Gemstones And Jewelry

Myths Of Gemstones

Myths of gemstones healing and mystical properties have been an important part of human culture for centuries.

Ancient cultures trying to explain the strange happenings in their world without modern science have created many a gemstone lore to explain nature as well as to frighten and control others.

Crystal healing has been one of the more predominant myths of gemstones. Although there is no scientific proof that crystal gemstones help heal, many people believe this to be so. Perhaps it is not the gemstone that heals, but the faith of the believer? The list of gemstones that can be used for healing is long and varied. Almost every stone has a purpose. Some of the more common stones are:

Amethyst – Strength and peace, sobriety stone, a calming stone that brings emotional stability.
Amber – Draws disease from the body and absorbs negative energy
Garnet – Protects travelers. Helps with afflictions of the blood, blood circulation and food poisoning as well as increasing positivity and self esteem.

Lapis – Increases psychic abilities and alleviates depression and grief. Lapis helps stimulate creativity.
Turquoise – Helps you express yourself and alleviate nervous speaking, headaches, eyes and fevers. It also expands friendships and is reported to have recuperative powers as well as protect against harm.

When using healing stones, the common myths of gemstones say that you should use the stone along – i.e not in a jewelry setting but just a stone. You can wear it in a pouch around your neck or carry it in a pocket. You can take the stone out and handle it or place it on the affected part of the body as needed. Many myths state that putting the stone in a metal setting interferes with the healing properties, but some claim sterling silver is OK to use.

The myths of gemstones associate each stone with a section of the body or chakra (the seven centers of the body where energy is located). Each stone should be “cleansed” after use so it doesn’t build up bad vibes. To cleanse a stone, you may use one of several methods. Yo may place it in the moon/sun for 24 hours (Amethyst, Opal and Turquoise may fade in sunlight), bury it in the earth for 24 hours, cleanse in sea salt water (avoid cleansing porous stones such as calcite, carnelian, turquoise and opal), put your crystal in a group of crystals for 24 hours.

Bohemian Garnet Beads and Jewelry

Bohemian garnet beads and jewelry have been popular since the middle ages.

Reputed to have healing properties it is thought to protect the wearer from accidents and was often worn by travelers in ancient times. It is believed to increase blood circulation and help heal blood toxicity and food poisoning as well as increase positivity and self esteem.

Bohemian garnet beads and other jewelry styles became very popular in the Victorian era. The victorians favored a deep dark red in bohemian style setting of many small stones clustered together. They liked to wear earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pins and rings and this jewelry is quite valuable today.

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Bohemian garnet beads are prized for their deep blood red color, but garnets actually come in many colors – pink, green, orange, red and purplish red. It is a rather hard stone making it well suited for use in jewelry. It’s fiery beauty is attributed to it’s highly refractive qualities.

Bohemian garnet beads can be used in many combinations to make unique and beautiful jewelry. They can be strung on a single or double strand necklace for a striking presentation, or combined with other semi precious gemstones such as pearls, quartz, or onyx. They are even combined with precious gems in many fine jewelry settings. Any piece of jewelry that contains garnets is sure to be a winner in my book!

Care should be taken when cleaning your bohemian garnet beads. Never use harsh chemicals on gemstones. It is usually best to clean them by rubbing with a soft cotton cloth. I do not recommend submersing your string of beads in any liquid (even plain water) as the moisture can get trapped inside the beads and eat away at the string eventually causing the jewlry to break and beads will fly everywhere! If you must clean them with liquid, dip a q-tip in the liquid and dab it onto the beads. Always store your beads away from other jewels so they don’t get scratched. The best bet is to store them in a soft pouch all by themselves.

The History Of Rubies

The history of rubies is a long and regal one.

Prized for it’s deep color, this rare gem is one of the most expensive and has been long thought to aid in treating the blood and for matters of the heart.

Rubies range in color from a fiery orange red to a deep purple red. This magnificent gem has long been used to cure and protect. Ancient India thought this stone could cure ailments of the digestive system and warriors used it to protect themselves in battle. The ruby has historically been associated with the heart and energizing the blood as well as bring prosperity and increase love.

The history of rubies as gemstones and set in jewelry is rather interesting. The largest ruby of gem quality is 250 carats and is set on the crown of Charles IV of Luxembourg who lived in the 1300’s. There is a larger ruby of lesser quality that weighs 6465 carat! The Smithsonian is home to a 137 carat star ruby – a cabochon shaped stone that has the rays of a star when the light hits it just the right way. The most expensive ruby is a 15.97 carat stone sold at auction in 1988 for 3.63 million.

When buying rubies, one should always buy the best quality stone that you can afford, which of course may not be the largest. Historically, almost all rubies are treated with heat to improve color so don’t be scared off by this. Look for rubies that are deep fiery red with not too much of a purple hue (the more purple it is, the less value).

Most rubies have inclusions – the better ones will have them, but they will not be visible to the naked eye. When buying rubies, look for clear stones with few inclusions but if you need to decide between a stone with bad color and few inclusions as opposed to one with good color and more inclusion, go with the ruby that has the best color.

Make sure the ruby has a good cut as this will cause to stone to look like it is glowing with deep fire. This look is what has caused it to be used in ceremonies and set in many crowns and jewels throughout history. Make sure that you inspect the stone in good light and that there are no scratches or chips.

Rubies have been mined throughout history and can be found all around the world but most commonly in Burma, Sri Lanka and Madagascar.

Amethyst History

Amethyst History is rich in tradition of decorative uses.

Historically known as the sobriety stone, it has been used to adorn the jewelry of kings and monarchs since the pre Columbian societies of the Aztecs, Incans and Myans.

The ancient Greeks believed so much in it’s powers to ward off drunkenness that they even fashioned cups made from amethyst to drink from! The origins of this myth go back to the God of wine Dionysus. The Egyptians also made use of this gem and it has been found in jewelry form in many ancient tombs.

Amethyst history also has biblical routes as well. It is one of the 12 stones that adorns the breast plate of Aaron and also one of the stones picked to represent the 12 tribes of Israel.

In greek mythology, amethyst was “created” by the God Dionysus – the god of wine. Apparently he was quite put out by a mortal that refused to acknowledge him so he vowed to get back at all mortals who did not partake of his gifts – wine and drunkenness. He vent his wrath on a young virgin named Amethyst who had never had wine and was on her way to pay homage to the goddess Diana. Dionysus unleashed 2 tigers to devour the young maiden, but when she cried out to Diana for help, Diana turned her into a beautiful white (quartz) crystal to protect her. As Dionysus wept into his wine cup with sorrow for his deeds, the cup tipped over and tear tainted wine ran into the crystal ans was absorbed to form the amethyst color we know today!

Also predominant in amethyst history is it’s role as a healing stone. Amethyst is thought to encourage celibacy and guard against the effects of wine and has also been used in rosaries and church ornamentation. It is also a calming stone that is thought to help to increase your spirituality.

Modern amethyst history associates the stone with calendar events. It is the birth stone of February and associated with the weekday Wednesday. It is also the stone most closely associated with 8:00 am.

This gem stone is mined all over the world and can be found readily at affordable prices. Some of the areas where mining takes place include: Mexico where highly saturated deep purple crystals can be found, Brazil where crystals range from pale to medium lilac, Uruguay where stones are typically a medium to deep purple and the US where stones are found all over the country and are usually medium to dark in color.

Carnelian Uses

Mystical and magical, carnelian uses go as far back as the ancient Egyptians.

This deep orange quartz is sometimes referred to as agate. It is semi transparent to different degrees and can range from deep reddish orange to light yellow in color. It has a refractive index of 1.54 and the specific gravity is 2.60. This beautiful gemstone is found everywhere in the world.

Carnelian uses are many and varied. This stone is associates with the lower chakras. For physical healing, carnelian is said to help with lower back problems as well as arthritis. It is often used in the healing of reproductive problems for the female and is reputed to help increase fertility.

Carnelian uses in the metaphysical sense center around the second chakra. The orange color of this stone is very warming and healing and aids in releasing energy into the system. It’s a great stone for increasing physical energy and creativity. It can also aid in exhaustion and depression. This stone has historically been used to enlighten ones acceptance of the cycle of life and rid ones fear of death. This stone is a great motivator at work or in managing your life as it helps you make positive choices and gets rid of apathy.

Carnelian uses in jewelry go back to ancient times as well and was a sacred stone in ancient Egypt and Tibet. In fact, and ancient bracelet including carnelian was found in the Egyptian coffin of Hepy and dating from Dynasty 12–13 (about 1962–1650 B.C.)!

The ancients used gold in their jewelry but most modern carnelian jewels typically are set in sterling silver and can be combined with a multitude of other gems. I personally like the way it looks with turquoise, especially if the carnelian has a deep reddish glow. You can buy carnelian in beads for necklaces, pendants, cabochons or as raw rocks either tumbled or as is.