believe that the Breastplate of Aaron is the basis for the
origin of birthstones (also known as natal stones). The
instructions for fabricating the Breastplate are in Exodus 28:
15-30, and call for the twelve stones of the Twelve Tribes of
Israel (shown with this page's title) to be set in four rows.
These gemstones corresponded to the zodiac signs of the time.
Our present calendar month system was not known at the time of
Exodus and today birthstones have come to be more commonly
associated with the calendar month of birth although many people
prefer using stones from astrological charts to represent their
birth or natal stone.
Myths and superstitions gradually grew
up regarding the stones, and symbolic meanings or virtues were
ascribed to them. Different nations around the world have
developed different charts for birthstones. Today, five months
of the year have alternate birthstones.