This week we have a recap of a previous series of posts on birth stones. The custom of wearing stones associated with the birth month may have started in Poland or Germany as far back as the 1560s. Modern lists of birthstones have little to do with the historical beliefs and traditions, as far as we can tell. One writer calls a list from Kansas in 1912 of the designated birthstone list as "nothing but a piece of unfounded salesmanship". However, we think it's fun and interesting to study these designated meanings and birth month relationships. You may want to navigate through our archived links at the bottom of this web site to many previous posts on this subject.
The Gregorian calendar has poems matching each month with its birth stone. These are the traditional stones of English-speaking societies. Apparently, it was Tiffany & Co. that first published these poems of an "unknown author" in 1870. Here's a refresher on January's birth stone, the rich-red Garnet (pictured here).
January's poem goes like this:
By her who in this month is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy, True friendship, and fidelity.
In my own family, my mother wears jewelry with her own birthstone (Garnet) and all the birthstones of her children and grandchildren surrounding her -- I've always loved this tradition! Many companies will create such custom-designed jewelry, and once I hired a jewelry instructor & artisan to make a special garnet necklace with stones to match the number of her grandchildren.
Garnet is thought to be a powerful stone of attraction, said to help those who seek to "magnetize" a lover, a new job, a creative project, or anything in which one's personal energy of attraction is a key factor. Some believe it supports fertility and sexual reproduction, as well as the endocrine system. It is associated with a broad interpretation of fertility -- from pregnancy to the germination of ideas for novels, poems, paintings, or other creative projects. It is interesting to look at these associations, especially if you love Garnet and if it 'magnetizes' your attention when you see it.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy the one on the Native American umbilical pouch.