Gemstones…no one trick pony

‘One trick pony’ now there is a funny title…

The definition of this term is simply; an item with only one special feature, talent, or area of expertise.

In jewellery and fashion terms there seem to be plenty of one trick ponies but our subject for this month’s blog… Gemstones, certainly do not seem to suffer from that label. Used in a variety of ways gemstones have both spiritual meaning, healing properties and are widely used as fashion accessories and in industry too…and not a pony in sight!

So, what exactly are gemstones and how are they formed? Most gemstones are a natural formation of minerals mixed with water forming in pockets within the earth’s crust, the transformation process from liquid to what we call gemstones takes millions of years.

Most gemstones are found within 5 and 40 kilometres of the earth’s surface but some, such as diamonds and peridots, are found much deeper down. Although discovered all over the world, some areas of the globe due to geology are much richer in their concentrations of gemstones.

The use of gemstones has been recorded by archaeologists certainly since pre-historic times and whether used for spiritual, healing or decorative purposes, they have formed an interesting part of our culture for centuries.

Information source – Walter Schumann Gemstones of the world ISBN 978-1-4549-0953-8

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Our B&G gemstone guide

We have put together a short guide of some of the most well-known birthstone/gemstones, their origins and their healing and wellbeing qualities. It is said, however, that the healing benefits of certain gemstones can work even if the gemstone is not your birthstone!

Read on for the full twelve or jump straight to your own special month.

JANUARY: GARNET

Garnet is the wonderfully rich red birthstone of January, associated with the star sign of Capricorn (22nd Dec – 19th Jan) and Aquarius (20th Jan – 18th Feb), it is seen as a symbol of faith, love and devotion.

What’s in a name

The word Garnet originates from the Latin word Granatus meaning many seeds or grains and is thought to be a reference to its similarity with the pomegranate fruit with its deep red jewel-like seeds. In the 14th century, it was also known as Gernet meaning dark red. Although commonly garnets are predominantly red, they can come in a variety of other colours including amber, dark yellow and even green.

Origins

Garnets are a common rock formed mineral combination of silicon and oxygen. Although found all over the world, garnets have been recorded as one of the oldest gemstones and were used by both the Ancient Romans and Greeks as a decorative stone. Usually set in gold and worn as a symbol of strength and protection.

Health and wellbeing

Garnets physical benefits are said to include; reducing body toxins and relieving rheumatic and arthritic pain. Emotionally, garnets are said to be calming, stimulating desire and enhancing mood.

FEBRUARY: AMETHYST

The birthstone of February, amethyst is associated with the star signs of Aquarius (20th Jan – 18th Feb) and Pisces (19th Feb – 20th Mar) and seen as a symbol of peace, serenity and courage.

What’s in a name

The word Amethyst originates from the ancient Greek word Amethustos meaning not drunk and was thought to have protected the wearer against intoxication! In addition, amethyst is also said to be a symbol of protection and has the power to overcome difficulty, helping steady a restless mind and bring mental and emotional well-being.

Origins

Amethyst is a form of quartz and contains iron and other trace minerals in its formation. It is found the world over but extensively mined in Brazil where is occurs in volcanic rock. Ranging in colour from beautiful light pinkish violet to a purplish hue, at one time, only royalty could wear the gem!

Healing and wellbeing

Amethyst is one of the most effective crystals for healing and is often worn by healers, as it has the power to focus energy. It is said to help with hormones and the immune system and is thought to be a wonderful antidote for a hangover and relieving headaches too.

MARCH: AQUAMARINE

The birthstone of March, aquamarine is associated with the star sign of Pisces (19th Feb – 20th March) and Aries (21st Mar – 20th April), it is seen as a symbol of courage, creativity, and self-expression.

What’s in a name

The word Aquamarine originates from Latin, meaning water of the sea. Traditionally sailors believed that an aquamarine talisman etched with an image of the sea god Neptune, protected them against danger at sea. When worn Aquamarine is also thought to reawaken married love, build courage and increase your happiness.

Origins

An aquamarine is a form of beryl, which has a chemical composition of aluminium beryllium silicate. It is found worldwide but extensively mined in Brazil. Normally pale blue in colour but can vary from dark blue to blue-green, this gemstone is said to bring good health, youth, love and hope.

Healing and wellbeing

Aquamarine has calming energies said to reduce stress and quieten the mind, making it a popular choice for meditation. Aquamarine, when worn is thought to soothe sore throats, swollen glands and help with thyroid problems, as well as helping to regulate hormones and boosting the immune system reducing overreactions with hay fever and allergies.

APRIL: DIAMOND

Diamond is without a doubt the perfect symbol of everlasting love. The birthstone of April and associated with the star signs of Aries (21st Mar – 20th April) and Taurus (21st April – 21st May), diamonds are a symbol of eternal and true love, strength and romance.

What’s in a name

The word Diamond refers to its hardness and originates from the Greek – Adamus meaning the unconquerable. The diamond is the symbol of purity, innocence, eternity and courage. In ancient times, diamonds were believed to be the tears of the Gods.

Origins

Diamonds are formed of pure carbon put through immense pressure and temperature in a natural process deep underground. Although extensively mined in South Africa diamonds were only originally known to come from India up until the 18th century. Today there are over twenty countries involved in diamond supplies and since 1949 Siberia, Russia has become one of the biggest producers.

Healing and wellbeing

Diamond is thought to be an energy amplifier. It brings strength and endurance and is said to enhance the power of other crystals. However, beware, as this also means it will increase negative energy as well as positive! Diamonds are associated with building up stamina, strength and treating allergies and chronic conditions. They are also thought to help with balance, vertigo and benefit the brain.

 

MAY: EMERALD

The birthstone of May, emerald is associated with the star signs Taurus (20th April – 20th May) and Gemini (21st May – 20th June), it is seen as a symbol of wisdom, growth, and patience.

What’s in a name

The word Emerald is derived from the Greek Smaragdos meaning green stone. One of Cleopatra’s favourite gems, it has long been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love.

Origins

Emerald is the most precious stone of the beryl group, vibrant green in colour and has a composition of aluminium beryllium silicate. Mined worldwide with most significant deposits found in Colombia.

Healing and wellbeing

Emeralds are said to treat disorders of the heart, lungs, spine and muscular system. They are thought to aid recovery after infectious illness, help with the sinuses, soothe the eyes and improve vision, as well as have a detoxifying effect on the liver, alleviate diabetes and rheumatism.

 

JUNE: PEARL

The birthstone of June, pearls are associated with the star signs of Gemini (21st May – 20th June) and Cancer (21st June – 22nd July) and are a symbol of chastity, modesty and stability.

What’s in a name

The name pearl has an uncertain origin but is thought to derive from the Latin word Perna. Pearls have long been a symbol of purity and the ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

Origins

Natural pearls are formed by saltwater oysters in the warm water regions of the equator. They are produced as a result of an irritant that has entered between the shell and the mantle membrane of the mollusc, forming a pocket in which the pearl can grow. Pearls are beautifully translucent to opaque in colour, ranging from white, pink, silver and cream through to green, blue and even black.

Healing and wellbeing

Pearls are said to help treat digestive disorders and the soft organs of the body, as well as improve the skin. They are believed to relieve conditions of bloating and biliousness and are also associated with increased fertility and easing childbirth.

JULY: RUBY

The birthstone of July, rubies are associated with the star signs of Cancer (21st June – 22nd July) and Leo (23rd July – 22nd August) and are a symbol of harmony, integrity and strength.

What’s in a name

The word Ruby is derived from the Latin Ruber meaning red. A symbol of love and passion the ruby is also believed to protect the wearer from evil.

Origins

Rubies are a variety of corundum an extremely hard crystallized alumina or aluminium oxide. Mined mostly in the Far East; Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and in Tanzania, Africa. Their hardness makes them useful in industry for cutting and polishing, the most well-known polishing material is emery, nail files to you and me! formed using fine-grain corundum mixed with magnetite, hematite and quartz.

Healing and wellbeing

Rubies are said to encourage the removal of negative energies and help to overcome the feeling of exhaustion and lethargy. In addition, rubies detoxify the body, blood and lymphatic system. The ruby additionally stimulates the adrenals, kidneys, reproductive organs and the spleen.

 

AUGUST: PERIDOT

Peridot, also called Chrysolite or Olivine is sometimes referred to as the evening emerald due to its light green colour. The birthstone of August, peridots are associated with the star signs of Leo (23rd July – 22nd August) and Virgo (23rd August – 22nd September) and are a symbol of good health, strength and peace.

What’s in a name

The name Peridot most probably originated from the Arabic word faridat. Brought to Central Europe in the Middle Ages, peridots were often used for ecclesiastical purposes.

Origins

Peridot has a chemical composition of magnesium iron silicate and is quite brittle under stress. Mainly mined in the Middle East and South Africa, it was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele.

 Healing and wellbeing

Peridot is thought to banish lethargy, apathy and exhaustion. It is also said to help strengthen the immune system, is good for metabolism and improves disorders of the heart, lungs, and the intestines.

 

SEPTEMBER: SAPPHIRE

The birthstone of September, sapphire is associated with the star signs of Virgo (23rd August – 22nd September) and Libra (23rd September – 22nd October) and is a symbol of dignity, loyalty and wisdom.

What’s in a name

The name sapphire is derived from the Greek word sapheiros meaning blue. Although large sapphires are rare they are sometimes given famous names like diamonds, the ‘Star of India’ is one of the largest gems in the world. Most commonly thought of as dark blue, sapphires can vary in colour from pink, orange/ yellow, green, purple or black.

Origins

Sapphires are a variety of corundum and are similar to rubies, they are formed from extremely hard crystallised alumina or aluminium oxide, sapphires are mined all over the world. Traditionally a favourite stone of priests and kings, the sapphire symbolises dignity, loyalty, serenity, faith, purity and wisdom.

Healing and wellbeing

Sapphires are thought to treat blood disorders, combat excessive bleeding and strengthen the walls of the veins and to calm overactive body systems.

 

OCTOBER: OPAL

The birthstone of October, opals are associated with the star signs of Libra (23rd September – 22nd October) and Scorpio (23rd October – 21st November) and are a symbol of faithfulness and confidence.

What’s in a name

The word opal comes from the Latin opalus, meaning precious jewel and are said to represent hope, creativity and innocence.

Origins

Opals have a chemical composition of hydrous silicon dioxide and are naturally formed when water collects silica deposits in pockets and cracks in sandstone. Although opals can be found worldwide the main source comes from Australia, with most notable deposits in New South Wales. Opals can vary in colour and normally have a rainbow-like hue.

Healing and wellbeing

Opals are said to strengthen memory and zest for life. It is thought that opals are good for treating infections and fevers, cleanse the blood and kidneys, regulate insulin and even ease PMS.

 

NOVEMBER: TOPAZ

The birthstone of November, topaz is associated with the star signs of Scorpio (23rd October – 21st November) and Sagittarius (22nd November – 21st December) and is a symbol of love and affection.

What’s in a name

It is thought that the name topaz derives from an island in the Red Sea, Zabargad formerly known as Topazas. It is said that topaz increases strength and intellect.

Origins

Topaz has a chemical composition of fluorine and aluminium silicate, varying in colour from yellow, orange-brown through to blue, pink and green. Predominately surface mined topaz can be found all over the world but the most important supplier is Minas Gerias, Brazil.

Healing and wellbeing

Topaz is said to soothe physical pain and calms the emotions. It is said to aid digestion, fortify the nerves and stimulate metabolism. Yellow topaz specifically is associated with strength and healing for both body and mind.

 

DECEMBER: TURQUOISE

The birthstone of December, turquoise is associated with the star signs of Sagittarius (22nd November – 21st December) and Capricorn (22nd December – 19th January and is a symbol of good fortune and success.

What’s in a name

The name turquoise means Turkish stone and it is thought to originate from its trade route history through Turkey into Europe. Traditionally regarded as a love charm, turquoise rings are said to keep away evil spirits and give good fortune.

Origins

Turquoise is formed when minerals such as copper, aluminium and iron are trapped with water inside porous rock. Turquoise can vary in colour from sky-blue to apple-green, it is mined all over the world but the best qualities are found in northeast Iran.

Healing and wellbeing

Turquoise stone is said to boost the absorption of nutrients, enhance the immune system and stimulate the regeneration of tissue. It is believed to neutralise the excess of acid in the body, benefiting rheumatism, gout, stomach problems, and viral infections.

 

I hope our trip through some of the well-known gemstones has been a little enlightening.

Happy June everyone…😊

And let’s pray this coming month finally brings us some well-deserved sunshine and balmy days, my poor wardrobe does not know whether it is coming or going!!

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Until next time…

Sxx