Historical Uses

-The healing uses of gemstones are documented as far back as 1500 B.C. in the Ebers Papyrus from Egypt. This Egyptian medicinal text documented the many ways in which gemstones were used for healing.

-The ancient Egyptians strongly believed in the healing and protective power of gemstones. Many pharaohs wore gemstones on their headdresses and many gemstone amulets have been found in their tombs. The pharaohs often had their masks lined with gemstones in the belief that gemstones helped them be better rulers. Many objects of Amazonite and Lapis were found in King Tut’s tomb and Amazonite was one of the stones on his famous gold mask.

-Gemstones are also used for healing in Chinese Medicine, which dates back to at least 5000 years. Gemstone needles are also often used in modern day Chinese acupuncture and in Pranic Healing.

-Gemstones have also been recognized for healing by Tibetan Buddhists and the Ayurvedic healing system for hundreds of years. The use of gemstones is popular in both Hinduism and Buddhism.

-The Vedas, sacred texts in Hinduism that are over 5,000 years old, thoroughly discuss the power of gemstones and their uses for healing. The Vedas prescribe specific gemstones for certain ailments and describe the properties and powers of different gemstones. For example, in the Vedas it is written that Emeralds bring good luck and well-being.

-Gemstones are referred to over 200 times in the Bible.

-As an example, in the Old Testament, the High Priests were required to dress in “holy garments,” which were centred around the Breastplate of the High Priests. God instructed Moses to build the Breastplate of the High Priests and gave him step by step directions as to the twelve gemstones he was to include on the Breastplate.

-In the New Testament, God’s heavenly city, New Jerusalem, is said to be built on foundations of gemstones. “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.”

-In 1150, Saint Hildegard wrote two medical treatises where she documented the healing properties of gemstones and their uses. She described how the vibrational energy in gemstones strengthened the weak and healed illnesses. Saint Hildegard was highly regarded for her many accomplishments. In the 1100’s she wrote poems, books on medicine and theology, plays, and composed music, on top of being a nun, physician, orator, scientist, preacher, consultant to popes and kings, and a philosopher. She also founded two monasteries. These accomplishments would be amazing for a woman today, let alone a woman living in the 1100s.

-In Muslim culture, using the power of gemstones has also been very popular. The Muslim prophet, Muhammad, himself wore a Carnelian ring and it was believed by many that wearing a Carnelian ring guaranteed Allah granting all your desires, which made Carnelian a very popular gemstone amongst Muslims.

-Excerpt from Jameel Kermalli’s book, “Islam: The Absolute Truth”:
“In Islam, a tradition states that Ali used to wear four rings on his hand – Opal (Yaqut) for beauty and dignity; Turquoise (Feruz) for obtaining divine help and victory; Hadid Thin for strength, and Carnelian (Aqiq) to protect himself from enemies and all types of misfortunes. The religion Islam has strongly recommended its followers to wear rings made from different stones, as a way to increase faith, piety, and endurance. The stones of Aqiq, Feruz and so forth have been specifically recommended by the Prophet (S) himself to wear them at all times, and especially during prayer. Stones have unlimited practical and medicinal properties.

….’Aqiq protects Shia from unjust rulers and from everything else, which causes fear.’ (Amali of Tusi – Volume 1, Page 36)

This means that the stone recognizes a Shia of Ali and produces strong energy fields that block adulterated nearby sources of energy. This is why Muslims have been advised to keep their rings in one place at all times when they are not wearing the stones – this way the energy that is absorbed and released from such stones surround themselves within the stone.”

-The use of gemstones for healing was very popular amongst indigenous tribes across the world.

-The Mayans used the power of gemstones for healing on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. They also used gemstones to diagnose diseases.

-The Incas also used gemstones for their power and healing. They particularly regarded the Emerald as a very powerful, holy stone and it is said that many Incas chose to die rather than give the conquerors the location of their Emerald mines.

-The medicine men in many Native American tribes and indigenous tribes in Australia also used (and still use) gemstones to diagnose illnesses, as well as to heal people.

-“For the Middle Ages and even into the 17th century, the talismanic values of precious stones were believed in by high and low, by princes and peasants, by the learned as well as the ignorant.” (George Frederick Kunz, in his book “The Curious Lore of Precious Stones”)

Random History Tidbits on Specific Gemstones:

– Tibetan monks considered quartz gemstone spheres to be holy objects of great powers.

-Taoists called quartz the “gem of enlightenment.”

-In Japan, quartz gemstone spheres were considered to represent the heart of dragons and in Japanese culture, dragons symbolize power and wisdom.

-Cleopatra’s favourite piece of jewellery was said to be an Amethyst ring, engraved with the figure of the Persian Sun god, Mithras. Since she seduced two powerful Roman generals, Mark Antony and Julius Caesar, it was believed by Roman wives that wearing Amethyst would ensure the devotion and faithfulness of their husbands.

-St. Valentine was said to wear an Amethyst ring carved with a picture of Cupid.

-Alexander the Great was said to wear a large Emerald during battles to ensure victory.

-The Moguls of India, including Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal), took Emeralds, inscribed them with sacred text and wore them as talismans.

-In Buddhism, the Medicine Buddha is called “Healing Master of Lapis Lazuli Radiance,” and rituals involving the Medicine Buddha include meditating on Lapis Lazuli.

– The ancient Sumerians valued Lapis as the most sacred stone. The ancient Sumerian Priests had a popular saying, “He who carries with him into battle an amulet of Lapis carries with him the presence of his God.”