The pearl is the birthstone for June, making this a special month for all pearl lovers. As June has come to represent springtime and all of its associated beauty, the natural wonder of the pearl is a logical choice. Giving pearls as a birthstone gift is a longstanding practice that continues to this day. But how did the tradition of birthstones come to be in the first place?
Some trace the origins of birthstones all the way back to the bible, to the story of Exodus, when a high priest wore a breastplate of twelve stones said to be chipped from the throne of God. In Revelations, John refers to twelve stones which were tied to various human qualities. Eventually these twelve stones were tied into the twelve-month Roman Calendar and the rest, as they say, is history.
Of course, birthstones themselves have varied over time and region. The National Association of Jewelers set up a definitive birthstone list in 1912 – and that list was again modified in the thirties – but variations continue to exist among birthstones and their respective months. But it is the lore and mystery associated with minerals and gemstones, along with mankind’s interest in its own past and future, which has led to our continuing desire to associate stones with birth months.
Humans have been tying their fates to stones, gems and crystals for centuries. But the continuing popularity of birthstones reflects humanity’s continuing interests in the connections between the earth, the zodiac and the future.
May the beauty of the pearl continue to bring happiness to everyone this June and all year-round.