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Gems as birthstones are a tradition going back deep into the mists of time.  But did you know that there are multiple choices and multiple ways to choose for picking out your birthstone?

Birthstones are precious gems that represent the time of the year in which you were born. But there are two different ways to choose.

First, you can choose your gemstone based on the month in which you were born, or you can choose it according to your zodiac sign. 

But secondly, it makes a difference depending on where you live in the world.  For example, the birthstones for Capricorn are traditionally the ruby, but also the garnet, black onyx and agate.

However, the Hindu gemstones for the same place on the zodiac are the onyx and jet.  The planetary choice for this period is the lapis lazuli, while the talismanic choice is the onyx.

If you are choosing your birthstone according to the month in which you were born, your choices are a bit different again.  Continuing with our time-period in our above example, we now turn to January, which is the month most associated with Capricorn.

If you were born in January, your birthstone, according to this way of choosing it, would be the garnet, or if you were following the ancient Russian, Polish, Hebrew, Arabic, old Hindu, Roman, or Italian tradition – the garnet or the red zircon.  But if you are from Tibet, your gemstone would be the emerald, while in modern India, you might expect someone giving you a piece of jewelry with your birthstone on it to have chosen serpentine.

Perhaps also worth considering when you face so many choices of gems as your birthstone, apart from their value, is their durability.  For example, if you were to choose a ring with your birthstone in it from all these choices, the ruby is the one that would withstand wear the best.  Serpentine is the softest and would be a good choice for special occasions.

Tell us, what is your birthstone?

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