birth·stone | ˈbərth-ˌstōn
A gemstone that is symbolically associated with the month of one's birth
A birthstone is a gemstone associated with one’s birth month. In Western cultures, it is popular for women to be gifted jewelry including rings, earrings, and necklaces that contain their birthstone. In Eastern cultures, rather than associating gemstones with birth months, they are associated with celestial bodies and astrology. The Western world’s birthstone chart has changed since historical times. The modern birthstone chart for the Western world is as follows: January: Garnet, February: Amethyst, March: Aquamarine: April: Diamond, May: Emerald, June: Pearl, July: Ruby, August: Peridot, September: Sapphire, October: Opal, November: Citrine, December: Tanzanite. In Western cultures, the tradition of wearing birthstones began in the first century. The Jewish historian Josephus believed that the breastplate of Aaron, the brother of Moses in the Hebrew and Christian bible, which contained stones for the 12 tribes of Israel were connected to the 12 months of the year. As such, the tradition of wearing a birthstone associated with one’s birth month became popular and is a custom that is still celebrated today.