It is often thought that the purpose of jewelry is to look beautiful, and to make the wearer more beautiful. Some pieces are worn to bring out an element of one’s appearance: sapphire earrings to accentuate blue eyes, onyx to bring out the lustre of black hair; but these bear little personal value.
This is certainly one purpose jewelry has, but it is more important that jewelry mean something. Almost all jewelry has meaning. Gift jewelry symbolizes the relationship between the wearer and the giver. Heirloom jewelry preserves the memory of the family who owned it before. Then there are birthstones.
A piece of birthstone jewelry is easier to procure than an heirloom or a gift; it can simply be purchased. Though the manner of procurement is simple, the meaning is deep, and a birthstone ring ties the wearer to something much larger than herself.
Birthstones have been associated with their respective seasons for hundreds of years, and the notion that our year of birth impacts our character is older still. For a woman born in July, a ruby evokes the heat of summer, life, all the passion and heat of the season.
For November, the topaz symbolizes the glimmer of hope that has always kept humans alive during the harsh winter months. Clear, white diamond evokes the cleansing rains of April. The month a person is born in has an irreversible impact on that person’s personality and character.
Who could deny the power of one’s first sight being spring rain, winter’s snow, or the bright sun of summer? This relationship with our season of birth is usually invisible and unknown.
Why not wear it in the form of birthstone jewelry? In the modern age, it is easy to think that the earth and its environment belong to us, but we are the ones who are shaped and defined by it. It behooves us to wear birthstone jewelry as a constant reminder that, though our time belongs to us, we were created by Earth and its seasons.
When selecting jewelry for any occasion, consider including a birthstone. Like charm bracelets, birthstones start conversations. They go with anything. Most important of all, they make a statement about the relationship between humans and nature.