Style Snapshot: Birthstone Jewelry
by Anne Marie Hunter, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

The concept that specific gemstones convey or impart special meaning for the wearer is an ancient idea first originating thousands of years ago. Scholars trace this idea back to the Breastplate of Aaron, described in the book of Exodus.

The Breastplate was a religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. Then, between the 1st and 5th centuries, philosophers and writers from around the world introduced ideas supporting the significance of individual gemstones. Belief in a connection between gemstones and astrological signs, with certain gemstones having special powers related to each sign, evolved. In some cultures, it was common thought that specific gemstones held properties that could provide therapeutic or magical benefits to the wearer.

Style Snapshot: Birthstone Jewelry The model of birthstone jewelry we know today originated in 18th c. Poland, when people first began wearing gemstones associated with their birth month. About two hundred years prior to the start of this tradition, an unknown poet wrote a series of lyrical birthstone poems for each month, which were attached to the Gregorian calendar. In the late 19th c., Tiffany and Company printed a pamphlet of these poems, which have since become widely known.

In 1912, in an effort to standardize birthstones for jewelry buyers and sellers, members of the National Association of Jewelers gathered in Kansas and officially adopted a modern list of birthstones. With one exception, this list has remained unchanged. In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added the popular stone tanzanite to the December birthstone lineup.

Discover a galaxy of product choices for every birthstone, along with design ideas to inspire your own line of birthstone jewelry. Or, assemble a collection of ready-to-wear styles for gifting or resale. Designs, of course, can be made using genuine birthstones; however that's just one of many options. In addition to designing with genuine birthstones, explore creating a line of birthstone jewelry with Swarovski crystals or Dione® beads, incorporating colors representing actual birthstones.

If you need a helpful, multipurpose reference when designing your line of birthstone jewelry, the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Suggested Birthstones chart is an excellent, accurate visual resource at your fingertips. For quick, easy shopping, a simple click will take you to the birthstone of your choice.

If you're contemplating your own line of birthstone jewelry, Swarovski crystals, along with a wide selection of findings in a variety of metal finishes, is a terrific launching point. Design a line of affordable birthstone pendants, bracelets, earrings and rings and your original line of eye-catching, stylish birthstone jewelry will sell itself.

Once established, your birthstone jewelry designs can become a permanent addition to your displays, ideal for ongoing sales. Invite customers to discover the joy in giving meaningful birthstone jewelry to friends and family. They will return to you for important, special-occasion gifts throughout the year, and year after year.

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Style Snapshot: Birthstone Jewelry

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