The mystery of birthstones is old. Very, very old. Numerous legends tell of specific stones used for specific purposes - be they birthstones that give overall protection or stones that are chosen by birth year but change depending on life circumstances.
You can find birthstone traditions in most cultures on our planet; and various stones, in one form or another, are often given soon after baby's birth. The choice of a birthstone is based on different factors—from a sophisticated astrological chart that defines specific birthstones for one's well-being to a quick purchase from a jewelry store based on their birthstone list.
Conflicting Astrological Paradigms
You have probably seen at least a few lists of birthstones that have different stones often assigned to the same month. For example, if you are an Aquarius born in February, is your birthstone the amethyst (as per original Tiffany & Co. list of birthstones) or is it black onyx, or jasper, as you can find in other lists?
Furthermore, Western astrology is slightly different from the Vedic one. To add to the variety of factors, some birthstones are chosen by the year of birth (based on Chinese zodiac) where you can find a lot of feng shui good luck amulets with birthstones for various signs.
Best Choice for Birthstones
So, what is the best choice when it comes to choosing a birthstone for you or your loved ones? What are the criteria on which you would base your selection? Will it be the feng shui list of stones by birth year/Chinese zodiac (that also has additional lists for each New Year, when your luck is refreshed); or the Western list of birthstones by month (popularized by Tiffany & Co. in 1870 based on the Gregorian calendar poems)?
Even with the existence of the birthstone list industry standard (a bit of a funny expression to use, really!) defined by both the U.S. National Association of Jewellers and Britain's National Association of Goldsmiths, choosing a birthstone is a very personal affair.
There are several ways to find your birthstone—by month, year, and even day of the week—and you choose what you like the most. The truth is, you can never really go wrong with crystals and stones, and in most cultures, a person will own several stones and wear them at various times depending on circumstances.
High-quality stones have very healing energy about them, and often you will intuitively know which stone is right for you. Choosing the right stone or crystal is a bit like falling in love, it just happens when you see the person. So the best advice is to go to a reputable crystal shop or jewelry store (be aware of irradiated stones as they tend to have distorted energy) and just see if you are drawn to a specific stone.
Good luck with whatever birthstone you choose to wear—your official birthstone or just a beautiful un-official and un-listed stone that you fell in love with!