Traditionally, a gemstone is associated with each month of the year.
This concept of birthstone gems is believed to date back to the Bible and the Breastplate of Aaron.There were 12 stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel, symbolizing the 12 months of the year and the 12 signs of the zodiac.
There are other origins of birthstones, most notably of Tibetan origin and is over 1,000 years is the Mythical Birthstone List. Also, the Ayurvedic Birthstone List which relates to Ayurvedic Indian medicine is over 1500 years old.
There are many myths and legends that surround birthstones. Some cultures tended to wear the stone in which their birth month was in and other cultures owned a set of 12 birthstones. One set would cover each month of the year and people would wear their birthstones according to the date, regardless of their own date of birth. The thought was it heighten the healing powers if worn in the month of the birthstone.
July's birthstone is ruby. However, Turquoise, Onyx and Carnelian are secondary birthstones for this month. The King of Gemstones, ruby, in ancient times was widely regarded as the July birthstone, though this has not always been the case. Prior to 1912, when the Jewelers of America officially adopted ruby as the July birthstone, both onyx, Carnelian and turquoise were considered appropriate gemstones for this month.
In ancient Asia, the natives described the stone as the ‘King of Precious Stones’ because of its unique features which led people to believe that the stone carried mystical powers. So strong was this belief that Burmese warriors claimed that wearing a ruby necklace into battle made one invincible. The ancient Hindus observed a spiritual connection between rubies and the root chakra, or Muladhara (represented by a deep red color) and believed that the gemstone could ward off negative energy, fight evil, enhance sexual drive, and treat inflammation. In practice, men and women would rub the July birthstone on their skin to improve physical and mental health.
In some parts of the world, the ruby signified peace, harmony, and power; while in others, rubies were a sign of good health, wealth, wisdom, and a happy love life. In the modern age, rubies are strongly associated with vitality, energy and physical strength.
The use of turquoise as a decoration and talisman can be found throughout the ancient world, as far back as six thousand years ago when Egyptians used it to adorn their bodies and tombs; the most well-known of these is the tomb of Tutankhamun. This pharaoh's resting place was discovered in-tact and revealed a burial mask liberally inlaid with turquoise.
Onyx gives strength. It promotes vigor, steadfastness and stamina. Imparts self-confidence, helping you to be at ease in your surroundings. Onyx banishes grief, enhances self-control and stimulates the power of wise decision-making. It encourages happiness and good fortune.
Carnelian improves analytic abilities and clarifies perception. It sharpens concentration and dispels mental lethargy. Protects against envy, rage and resentment. Calms anger, banishes emotional negativity and replaces it with a love of life.