Diamonds are for April, right? We all know this because our modern list of birthstones was originally formulated at the National Association of Jewelers, in Kansas City, in August of 1912. Apart from a few additions, our current list of birthstones has been the same for over 100 years.
- What would you think if you learned that there is actually another rare and beautiful gemstone with a legitimate claim on the month of April?
- While our modern list of birthstones was laid in place most recently, this is not the end of the story. Birthstones and important gems for months, seasons as well gems of spiritual significance have been evolving and changing for thousands of years.
- At least in the western hemisphere, these traditions date back at least to the first century AD in the writings of Josephus, a famous writer and military commander of the Roman era.
- Most of the ancient birthstone lists contain sets of 12 stones that were connected to either Aarons, breastplate as outlined in the book of Leviticus, to gems of the zodiac or gems of the 12 Apostles of the New Testament.
- Other old traditions such as Roman, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Italian indicate that Sapphire to be the original April birthstone.
- George Frederick Kunz, the famous American Mineralogist and mineral collector, talks about the many birthstone lists that have existed over time. In his book, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, published in 1913. I found in the chapter on birthstones, one reference to Sapphire showing up on several birthstone lists for April. One list that I found very interesting was a patriotic list of birthstones honoring gems that are mined in the Unites States.
What does all of this mean? It means that if you love Sapphire and are born in April, you may proudly wear sapphire as a token of your April birth month.