The history of garnets goes back more than 5,000 years; garnet jewelry was buried with Norseman to light their passage to Valhalla and found in jewelry from ancient Egyptian, Greeks, and Romans. Garnet is a stone of romantic love and passion; said to bring positive thoughts to assist with success in one’s career and in building one’s self confidence.
The ancient Romans mixed ground amethyst with wine to prevent drunkenness; the name Amethyst came from the Greek word Amethustos, meaning “Not Drunken.” According to Greek legend, Bacchus, the god wine, created this beautiful purple stone. Amethyst brings energies of stability, peace, calm, balance, courage, and inner strength.
Aquamarine literally means “Water of the Sea.” Legend tells of ancient sailors who wore aquamarine gemstones to keep them safe and prevent seasickness; if a storm came, the amulets were sacrificed to the ocean to placate Poseidon and sooth the waters. Since early times, aquamarine has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness.
The first recorded history of the diamond dates back some 3,000 years to the Deccan Highlands in India, in the region called Golconda, famous for producing many astounding gems. Diamonds were first valued for the ability to refract light and were worn as a talisman to ward off evil and provide protection in battle. In antiquity diamonds were considered a symbol of purity and innocence. They also symbolized perfection, invincibility, force, and authority. Diamonds are capable of driving away fears and to protect the owner from negative influences.
Emerald has been treasured since at least 4000 BC when it was traded in the gem market of Babylon. Ancient emerald seekers appear to have obtained the gemstone from Upper Egypt as early as 2000 BC. Greek workers mined during the time of Alexander the Great; later Cleopatra controlled the same mines, prizing emeralds over all other gems. Emerald is a stone of love and romance. It brings and enhances joy, cleansing, clairvoyance, memory, and faith. It also benefits intuition and communication, as well as, promotes truthfulness.
Ancient Roman legends says that pearls were thought to be the tears of the gods. The first known source of pearls was in the Persian Gulf and the ancients in that region believed pearls were a symbol of the moon and had magical powers. The pearl is said to improve self-worth and help people see themselves clearly. Pearls attune the wearer to the ebb and flow of life. They are calming and centering, giving the power of love, money, protection, and luck.
Mentioned in Sanskirt texts, the ancient Hindus thought that the colors of rubies were due to an inextinguishable fire that burned inside the gem, which would endow its wearer with long life and even cause water to boil. Ruby brings integrity, devotion, and happiness, enhancing generosity and prosperity. Ruby brings and increases romantic love.
Ancient papyri record the mining of these stones as early as 1500 BC, with the main source of peridot produced on Topazo Island in the Red Sea. In the middle ages, Europeans brought peridot stones back from crusades to decorate church plates and robes. Legend says that if the gem is set in gold it will develop its full potential as a talisman and will have the power to dispel terrors of the night. However, according to Pliny the Elder, for peridots to work their strongest magic they must be worn on the right arm.
In India it was believed that a sapphire immersed in water formed an elixir that could cure the bite of scorpions and snakes. Alternatively, if it were worn as a talisman pendant it would protect the wearer against evil spirits. In ancient times, it was believed that the sky was a gigantic sapphire into which the earth was embedded. The ancient Greeks also wore sapphires when consulting the Oracles. Sapphire is a stone of creative expression, intuition, and meditation, and enhances all three.
Opal is thought to have been discovered as long ago as 4,000 years and myths and lore of the stone abound in practically all cultures. The ancient Greeks thought opal to be the tears of Zeus and prized it as highly as diamonds, embodying the powers of foresight and prophecy. Roman antiquity speaks of a so-called “opalus,” or a “stone from several elements.” In the 7th century it was believed that opals possessed magical properties. The Romans wore opals for centuries and considered them a symbol of hope and purity.
Yellow or Gold Topaz was commonly used as an amulet as protection from the “evil eye.” The theme of a cure of eyes runs through some early Christian writings from the tenth century; the island Topaz in the Red Sea, now called Zebirget, is likely responsible for the gem’s name. Topaz is believed to draw love, promote courage, stimulate intellect, and dispel negativity. It is also thought to protect its wearer from black magic, injuries, jealousy, and madness.
Turquoise has been mined since as early as 6000 BC. Early Egyptians wore the stone and many turquoise pieces have been found in their tombs, one dating back to 7500 BC. The ancient Aztecs of Mexico believed turquoise to be a holy stone and that mere mortals were not worthy of wearing this precious stone; it was reserved for the worship of their gods. It is associated with the sky and promoting honest and clear communication from the heart. It is very powerful for grounding and protection. Turquoise can also help speed the healing process and is known as a master stone while also bringing abundance.