Gemstones have been used to symbolize many different occasions, such as birth dates, anniversary dates as well as personal taste and fashion. The most common use has been birthstones. How many times have you seen a mother wearing a garnet or emerald ring or necklace? Chances are, if you ask her the meaning behind the ring, she will answer, “This represents my son's, daughter's or husband's birthday.” Birthstones hold a special place in many people’s hearts.
The tradition of using precious gemstones to represent a certain time of year dates back hundreds of years. They were originally associated with the signs of the zodiac. Garnet was associated with Aquarius, amethyst with Pisces, etc… In 1912 an organization known as “The Jewelers of America,” formed a modern birthstone list. A similar list was formed to associate precious gemstones with specific anniversaries. The first anniversary is gold. The second anniversary is garnet, etc. The list of gems associated with anniversaries exceeds the list of gems that represent birth months because there are several more anniversary years than months in the year.
These particular gemstones not only have meanings for each birthday or anniversary, but they stand for a meaning all their own. For example, the modern meaning of garnet stands for happiness, lasting love and friendship. These specific meanings and symbols are the reason people value each individual stone. Some people wear the stones for fashion purposes only, but others choose to wear them for the meaning behind them.