The modern custom of wearing birthstones is believed to have begun in 18th century Poland, but the idea of gemstones with particular symbolic meaning goes far back in history.
In Biblical times, there were twelve gemstones on the breastplate of the High Priest (Ex. 28:15-30) representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Later, medieval priests reinterpreted this tradition to link a gemstone with each of the twelve apostles. (These gemstones were named for color characteristics, not necessarily their mineral components, which were unknown at that time; terms like “ruby” or “topaz” could have referred to any red or golden gemstone.)
Though the specific names of the gemstones may have changed over time, their tradition and symbolism can be as meaningful now as they were millennia ago. Our modern list of birthstones was fixed in 1912, and this list, with a few minor changes, has been followed ever since. Click on the links below for specifics, or view all our birthstone items.
|June||Pearl & Moonstone||Cream|
|October||Opal & Tourmaline||Variegated|
|November||Yellow Topaz & Citrine||Gold|
|December||Turquoise & Tanzanite||Sky blue|
Giving certain gifts based on the number of years a couple has been married is a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. At first only milestones anniversaries like the 25th and 50th were celebrated, then as now with silver and gold, respectively. By 1875 the 5th anniversary was publicly celebrated; in the early 1920s Emily Post listed the first, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries as celebrated milestones, and recognized the growing trend for celebrating each anniversary for the first fifteen years of marriage, and every five years after that.
There are two distinct trends in anniversary symbolism. One is to start with simple gifts in the early years of marriage (paper, cloth); the gifts gradually increase in value and rarity, reflecting the investment that the couple have in each other. The other trend, followed in many European countries, is to commemorate anniversaries by exchanging symbolic gifts that represent the progressive strengthening of the marriage relationship.
We have a beautiful selection of anniversary gifts rich in meaning and artistry, for whichever path you choose.
|1||Paper, Mother of Pearl||Cotton|
|4||Flowers, Blue Topaz||Jewellery|
|7||Wool, Copper, Onyx||Wool|
|9||Pottery, Lapis Lazuli||Watch|
|11||Steel, Turquoise||Scent or Soap|
|12||Silk, Linen, Jade||Silk|
|18||Cat’s Eye||Coloured Gems|