What Does Your Birthstone Really Mean?

Photographed by Ryan Williams.
If I'm being honest, I can say that I've never given my birthstone much thought, beyond being kind of happy that it's a "good" one (diamond). But as it turns out, the crystals associated with our birth month actually have specific meanings, much like our zodiac signs.

"Just like people have different attributes depending on the month they were born, which is widely expressed by the use of the astrological zodiac, so do crystals," explains Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and  SunSigns.com.
A quick Google search will tell you that the concept of birthstones have been around for a long time — like, all the way back to Biblical times, according to Forbes. The 12 gems were related to the 12 tribes of Israel, then the 12 zodiac signs. In olden times, you were supposed to wear the gem that corresponded with that particular month in order to receive the crystal's benefits, explains Montúfar. It wasn't until a little later, she says, that the birthstones started being used like they are today — something that relates to your specific birth month.
But limiting yourself to just one gem means you're missing out on all the benefits the other 11 have to offer. Here's exactly what every birthstone symbolizes. Stick with "yours," or branch out and rock all 12, depending on what you need at any given moment.

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