What is your birthstone?
A widespread modern survival of the talismanic tradition is the use of gems as birthstones. This has a long and fascinating history. In many civilizations all around the world certain stones, not necessarily the same ones, became associated with the recurrent lunar cycles and hence with the zodiac. These lunar stones were then considered to be auspicious for wear during that month or, later, for wear by persons born under the planetary influences prevailing in the month of their birth. The stones were credited with transmitting sympathetic vibrations emanating from astral influences, with drawing strength and beneficent radiations from the sun, moon and the planets and with the ability to retain these virtue of their hardness.
The practice of wearing monthly birthstones was common at different periods among Romans, Arabs, Jews, Indians, Spaniards, Russians, Italians and other peoples, but only from the eighteenth century onward did the practice of wearing stones appropriate to the month of one's birth spread gradually from central Europe to the West. There was, however, no consistency and very different lists of monthly birthstones were advocated by different authorities. Happily this list was finally accepted and it has been in common international use:
Gemstones are also connected with wedding anniversaries; diamond (sixty years) and ruby (forty years) are well known but there are also stones for the following anniversaries:
There are also 'propitious' stones for days of the week and hours of the day, but no agreed list concerning these.
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