Birthstones are precious or semi-precious gemstones associated with each month.  Gem researchers believe that assigning meaning to birthstones began with the Bible's Exodus 28:15-30.  This passage describes the Breastplate of Aaron, a ceremonial garment adorned with twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Depending on the culture and throughout history, a variety of gemstones have been identified as birthstones.  There is no universal agreement as to a single, particular birthstone for each month.

12 Birthstones

In the United States, however, the National Association of Jewelers designated a modern birthstone list in 1912.  Even this list, however, fails to list a single birthstone for each month.  Rather, the list also includes alternatives (for example, in 2002, tanzanite was added as a December birthstone).

The list below is the list of generally accepted birthstones (one for each month) in the United States. 

January:  Garnet

January - Garnet

February:  Amethyst

Febriary - Amethyst

March:  Aquamarine

March - Aquamarine

April:  Diamond

April - Diamond

May:  Emerald

May - Emerald

June:  Pearl

June - Pearl


July:  Ruby 

July - Ruby

August:  Peridot

August - Peridot

September:  Sapphire

September - Sapphire

October:  Opal

October - Opal

November:  Topaz

November - Topaz

December:  Turquoise

December - Turquoise
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