Sterns Birth Stone Collection
Sterns Birth Stone Collection
Image: Supplied

In a time where we’re so particular about customisation and forging our own identity, it’s no surprise that jewellery personalisation is once again on the rise.

Perhaps we should blame the selfie generation but suddenly we’re unashamedly open to celebrating ourselves and our individuality. (Re)enter: the birth stone. It really comes as no surprise that we’re all reaching for jewellery made from precious stones, dedicated to our own birth.

The idea of birthstones (a gemstone assigned to each month of the year) is thought to be an ancient one, with scholars tracing it back to the Breastplate of Aaron, described in the book of Exodus in the Bible. The Breastplate was a religious garment, that was set with twelve gemstones and each stone represented the twelve tribes of Israel. The gems were set in four rows of three: Sardius, topaz and carbuncle; then emerald, sapphire and diamond; followed by ligure, agate and amethyst; and finally, beryl, onyx and jasper.

The connection between these 12 stones and the 12 signs of the Zodiac was later represented in the writings of Flavius Josephus around the 1st century AD. The idea was proposed that each gemstone had special powers associated with the corresponding astrological sign, and that by wearing these stones at the right time, one would received therapeutic benefits. However, the idea here was to own a collection of 12 different gemstones and to wear them during the ascendancy of the corresponding Zodiac sign.

The notion of each person always wearing a gemstone corresponding to their birth month is a distinctly modern idea that can be traced to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of gem traders to the region. Yet, our modern list of birthstones was still only defined in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewellers.

Fast forward to 2017, and it seems we’re all going nuts for them again. Thanks to Stern’s latest Diamond Birthstone Collection, we’re able to commemorate precious moments and anniversaries, once again with the birth stone tradition. Whether you’re treating yourself to a special gem or rather spoiling a loved one, a piece from this collection is sure to go down in history.

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