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The history of gemstones, or semi-precious stones being associated with a person’s birth month can be traced back for thousands of years, with some of the oldest known examples coming from the Ayurvedic Indian tradition (circa 1500 BCE).

We are regularly asked about the Western birthstone lists at events. Either by those shopping for themselves, or for gifts. We have a sneaky cheat sheet hidden on the back of our three tier display stand to help you out.

For those of you shopping here on our website we have created a quick and easy guide, featuring the two most common lists used.

Firstly we have the ‘Traditional’ list of birthstones. This was created in the late 15th or early 16th centuries in Poland.

The second list was published in 1912 by the American ‘National Association of Jewelers’ and titled the ‘Modern Birthstones’.

The modern list seems to be specifically tailored to jewellery fashions and techniques in use at the time; featuring only transparent gems that are easy to shape and cut in matching styles. This list has not remained static, as new stones have been discovered some additions have been made; such as Citrine for November and Tanzanite for December.

There is a third commonly referred to list of birthstones, known as the Mystic Birthstones. This list has been created based on the Tibetan belief system and can be traced back over 1000 years.

Here is our summary of the four main monthly birthstone systems:

NovemberCitrine or
Golden Topaz
DecemberTanzanite or
Blue Topaz
Turquoise or
Lapis Lazuli
Zircon or
Black Onyx