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  • Writer's pictureAccent Jewelers

Unveiling the Allure: A Journey through the History of Birthstones?

Many customers who frequent Accent Jewelers in Memphis are looking for items with birthstones for themselves or a loved one. Most everyone knows their birthstone, but where did this interesting tradition start and why?


Birthstones are more than just dazzling gemstones; they hold a rich tapestry of history, culture, and symbolism. Each month is associated with a unique birthstone, believed to possess special powers and significance.


The concept of birthstones dates back to ancient civilizations, with the earliest records tracing their origins to biblical times. The Breastplate of Aaron, as mentioned in the Book of Exodus, held twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. This early association between gemstones and tribes laid the groundwork for the birthstone tradition.


The connection between birth months and specific gemstones can be linked to astrology and the zodiac. Early civilizations believed that gemstones held mystical powers that could influence the lives and destinies of individuals born in certain months. These beliefs led to the development of a unique birthstone for each month, with each stone possessing attributes that were thought to be particularly beneficial to those born in that month.


Throughout history, different cultures and civilizations have assigned various gemstones to each month. The modern birthstone list, as recognized by the American Gem Society (AGS) and the Jewelers of America (JA), was officially established in 1912 by the National Retail Jewelers Association (now Jewelers of America). This standardized list has undergone slight revisions over the years to reflect changing preferences and the availability of gemstones.


In the modern era, gemstones make for cherished gifts, personal adornments, and symbols of identity. Some people wear their birthstones as a reflection of their birth month, while others attribute personal meanings and values to the stones. In addition to the traditional birthstones, modern jewelers and gemologists have introduced alternative stones for each month. These alternatives offer a wider range of colors, properties, and styles for individuals to choose from, catering to different tastes.


The history of birthstones is a fascinating journey that winds through centuries of human civilization, encompassing beliefs, traditions, and cultural influences. From the Breastplate of Aaron, to the modern standardized birthstone list, these precious gems have adorned countless people and held a special place in their hearts. Whether you wear your birthstone for its symbolism, aesthetics, or spiritual meaning, each gem carries with it a legacy of centuries-old beliefs and a connection to the past.


At Accent Jewelers, we have an everchanging inventory of birthstone gems and related items. Whether you are interested in buying or selling birthstone jewelry here in Memphis, stop by and see us. We’re located on the first floor of the i-Bank Tower at 505 Poplar in Memphis. And remember, at Accent, We Pay More!


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