Birthstones Essay

9260 Words Dec 29th, 2013 38 Pages
Birth Stones
The first association of a special gem with each month was recorded in the Bible, in Exodus 28 and 39. An original breastplate of the High Priest of the Hebrews was said to be made by Moses in 1250 BC, according to instructions he received during 40 days in the mountains. The 12 gems in the breastplate were later linked with the signs of the zodiac, and later still associated with the months in the year.
Different cultures have different lists. Jewelers’ lists are often inconsistent. Unless you’re a geologist, the terminology of birthstones may be a bit confusing. So here’s a quick primer on birthstone terms.
Minerals are made of inorganic materials (substances that were never alive), whose atoms are arranged in a regular
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In the former Czechoslovakia, evidence of garnet jewelry dating to the Bronze age was found in ancient graves. Garnet jewelry has also been discovered dating back to 3100 B.C. in Egypt, 2300 B.C. in Sumeria, and 2000-1000 B.C. in Sweden. Garnets were treasured in 3rd and 4th century Greece, and continued in popularity during Roman times. Across the Atlantic, Pre-Columbian Aztec and Native Americans also used garnets in their ornaments.
As with many precious stones, garnets were once believed to hold medicinal powers. In Medieval times, it protected its wearer against poisons, wounds and bad dreams, and cured depression. Red garnets relieved fever, hemorrhages and inflammatory diseases.
January’s birthstone, the garnet, symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and enduring affections. Find out about the birthstones for the other months of the year.
February’s birthstone is the amethyst. Amethysts contain the second most abundant mineral found in Earth’s crust – quartz. Quartz is often found lining the insides of geodes. So it’s no wonder that geodes sometimes contain amethysts, too. Like quartz, amethysts are a transparent form of silicon dioxide (SiO2). An amethyst’s color can range from a faint mauve to a rich purple. It’s not clear why they’re purple. Some scientists believe the purple color arises from

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