Birthstones have been recognized since the first century. It is believed that the stones used in the breastplate of the Jewish high priest, which represent the twelve tribes of Israel, may have been a link to the evolution of birthstones. A special stone was dedicated to each of the twelve months. The following birthstone list was officially adopted by major jewelry trade associations in 1952.
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Sardonyx is a parallel-layered agate having brown color as one of its layers. It has two to five layers alternately stacked with dark and light tones. These stones are not easily found and most are dyed. They are normally carved into cameos, having raised images, or intaglios, having a negative image. Onyx marble (not a true onyx) or carnelian (reddish toned chalcedony) are acceptable substitutes.
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