As children, many Americans get introduced to the idea of birthstones—that the month of your birth corresponds to a special jewel. Some lucky people get diamonds (April). Others are stuck with the more pedestrian garnet (January) or the esoteric peridot (August). But while many know of the existence of these gems, it’s less clear why.
It turns out that birthstones are both an American invention and an ancient tradition.
In 1913, George Frederick Kunz, a vice president of Tiffany & Co., wrote the definitive book on gemstones and their folklore. In this book, he discussed the history of “natal stones” and people’s beliefs in their mystical powers.
Finish reading the full story at http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-the-man-who-popularized-birthstones-in-america-came-to-loathe-his-creation