Birthstones, Star Stones and Day Stones
It’s not only babies and magpies that love shiny things. Since the beginning of time, people across cultures have been charmed and fascinated by the glow of gem stones, attributing mystic powers to them.
Historically, certain gemstones have been linked with the months of the year. Scholars say the Old Testament contains the first recorded instance of the importance of gemstones, Exodus 28: 15-30 has precise instructions for making the Breastplate of Aaron, high priest of the Hebrews. This ritual garment was set with twelve gemstones, representing the tribes of Israel, the Zodiac signs and the months of year, each numbering twelve.
The tradition of wearing birthstones originated in Poland, sometime during the fifteenth century. People would wear a stone associated with a particular month, in the belief that the stone’s powers were at their maximum during that time. Ideally therefore, a person needed to possess a collection of twelve gemstones, rotating them through the months.
Birthstones and their associated months vary across cultures. Ayurveda, the Indian health tradition, has its own prescribed gemstones. Tibetan Buddhism attributes sacred, energising properties to another set of stones.