We are taking my mother out for Mother’s Day today. The last couple years we have enjoyed going to a nice Mexican restaurant called Abuelo’s either the week before or the week after in order to avoid the crowds on the actual Mother’s Day Sunday. Abuelo’s has lots of ambience and good food as well, and this new “tradition” is one we all look forward to.
I had an extra week, therefore, to work on one of Mom’s Mother’s Day gifts. I started making jewelry last summer and since then I have especially enjoyed making bracelets. Recently I saw some very pretty birthstone bracelets for mothers and grandmothers and realized that I could make something similar for Mom. Now, my mother is not only a mom and grandma, but also a great-grandma. How wonderful it would be to be able to represent each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a birthstone crystal on a silver beaded bracelet! Knowing how she loves each one of her “kids,” I was pretty sure she would treasure something like that!
Mom gave birth to seven children, including the twins she lost fifty-one years ago. She has thirteen grandchildren, and her fourteenth great-grandchild is due in July. That is a lot of birthstones! My original plan was to make a three-strand bracelet, linking the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother strands together with pretty crystal spacers. I wasn’t satisfied with the finished product, however. It was just too much and looked a little “jumbled.” I took it apart and made three separate bracelets instead that she can either wear alone or together. I was delighted with the result! I had special-ordered silver beads in several different shapes, sizes and textures and they set off the birthstone crystals beautifully. I hope my mother loves them as much as I do!
They say birthstones had their origins in the breastplate God ordered on the garments of the Israelites’ high priest. Exodus 39:10-13 says, “And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this was the first row. And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper they were enclosed in pouches of gold in their inclosings.” There are a number of other references to gemstones throughout the Bible, but one of my favorites is the description in Revelation 21:18-20: “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.”
Other cultures have had birthstones, as well. If you were interested enough to do the research, you would find that there are not only “traditional” and “modern” birthstone charts, and birthstones based on the zodiac, but also “mystical” birthstones which are of Tibetan origin and date back over a thousand years, and the “Ayurvedic” birthstones which stem from Indian medicine and beliefs dating back to ancient India (1500 B.C.). According to folklore and stories throughout history, many gemstones are thought to offer mystic healing to its wearer and to bring “good luck.” For instance, amethyst is supposed to aid in the reduction of insomnia, arthritis, pain relief, and circulatory issues, and sapphire alleviates pain. Garnet is supposed to aid the blood, heart, and lungs while the aquamarine aids the liver, throat, stomach, jaw, teeth, eyes, and ears! Early sailors believed also that an aquamarine talisman would protect them against dangers at sea. Other superstitions said that a ruby was a protection against evil, amethyst guarded against intoxication and Peridot set in gold would protect its wearer from nightmares.
I just think birthstones are pretty! Julie calls me her “magpie mother” since I took up making jewelry and eagerly sort through my shiny little “bits and baubles!” I inherited my love for crystal from my mother—so sparkly and bright as it catches the light! Since I wanted to use all crystals in my birthstone bracelets, rather than the actual gemstones, I referred to the “modern” birthstone chart, rather than the “traditional” one, the main differences being the use of pearls, opals and turquoise in the traditional listing for June, October and December rather than the alexandrite, rose crystal and blue zircon from the modern chart.
The birthstone charts also tell us the character qualities each stone is supposed to represent and bring to its wearer. As beautiful as these gems are, though, they are only a created material. They have no powers or benevolent effects. Their Creator is the Giver of all good gifts, the Great Physician, our Protector and Provider. I thought it would be interesting to go through the birthstone chart I used and compare it to what God’s Word says:
January – Garnet – Strength, perseverance, prosperity, health. The Bible says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3
February – Amethyst – Wisdom, spirituality, sobriety, security. The Bible says, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.” Proverbs 2:6-8
March – Aquamarine – Beauty, honesty, loyalty, happiness. The Bible says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
April – Diamond – Invincibility, clarity, purity, eternal love. The Bible says, “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3
May – Emerald – Patience, understanding, foresight. The Bible says, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” Ephesians 1:18, 19
June – Alexandrite – Balance, confidence, joy. The Bible says, “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11
July – Ruby – Love, success, integrity, passion and promise. The Bible says, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” II Peter 1:4-7
August – Peridot – Fame, dignity, protection, success. The Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
September – Sapphire – Truth, sincerity, commitment, loyalty. The Bible says, “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” I Thessalonians 5:24
October – Rose Crystal – Emotional balance, forgiveness. The Bible says, “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
November – Topaz – Strength, wisdom, courage. The Bible says, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:7-9
December – Blue Zircon – Wisdom, honor, wealth. The Bible says, “Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.” II Chronicles 1:12
I love the pretty, sparkly things God has created—gemstones and jewels, gold and silver. I love His flowers and sea shells and trees and birds and butterflies, as well. I love the variety of His creation—beautiful landscapes and seascapes; amazing and vastly different animals; an awesome and mysterious universe. I love the uniqueness of each human being. Each of those birthstones on the bracelets I made my mother represent a beautiful, unique, special person—people I love. I am so thankful for them and for this beautiful world the Lord has allowed us to enjoy for a time. All good gifts come from Him—the gifts of His creation, the gifts of personality, provision, protection, and His love. Let us worship the Creator today, and not the creation. He is worthy of our praise!