The fact that people have long been fascinated by gems, by their enduring qualities, by their remarkable purity and beauty, and by their presumed supernatural powers led ultimately to a link-up with astrology.
This, of course, led to the idea of birthstones, the selection of certain gems as a symbol of protection for those born under certain signs of the Zodiac, for certain months, days, weeks, seasons, etc.
The movement toward astrological significance probably originated as a result of the instructions to Moses in Exodus, Chapter 28, to make a breastplate of judgement set with four rows of stones.
From this, the New Testament (Revelation XXI) listed the Foundation Stones of the New Testament. So much commentary and speculation have been written of the spin-off symbolism of the Breastplate for Aaron, brother of Moses and High Priest of Israel, that it is beyond the scope of this chapter.
What is noteworthy is that use of gems as birthstones did not commence until a relatively later date, in the mid 1500s.
The order of gems and months did evolve even then from the Foundation Stones. Over the years, of course, the gems were changed from their traditional order.
Here is the present birthstone list as well as the list of birthstones that was originally based on the best available translation of the Foundation Stones:
|Month||Present List of Birthstones||List of Birthstones Originally From Foundation Stones|
|June||Pearl, Alexandrite, Moonstone||Agate|
|October||Opal, Pink Tourmaline||Beryl|
|December||Blue Zircon, Turquoise||Ruby|