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History of the Concept of Birthstone - Term Paper Example

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"History of the Concept of Birthstone" paper argues that different cultures came up with their own birthstone list and the modern list available today is only the latest. Some people still argue that the most appropriate way to classify gemstones is not according to months but astrological signs.  …
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History of the Concept of Birthstone
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Download file to see previous pages In this context, the breastplate of the Hebrew high priest is described as having twelve gems. Each gem, as it is eluded, was symbolic of each of the twelve tribes of Israel. However, over time the gems that had notable colors came to get associated with the 12 signs of the zodiac, which roughly correspond to the months of the year. Each zodiac sign has a unique name and set of characteristics. Some people tend to think that those born under a zodiac sign are influenced by that sign and, to some extent, share some common traits or characteristics with it.

The custom of adorning birthstones initially became popular in Poland in the fifteenth or sixteenth century (Hausel and Erlich, 216). Some of the information on the history of the gemstones is hazy. For instance, it can get into the light that individuals might have worn the birthstone for each month. This is valid since most people believed that the powers of the birthstone were heightened during its month. If this were true, to achieve the full effect of the birthstones, one had to get a full set of twelve birthstones and rotate them throughout the year, each in its month.

Nonetheless, most of the gem scholars conquer that the tradition of the birthstones began from the Breastplate of Aaron. This religious garment was ceremonial, set with twelve gemstones that were not the only representative of the twelve tribes of Israel, but also corresponded to the 12 signs of the zodiac together with the twelve months of the year. It gets to light that the garment was square and folded. On it were four rows of the precious stones, gems. The precious stones were mounted on gold filigree settings and arranged as follows; in the first row, there was a topaz, a ruby, and beryl. In the second row, there was a sapphire, a turquoise and an emerald. The third had a jacinth, an amethyst, and an agate while the fourth had an onyx, a jasper, and a chrysolite. However, since the ancient people did not categorize these by their mineral species as it is done today, debate arises as to which gem was set on the breastplate and why (Ungaro 19).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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