Birthstones Definition

By modern definition, gemstones or birthstones are minerals or other natural materials that are beautiful enough, durable enough and rare enough to be used for personal adornment or for the embellishment of personal possessions.

Used after cutting and polishing to make birth stone jewelry and other ornamentation, a large number of gemstones consist of hard substances but some of them are soft minerals as well. There are also rocks and natural materials that are not actually minerals but are still used to make jewelry, like lapis lazuli, amber and jet.

The stones now associated with each month of the year, namely the birthstone chart, have only a slight relationship to the ancient beliefs, since the list is tempered by availability and cost. Before mineralogy had progressed to the point of chemical analysis, color was of greater importance than some of the other physical characteristics. For instance, little distinction was made between emeralds and peridot, or between rubies and garnets, or citrine and topaz.

When it came to the ability to heal or bring good luck, the actual stone and the look-a-likes were regarded as equally effective. The gem names used in ancient times do not necessarily refer to the stones that go by those names today, in our modern times. Take the sapphire of the Bible. It is much more likely to have been lapis lazuli than what is now known as a sapphire.

A birthstone is a precious material used in jewelry and for ornamentation that symbolizes the month of birth in the Gregorian calendar. It is sometimes referred to as a birthday stone. The basic belief behind a birthstone is that each is a representation of every zodiac sign, or the month in which a person was born. They are often combined with a modern birthstones list, which includes man-made stones, but traditional birthstones are the older, original stones. Since many different cultures had their own list and names, most jewelers' lists are often times inconsistent on what constitutes a traditional birthstone.

Gemstones define man's beautifying techniques. Gemstones and birthstones have always played a key role in making humans look more glamorous since time immemorial. You may have many pieces of jewelry that are pure gold and platinum, but unless you have some that are studded with stones, like gemstone necklaces, birthstone pendants, bracelets and rings, the desire of having an impressive collection of jewelry items will go unfulfilled. Men and women have always owned decadent ornaments of gemstone jewelry to display their possession of power and wealth, along with tasteful style and elegance.