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Just about everyone knows what his or her birthstone is. Why is that?

Because people still enjoy the folklore associated with the tradition of the birthstone. They like believing that wearing a birthstone brings them good luck and protects them.

Early civilization as far back as the Assyrians (1400 BC) invested rare and beautiful gemstones with magical properties. Some minerals were thought to contain a force or possess certain values and powers. For instance, amethyst was said to prevent intoxication.

Tradition associates a gem with each sign of the zodiac based on a color system. Color was thought to unleash the power attributed to the stone.In time, birthstones became associated with calendar months rather than the zodiac. And people began to select birthstones in colors other than the original.

The Roman, Arabic, Jewish, Polish, Russian and Italian lists were all different.

The following list of birthstones, which is the one commonly used today, was adopted in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers, which later evolved into the Jewelers of America.

Month Color Stone
January Dark Red Garnet
February Purple Amethyst
March Pale Blue Aquamarine
April White (Clear) Diamond
May Bright Green Emerald
June Cream Pearl Pearl and Alexandrite
July Red Ruby
August Pale Green Peridot
September Deep Blue Sapphire
October Variegated Opal or Tourmaline
November Yellow Topaz or Citrine
December Sky Blue
Turquoise or Blue Topaz