Gemstones have been used as talismans, or good-luck charms, for thousands of years. 

The first association of a particular gemstone with each month was probably suggested by the stones in the breastplate of the High Priest of the Hebrews, made by Moses in 1250 B.C. in accordance with instructions received during his 40 days in the mountains (Exodus 28).  The breastplate had twelve gemstones arranged in four rows of three gemstones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  These same twelve stones also appear in Revelations 21, where, inscribed with the names of the twelve apostles, they form the foundations of the wall of the Heavenly Jerusalem. 

The order of the stones coincides with the months of the year, which in ancient times began in March.

These twelve stones were later linked with the signs of the Zodiac, and ultimately with the months of the year.

Birthstone lists have varied over the centuries.  This list shows the current popular birthstones. together with older alternatives.

January            Garnet                                                  (Jacinth / Jasper)

February           Amethyst                                              (Hyacinth / Pearl)

March                Aquamarine / Bloodstone                    (Jasper)

April                  Diamond                                               (Sapphire)

May                   Emerald                                                (Agate / Chalcedony/ Carnelian / Chrysoprase)

June                  Pearl / Moonstone / Alexandrite           (Emerald / Chalcedony / Agate / Cat's Eye / Turquoise)

July                   Ruby                                                     (Onyx / Carnelian / Turquoise/ Onyx)

August              Peridot / Sardonyx                                (Carnelian / Moonstone / Topaz )

September       Sapphire                                                (Chrysolite / Lapis Lazuli)

October            Opal                                                       (Aquamarine / Beryl / Tourmaline)

November        Topaz / Citrine                                        (Pearl)

December        Turquoise / Zircon                                  (Ruby / Bloodstone / Chrysoprase)