Gemstone Meanings and History
Short descriptions and history of gemstone meanings. We have a gorgeous array of beautiful gemstone crystals available to us to make into the most amazing pieces of jewellery. Each gemstone is unique and has its own individual colour and lustre making each piece of jewellery made from with the gemstone an absolute designer art piece.
Agates: Balancing physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energies; perceptiveness, strength, inspiration, awakening talents. Agates foster love, truthfulness, courage, bravery, strength, abundance, wealth, good luck, longevity, acceptance, protection, balance, harmony, generosity, security, Persuasiveness, agree-ability, congeniality, compatibility, creativity, acquiring wealth.
Amazonite: Success, joy, self-expression, awakening heart, soothing, harmony, balancing.
Amber: Soothing, calming, cleansing.
Legend says that long ago, pieces of the sun broke off as it set into the ocean. When they cooled, they formed chunks of Amber, “The Gold of the Sea”. It is actually the fossilised resin from a species of extinct pine tree.
Amber is not actually a stone they are the fossil of tree sap. Gemstones are generally cool to the touch but amber is warm and feels almost plastic. Amber can be made to attract electro static electricity. Rub it with a soft cloth and it will attract small pieces of paper placed near it.
Amethyst: Contentment, spirituality, dreams, healing, peace, happiness, love, intuition.
Amethyst is the most beautiful and valuable form of quartz. The word Amethyst stems from a Greek word meaning “without drunkenness,” for in ancient times it was believed that anyone carrying or wearing this stone could not become intoxicated. Perhaps the Greeks were aware of the soothing effect of its rich, purple colour, for they believed it had the ability to help control the temperament.
The 7th stone which the sage Iachus gave to Appolonius, Amethyst represented piety and dignity. The early Rosicrucian’s saw the stone as an emblem of divine sacrifice, since the colour was considered a sign of suffering, passion and hope.
The legend of Amethyst is the source of many of the healing qualities which have come to be identified with the stone.
· The story goes like this: The god Bacchus had been particularly offended one day due to a lack of consideration which he felt he deserved. To appease his anger, he was determined to kill, by means of his tigers, the first person he met. The unfortunate one was Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden who, as fate would have it, crossed his path on her way to worship the goddess Diana at the temple. As the tigers sprang upon her, she pleaded for protection from Diana, who transformed her into a pure, clear stone. Witnessing this miracle and repenting of his crime, Bacchus sought to soothe Amethyst by pouring the juice of the grape over her, bestowing on her a lovely purple hue.
Amethyst is often referred to as the “Bishop’s Stone” because a ring set with this gem is still worn today by the Bishops of the Catholic Church, symbolising their moral victory over worldly passions.
Ametrine: Intellectual stimulation, attunement, releasing, dispelling tension, connecting.
Apatite: Intellect, achieving results, healing, insight, humanitarianism, meditation, balance, creativity.
Aquamarine: Courage, purification, peace, intuition, self-expression, balance, preparedness.
Aventurine: Healing, money, mental agility, visual acuity, peace, opening heart, motivation, leadership.
Azurite: Intuitive energy, dreams, healing, insight, stilling the mind, concentration, self transformation.
Bloodstone: Courage, intense healing, renewal, strength, victory, intuitive decision making.
There is a legend that says the bloodstone was formed from the blood of Christ dripping on the green earth and solidifying. It was also called heliotrope by the Greeks and was thought to bring change. The bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against the evil eye. Bloodstone is the symbol of justice.
Calcite: Purification, peace, calming, memory, awareness, appreciation of nature.
Carnelian: Precision, analytical capabilities, physical energy, verbal skill, peace, spirituality.
A passionate stone, it is thought to enhance sexuality, activate energy, motivation and creativity. Some recognise that its ability to balance causes it to be good for family areas of the home. Other uses are for protection against injury, prosperity, courage, mental focus and strength.
It is known to enhance a performer’s work, adding the ability for more drama and energy in one’s performance.
Celestite: Verbal skill, healing, compassion, calming, growth, intuition, hope.
Calcedony: A type of quartz that has a waxy lustre and varies from transparent to translucent. It is usually white, pale-blue, gray, brown, or black and is often found as a lining in cavities. Agate, flint, and onyx are forms of chalcedony. Chalcedony is a nurturing stone that promotes good will. It absorbs negative energy and brings the mind, body, emotions and spirit into harmony. Chalcedony in-stills feelings of benevolence and generosity. It alleviates hostility and transforms melancholy into joy. Eases self-doubt. Creates openness and enthusiasm. Absorbs and dissipates negative thoughts, emotions and bad dreams.
Chrysocolla: Easing heartache, stamina, wisdom, peace, love, communication, vitality, inner strength.
Chrysoprase: Balancing male-female energy, love, grace, compassion, clemency, personal growth.
Citrine: Intuition, comfort, protection, creativity, physical energy, wealth, mental awakening.
Coral: Diplomacy, quieting emotions, visualisation.
According to Plato, children who wear coral about the neck will be protected from disease. This interesting custom persisted throughout the Middle Ages. Coral is really the skeleton of a marine animal and as such, it carries with it the special creative vibrations of the sea. Just as the ocean is the life’s blood of the land, so too, Coral is said to aid in the circulation of the body and to enrich the blood.
Unlike red and Angelskin Coral, Black Coral is said to hold in negativity and the limitations that are present in the mind of the wearer. In the past, it was associated with sorcery and was kept in the Shamans’ bag. In Tibet, India and other middle eastern countries, black Coral is still considered a sign of bad luck.
Crystal Quartz: Intensifying energy, spiritual development, healing, raising consciousness.
Diamond: Courage, strength, healing, protection, spirituality, mental abilities.
Dumortierite: Self-reliance, stamina, patience, recognition of potential, understanding, communication of ideas.
Emerald: Love, domestic bliss, sensitivity, loyalty, memory, mental capacity, harmony, focus, eliminating negativity.
Fluorite: Stability, impartial reasoning, responsibility, concentration, health.
Fossil Stone: Accomplishments, improvement of one’s environment, communication, innovation.
Garnet: Health, removing negativity, awareness, commitment, regeneration, order, insight.
Throughout the ages, Garnet has always been noted for its deep, rich colour. Ancient legends state that Garnet could never be hidden, that even under clothing, its glowing light would shine forth. According to traditional beliefs, Noah used the wine-red variety of Garnet to light the Ark. The stone’s ability to reveal that which is hidden may be the reason why Garnet was once thought to illuminate the mind so it could see back to past incarnations
Hematite or Haematite: Mental attunement, memory, calming, balance, focusing energy and emotions, peace, inner happiness, transforming negativity.
As far back as ancient Egypt, Hematite was used to reduce inflammation and treat hysteria. In his “Naturalis Historia”, the Roman writer Pliny cites Haematite as a powerful talisman that could obtain a favourable response to petitions when the wearer appeared before the king.
The stone also procured the positive outcome of lawsuits and judgements. In modern folklore, Hematite is considered a grounding stone, helping to maintain the proper balance of mind, body and spirit.
Most Haematite is slightly magnetic naturally. Although hematite is weakly magnetic (and hence can be attracted to your magnet), its magnetism is “soft”, meaning that its domains don’t stay lined up when the magnetic field is removed. In fact, the magnetic forces between the domains tend to make them line up opposite to each other.
Howlite: Awareness, calm, emotional expression, observation, patience, eliminating negativity.
Iolite: Intuition, spiritual growth, healing, balance, releasing discord, awakening to inner knowledge.
Jade: Fidelity, dreams, realisation of potential, peace, accord, resourcefulness, accomplishment.
Jaspers: Protection, nurturing, joy, awareness; balancing of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energies.
Labradorite: Alignment, spiritual connection, transformation, clarity, peace, progression, discernment.
Lapis Lazuli: Wisdom, intuition, awareness, objectivity, clarity, creativity, expanded consciousness,
Lepidolite: Hope, stress reduction, birth, peace, spirituality, physical strength, luck, protection, emotional balance.
Malachite: Transformation, insight, clarifying emotions, fidelity, loyalty, practicality. Malachite was one of those gems which, when pulverised, produced a lovely green eye shadow. From tombs whose origin preceded those of Egypt, we find cosmetic jars and paint cups containing Malachite. Later on, King Solomon extracted this gem as a copper by product from his fabulous mines and became wealthy as a result.
In Egypt, Malachite was used primarily as a protection for children against evil spirits.
During the Middle Ages, it was a popular talisman against the Evil Eye, all forms of sorcery and black magic.
Modern folklore suggests that Malachite increases abundance in all areas of life, offering its wearer health, vitality and protection.
Marble: Charitable actions, original thinking, alleviation of sorrow.
Moonstone: Introspection, reflection, beginnings, insight, tenderness, harmony, peace, travel.
Mother of Pearl: Mental clarity, intuition, sensitivity, imagination, adaptability, cooperation.
Obsidians: Clarity, deflecting negativity, protection, healing.
Onyx: Self-control, decision making, intuition, recognition of personal strengths.
In ancient times, Onyx was used to guard against witches’ spells and evil sorcery. It was reputed to drive away all undesirable thoughts and bad temper. Folklore says that Onyx was considered a stabilising stone, especially during times of extreme stress because it prevented loss of energy from the body.
In India, another legend states that Onyx was worn around the neck in order to cool the passions of love. It was further believed that the stone encouraged a spirit of separateness and independence between partners.
Opal: Creativity, spontaneity, relationships, memory, happy dreams and changes.
Known as “The Gem of the Gods,” Opal has always had a mystical significance. It is said to aid in psychic vision and to have the power to open the spiritual centres. As a curative stone, Opal was believed to heighten weak emotions and to strengthen the memory.
During the time of Queen Elizabeth, Opal was written “ophal.” Some believe the name was derived from the word “opthalmos” meaning, “the eye.” Thus, in ancient times, Opal was said to be intimately connected with a belief in the Evil Eye. Over the years, a superstition developed which said the stone caused ill luck if gazed upon. In contrast, another folk-tale of a later date suggests that looking at Opal is actually good for the eyes.
At one time, this stone was considered the gem of love. Opal could reverse its lucky effects for those who lacked fidelity, however, bestowing unfortunate circumstances upon unfaithful lovers.
Opalite: Opalite is a man-made stone.Opalite is a subtle yet highly energetic stone. It is the ideal stone for meditation. Emotionally, Opalite helps by assisting during changes. Great for helping to verbalise emotional discord. Opalite is an all-round healing stone. Helps purifies the blood and kidneys.
Pearl: Purity, faith, charity, innocence, integrity, focus, wisdom, spirituality, sincerity, fertility.
Peridot: Warmth, friendliness, understanding, openness in love and relationships, regulation of cycles.
Peridot is a gem variety of olivine, also known as “chrysolite”. Highly valued by the ancients, the stones were once considered more valuable than diamonds. In fact, they were actually used as currency to pay tribute to Egyptian rulers. The ancients of that day believed that Peridot could only be found at night, when the stone radiated like the sun. Although it was said to glow, Peridot was never mined at night. Instead, the spot where the light appeared was carefully marked, and the diggers returned the following day to unearth the gems.
Peridot was the only gem set in transparent form by the Romans, who wore it for protection against enchantments, melancholy and illusion. During the Middle Ages, knights wore the stone as a means of gaining foresight and divine inspiration. It was also recommended for those who desired eloquence in speech.
Pyrite: Defence, prevention, protection from negativity, physical wholeness, memory.
Rhodocrosite: Love, emotional balance, cleansing, renewal, relaxation, expansion of consciousness.
Rhodonite: Peace, generosity, attention to details.
Rhyolite: Change, variety, progress, creativity, transcending barriers.
Rose Quartz: Love, peace, happiness, gentleness, healing emotional wounds.
Ruby: Nurturing, spiritual wisdom, attainment of values, economic stability, protection from distress.
Sapphire: Joy, peace, beauty, intuition, prosperity, fulfilment of dreams.
Serpentine: (see Jade)
Smoky Quartz: Dissolving emotional blockage, clearing the mind, cooperation, personal pride, joy in living, attentiveness to the moment, protection.
Sodalite: Wisdom, logic, calmness, healing, stress reduction, companionship, self-esteem.
Sunstone: Alleviating fears, energising, cleansing.
Tanzanite: Communication, intuition, protection, symmetry, decision-making, spirituality.
Tiger Eye: Practicality, peacefulness, clarity, intelligence, intuition, new experiences, financial stability, calmness, releasing inhibitions.
Tiger Iron: Artistic endeavours, beauty, vitality.
Topaz: True love, success in endeavours, understanding of interrelationships, expression of ideas, trust, health, personal expansion and growth.
Tourmaline: Energising, soul-searching, releasing.
Turquoise: Spiritual attunement, cleansing, healing, protection, valour, soothing, peace of mind, guidance through the unknown, romantic spontaneity.
Tradition says that Isaac, the son of Abraham, was the first to open the famed Persian Turquoise mines. Although various versions of the bible disagree, some scholars believe that the gem was one of the precious stones that comprises the foundation of the New Jerusalem.
In ancient lore, the beautiful blue colour of Turquoise represented the atmosphere surrounding the earth, which was regarded as the giver of life and breath. The stone further signified man’s origin as a creature of spirit rather than of flesh.
A belief that Turquoise brought good luck was prevalent during the time of Shakespeare. Also, superstitions alluded to the belief that the stone grew pale when its owner took sick and lost its colour completely at death. Turquoise would regain its colour however, if it was worn by a new and healthy owner.
Today, the American Indian reveres Turquoise for its balancing and healing energy. It is said to act as a unifying force between the Spirit of air and the Spirit of the earth.
Unakite: Emotional balance and fore site.
Zoisite: Dispelling laziness