Are you a Peridot or a Pink Tourmaline? Birthstones – the gemstones that represent a person’s month of birth – have been popular in the more spiritual circles for centuries.
But as shoppers seek to personalize their gifts, sales are currently rising with high street giant John Lewis adding exclusive amulets to their stores, and Anthropolgie developing a brand new collaboration of 12 birthstone earrings with cult jewellery designer Theodora Warre.
The wedding sector has also seen a huge rise in birthstone engagement rings, which Etsy’s trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson recently describing as a “breakout wedding trend”.
“One emerging trend in non-diamond engagement rings is incorporating birthstones. We’ve seen 34K searches for ‘birthstone engagement rings’ in the last three months, and I predict the trend will continue to grow. For generations, the diamond has been the ultimate stone for proposing, but today’s bride wants to express her personal style and choose a ring that reflects her personality”, says Dayna.
The notion that certain gemstones are lucky for you depending on when you were born might sound like a marketing ploy dreamt up by jewelers – but a belief in the significance of birthstones dates back centuries.
Antiquities of the Jews, the bejeweled breastplate was worn by Aaron – the first high priest of the Israelites, in the Book of Exodus. The breastplate was adorned with 12 stones, each one engraved with the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Reflecting on the significance of the number 12, Josephus suggested that the stones could represent the 12 signs of the zodiac. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that gemstones began to be assigned according to birth month.
The stones subsequently became associated with the 12 months of the year, and were purported to have healing properties and bring good luck. In 1912, the National Association of Jewellers defined the modern day list of birthstones, however there is still some cross over with the modern and traditional birthstones.