A History of Gemsones

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A History of Gemstones from Harris Michael Jewelry

A young Roman wife receives a  sapphire from her husband, who is about to leave on a journey. The sapphire, he believes, will help her remain devoted to him while he is gone.

An English prince suffers from a terrible stomachache. His servant holds an aquamarine over him and chants, hoping the gem will heal the prince.

A nobleman from India touches the ruby inside a pouch worn next to his skin. He is convinced the ruby is his ultimate protection from harm as he fights in battle.

Around the world and throughout the ages, people have noticed and appreciated the beauty of gemstones, often assigning these gems special powers. But how did certain gemstones become associated with the months of the year? Historians think that the first written record comes from the book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Here, the breastplate of the Hebrews' high priest is described as having twelve specific gems, one for each of Israel's twelve tribes.

Over time,  gems with special colors became associated with the twelve signs of the zodiac, which correspond roughly with the months of the year. Each sign has its own name and its own characteristics. Those born under a particular sign are thought by some people to be influenced by that sign and to share common traits.
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