The practice of wearing a stone associated with your birth month is a popular and ancient tradition. Most gem scholars concur that this custom was originally inspired by the Breastplate of Aaron, which was set with twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel, also corresponding to the twelve months of the year, and twelve signs of the zodiac. Each stone was thought to have heightened influence during the time of the year to which it was attached, so many people collected all the stones, and wore them in successive order.
Wearing a single birthstone associated with the month you were born is a more recent custom, beginning several centuries ago in either Germany or Poland. The modern birthstone chart was not developed until 1912, when the National Association of Jewelers adopted the official list most people are familiar with today. Either list can guide you to a special piece of jewelry to celebrate the birth of a special someone.
Jewel of Havana carries jewelry featuring many modern and traditional birthstones, including ruby, amethyst, jasper, agate, opal, peridot, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. A birthstone ring, bracelet, necklace or pendant feels special to wear and makes a very personal gift, whether you purchase it for a friend, a loved one -- or for yourself!
Lapis lazuli has been prized by humans for thousands of years. Its deep blue color, flecked and mottled with golden pyrites, is rich and beautiful. Lapis lazuli was inset in the eyebrows of King Tutankhamun’s funeral mask. And the ultramarine paint, used by the Old Masters to create so many classics, was made by grinding lapis lazuli into powder and mixing it with binding agents.
The best raw lapis lazuli stones come from Northeast Afghanistan, high in the Hindu Kush. There are also deposits in Russia, Chile, Italy, Mongolia, Canada and the USA (California and Colorado). Once it is mined, its crystalline marble properties allow it to be worked into vases, bowls, boxes, ornaments, mosaics and jewelry.
Jewel of Havana carries a variety of lapis lazuli jewelry in layering necklaces, earrings, and rings. The brilliant blue of lapis lazuli looks particularly stunning set in fine silver in the lapis lazuli wrap ring.
Lapis lazuli is one of the birthstones for December (along with Turquoise). But no matter which month you were born, a piece of lapis lazuli will soon become a favorite in your collection. It symbolizes prosperity, and is said to promote friendship and goodwill. It encourages harmony, and enhances wisdom.
Care for your lapis lazuli jewelry the way you do other gemstones. It should be protected from acidic substances and not be exposed to too much sunlight. A lapis lazuli that has grown dull from wear can be re-polished at any time. Any piece you own will be sure to be noticed, and will be treasured by you and anyone to whom you pass it down.
Ana Maria Andricain
Ana is a metal clay certified artist creating handcrafted nature inspired artisan jewelry from her Baton Rouge studio. If you love natural gemstones and metal, welcome home!