A birthstone (or birthday stone) is a gemstone, usually in the form of personal jewelry and most often in the form of a ring. Each stone is traditionally associated with various qualities that symbolize the month of birth in the Gregorian calendar. The first century Jewish historian Josephus proclaimed a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate, the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Translations and interpretations of the passage in Exodus regarding the breastplate have varied widely, however, with Josephus himself giving two different lists for the twelve stones (Kunz argues that Josephus saw the breastplate of the Second Temple, not the one described in Exodus). St.
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