone
July – Ruby
August – Peridot/ Sardonyx
September – Sapphire
October – Tourmaline/ Opal
November – Topaz/ Citrine
December – Tanzanite/ Zircon/ Turquoise
FlorenceJewelshop has written an e-book with 54 nice stories and information about the birthstone. Great to see what your birthstone is and what the birthstone of your friend is. Very practical to use when you want to give a personal piece of jewelry. It’s free and just let me know where I can send it to.