Gemstones and Their Stories

At this time of year, people often give and receive gemstone jewelry pieces as gifts. Most people are familiar with the names of precious and semi-precious stones. But what about the legends, folklore and special significances that have been attributed to them over time?  Thanks to Judy Hall’s book, 101 Power Crystals  here are some of the stories you may not be familiar with.

Diamonds – Yes Ms. Munroe, they are still called “a girl’s best friend”, but they are so much more!  Diamonds are the hardest substance presently known;  only Diamond will cut Diamond. It has long been regarded as a symbol of invincibility. In India, Diamonds were belived to be remnants of a pair of cosmic dragons who engaged in a magical sky battle. Diamonds symbolize purity and eternity and traditionally have been used to enhance and amplify the powers of other stones.  A Diamond is dull until it is faceted and polished – it has a high ability to bend light (refraction) and disperse light into its component colours.  Considered a Crown Chakra crystal and connected to Archangel Metatron.

Emeralds – In the 17th century, Shakespeare referred to Emerald’s power to soothe the eyes.  Ivan the Terrible believed that Emerald was an enemy of uncleanliness. Hebrew tradition says serpents that looked on it went blind. It symbolizes immortality and rebirth. It has long been believed to ensure a happy marriage – as long as it doesn’t fade! The Incas prized Emerald as it represented the green Earth to them. The last Inca king wore a crown set with 453 Emeralds, weighing 1523 karats (~ 10 ounces). Considered a Heart and Third Eye Chakra crystal and connected to Archangels Raphael and Ophaniel.

Sapphire – The word means “Beloved of Saturn” in Sanskrit and the stone is one of the great metaphysical healing gems of Vedic astrology.  According to Hindu legend, Saturn was the first planet to appear out of the void, and Star Sapphire symbolizes the emergence of light out of darkness. Ivan the Terrible loved Sapphire because it, “preserveth and increaseth courage, joys, the heart, is pleasing to all vital senses…”. It is said to signify innocence, constancy, truth and virtue. Sapphire is considered a crystal of endurance and wisdom. It was said to be one of the gemstones in the Breastplate of the Jewish High Priest of Jerusalem. Considered a Third Eye and Crown Chakra crystal and connected to Archangels Metatron and Zadkiel.

Garnet – In the Talmud, it is said that Noah’s ark was illuminated by a Garnet.  Snakes were believed to be guided by a Garnet in their foreheads. Crusaders wore Garnet as amulets against accidents. To dream of a Garnet was considered fortunate as it indicated the accumulation of riches, but at the same time it was believed to protect against overindulgence; it ensured a balanced life. As a crystal of constancy, it was worn by Victorian widows to signify their undying fidelity to their departed spouses;  centuries earlier, Garnets were buried with the dead. Garnets are said to indicate loyalty, unchanging affection, grace and bring victory to their wearers.  Considered a Root, Sacral and Heart Chakra crystal and connected to Archangels Michael, Zadkiel and Atrugiel.

Amethyst – The word means “sincerity” and “freedom from harm.” It symbolizes wisdom, deep love, devotion and peace of mind.  HIstorically, Amethyst was worn by royalty to signify power. Its legendary power protected against drunkeness. It is one of the stones in the Breastplate of the Jewish High Priest. Amethyst is worn in the Christian church to signify high rank, victory over worldly passion and spiritual power.  Considered a Third Eye, Crown and Higher Chakras crystal and connected to Archangels Raphael and Jeremiel

Jade –  The Chinese considered Jade to be the most precious gem as it held five great virtues – wisdom, justice, modesty, courage and purity – plus five happinesses – wealth, old age, health, natural death and love of virtue.  In New Zealand, the Maori wore “greenstone” talismans to ensure long life and fertility.  The Aztecs prized Jade for its healing properties and connection to their gods. It has been considered a stone of weather magic, able to call up wind, rain, snow or mist, and to have power over the Earth’s elements. The stone signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility, therefore good for meditation and stress release. Its chakra consideration is based upon the colour of jade.

Whatever your experience with gemstones, find time to explore their stories more completely. They have been around for thousands of years. They have many more stories to tell – if you are interested.

Article written by Pat Antoniak, Registered Nurse – Registered Aromatherapist and owner of the Natural Comfort Wellness Centre in Tsawwassen, BC.

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