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Curious Lore of Precious Stones notes, part 5

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

This is part five of my notes on The Curious Lore of Precious Stones. Here are links to parts one, two, three, and four.





Birth-Stones


The earliest mention of stones being assigned to months as birthstones seems to be from the first century CE. The first instance we had of stones being worn based on a person's birth month is from the 1700s in Poland. The reason for such a large gap may be because the stones were thought to cure illnesses, so a stone would be worn for that purpose instead of for the birth month.


The stones' order was originally based on the order of the foundation stones of New Jerusalem found in Revelations and went like this:


First stone - March

Second stone - April

Third stone - May

Fourth stone - June

Fifth stone - July

Sixth stone - August

Seventh stone - September

Eighth stone - October

Ninth stone - November

Tenth stone - December

Eleventh stone - January

Twelfth stone - February


(If you're confused by the order above, it's because January and February used to be at the end of the year and March was considered the first month.)


Some of these stones have changed over time, which is why you'll often get different results when looking up birthstones.


While it's commonly accepted that a person will wear their own birthstone all the time, there's some evidence that suggests it was common for one person to own all twelve stones and wear them during the stone's month.


The list approved by the National Association of Jewellers in 1912 is as follows:


Month

Birth stone

Alternate stone

January

Garnet

February

Amethyst

March

Bloodstone

Aquamarine

April

Diamond

May

Emerald

June

Pearl

Moonstone

July

Ruby

August

Sardonyx

Peridot

September

Sapphire

October

Opal

Tourmaline

November

Topaz

December

Turquoise

Lapis lazuli

Gems of Spring

  • Amethyst

  • Green diamond

  • Chrysoberyl

  • Spinel (rubicelle)

  • Pink topaz

  • Olivine (peridot)

  • Emerald

Gems of Summer

  • Zircon

  • Garnet (demantoid and ouvarite)

  • Chrysoberyl (alexandrite)

  • Spinel

  • Pink topaz

  • Ruby

  • Fire opal

Gems of Autumn

  • Hyacinth

  • Topaz

  • Sapphire

  • Jacinth

  • Cairngorm

  • Adamantine spar

  • Tourmaline

  • Oriental chrysolite

Gems of Winter

  • Diamond

  • Rock-crystal

  • White sapphire

  • Turquoise

  • Quartz

  • Moonstone

  • Pearl

  • Labradorite


Here are monthly associations, using the more traditional birth stones.


JANUARY

Natal stone: Garnet

Guardian angel: Gabriel

His talismanic gem: Onyx

Special apostle: Simon Peter

His gem: Jasper

Zodiacal sign: Aquarius

Flower: Snowdrop No gems save garnets should be worn By her who in this month is born; They will insure her constancy, True friendship and fidelity. The gleaming garnet holds within its sway Faith, constancy, and truth to one alway.


FEBRUARY

Natal stone: Amethyst

Guardian angel: Barchiel

His talismanic gem: Jasper

Special apostle: Andrew

His gem: Carbuncle

Zodiacal sign: Pisces

Flower: Primrose The February-born may find Sincerity and peace of mind, Freedom from passion and from care, If she an amethyst will wear. Let her an amethyst but cherish well, And strife and care can never with her dwell.


MARCH

Natal stone: Jasper, bloodstone

Guardian Angel: Malchediel

His talismanic gem: Ruby

Special apostles: James and John

Their gem: Emerald

Zodiacal sign: Aries

FlowerI: pomœa, violet Who on this world of ours her eyes In March first opens may be wise, In days of peril firm and brave, Wears she a bloodstone to her grave. Who wears a jasper, be life short or long, Will meet all dangers brave and wise and strong.


APRIL

Natal stone: Diamond, sapphire

Guardian angel: Ashmodei

His talismanic gem: Topaz

Special apostle: Philip

His gem: Carnelian

Zodiacal sign: Taurus

Flower: Daisy She who from April dates her years Diamonds should wear, lest bitter tears For vain repentance flow This stone Emblem of innocence is known. Innocence, repentance—sun and shower— The diamond or the sapphire is her dower.


MAY

Natal stone: Emerald

Guardian angel: Amriel

His talismanic gem: Carbuncle

Special apostle: Bartholomew

His gem: Chrysolite

Zodiacal sign: Gemini

Flower: Hawthorn Who first beholds the light of day In spring’s sweet flow’ry month of May, And wears an emerald all her life, Shall be a loved and happy wife. No happier wife and mother in the land Than she with emerald shining on her hand.


JUNE

Natal stone: Agate

Guardian angel: Muriel

His talismanic gem: Emerald

Special apostle: Thomas

His gem: Beryl

Zodiacal sign: Cancer

Flower: Honeysuckle Who comes with summer to this earth, And owes to June her hour of birth, With ring of agate on her hand Can health, long life, and wealth command. Thro’ the moss-agate’s charm, the happy years Ne’er see June’s golden sunshine turn to tears.


JULY

Natal stone: Turquoise

Guardian angel: Verchiel

His talismanic gem: Sapphire

Special apostle: Matthew

His gem: Topaz

Zodiacal sign: Leo

Flower: Water-lily The heav’n-blue turquoise should adorn All those who in July are born; For those they’ll be exempt and free From love’s doubts and anxiety. No other gem than turquoise on her breast Can to the loving, doubting heart bring rest.


AUGUST

Natal stone: Carnelian

Guardian angel: Hamatiel

His talismanic gem: Diamond

Special apostle: James, the son of Alpheus

His gem: Sardonyx

Zodiacal sign: Virgo

Flower: Poppy Wear a carnelian or for thee No conjugal felicity; The August-born without this stone, ’Tis said, must live unloved, alone. She, loving once and always, wears, if wise, Carnelian—and her home is paradise.


SEPTEMBER

Natal stone: Chrysolite

Guardian angel: Tsuriel

His talismanic gem: Jacinth

Special apostle: Lebbeus Thaddeus

His gem: Chrysoprase

Zodiacal sign: Libra

Flower: Morning-glory A maid born when September leaves Are rustling in the autumn breeze, A chrysolite on brow should bind— ’Twill cure diseases of the mind. If chrysolite upon her brow is laid, Follies and dark delusions flee afraid.


OCTOBER

Natal stone: Beryl

Guardian angel: Bariel

His talismanic gem: Agate

Special apostle: Simon.(Zelotes.)

His gem: Jacinth

Zodiacal sign: Scorpio

Flower: Hops October’s child is born for woe, And life’s vicissitudes must know; But lay a beryl on her breast, And Hope will lull those woes to rest. When fair October to her brings the beryl, No longer need she fear misfortune’s peril.


NOVEMBER

Natal stone: Topaz

Guardian angel: Adnachiel

His talismanic gem: Amethyst

Special apostle: Matthias

His gem: Amethyst

Zodiacal sign: Sagittarius

Flower: Chrysanthemum Who first comes to this world below With drear November’s fog and snow Should prize the topaz’s amber hue— Emblem of friends and lovers true. Firm friendship is November’s, and she bears True love beneath the topaz that she wears.


DECEMBER

Natal stone: Ruby

Guardian angel: Humiel

His talismanic gem: Beryl

Special apostle: Paul

His gem: Sapphire

Zodiacal sign: Capricorn

Flower: Holly If cold December give you birth— The month of snow and ice and mirth— Place on your hand a ruby true; Success will bless whate’er you do. December gives her fortune, love and fame If amulet of rubies bear her name.


Hebrew characters were often used when engraving zodiac signs into birth stone jewelry. The Hebrew translations of the signs are as follows:

Aries טלה Taleh

Taurus שׁור Shor

Gemini תאומים Te’omim

Cancer סריה Sartan

Leo אריה Aryeh

Virgo בתולה Betulah

Libra מאזנים Moznayim

Scorpio עקרב’ Akrab

Sagittarius קשׁת Keshet

Capricorn גדי Gedi

Aquarius דלי Deli

Pisces דלים Dagim


An old poem regarding the day of the week on which a person is born:


The bairn that is born On Sonnan’s sweet day Is blithe and is bonnie, Is happy and gay.

(Sunday)


The bairn that is born Of Monan’s sweet race Is lovely in feature And fair in the face.

(Monday)


If Tuisco assists And at birth keeps apace, The bairn will be born With a soul full of grace.

(Tuesday)


But if Woden be there, Many tears will he sow, And the bairn will be born But for sadness and woe.

(Wednesday)


Jove’s presence at birth Means a long swath to mow, For if born on Thor’s day Thou hast far, far to go.

(Thursday)


If Venus shall bless thee, Thou shalt bless many living; For Friga’s bairn truly Is loving and giving.

(Friday)


Seater-daeg’s bairn In sweat shall be striving, For Saturn has doomed it To work for a living.

(Saturday)


Some stones for the days of the week:

Sunday - Sunstone

Monday - Moonstone

Tuesday - Star sapphire

Wednesday - Star ruby

Thursday - Cat’s-eye

Friday - Alexandrite

Saturday - Labradorite


GEMS OF THE HOURS

Hours of the Day

  • 1 Jacinth

  • 2 Emerald

  • 3 Beryl

  • 4 Topaz

  • 5 Ruby

  • 6 Opal

  • 7 Chrysolite

  • 8 Amethyst

  • 9 Kunzite

  • 10 Sapphire

  • 11 Garnet

  • 12 Diamond

Hours of the Night

  • 1 Morion

  • 2 Hematite

  • 3 Malachite

  • 4 Lapis-lazuli

  • 5 Turquoise

  • 6 Tourmaline

  • 7 Sardonyx

  • 8 Chalcedony

  • 9 Jade

  • 10 Jasper

  • 11 Loadstone

  • 12 Onyx


WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1 Paper

  • 2 Calico

  • 3 Linen

  • 4 Silk

  • 5 Wood

  • 6 Candy

  • 7 Floral

  • 8 Leather

  • 9 Straw

  • 10 Tin

  • 12 Agate

  • 13 Moonstone

  • 14 Moss agate

  • 15 Rock-crystal, glass

  • 16 Topaz

  • 17 Amethyst

  • 18 Garnet

  • 19 Hyacinth

  • 20 China

  • 23 Sapphire

  • 25 Silver

  • 26 Star sapphire, blue

  • 30 Pearl

  • 35 Coral

  • 39 Cat’s-eye

  • 40 Ruby

  • 45 Alexandrite

  • 50 Gold

  • 52 Star ruby

  • 55 Emerald

  • 60 Diamond, yellow

  • 65 Star sapphire, gray

  • 67 Star sapphire, purple

  • 75 Diamond


That's it for this week. See you next time!

Stay safe!

- me

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