Gemstone Folk Lore
Opals – the “old wives tale” dates only to the late 1800′s to a popular book in Victorian England wherein the heroine purchases a cursed opal and later commits suicide. Current folklore says someone not born in October (Birthstone is opal), wearing it has bad luck. Opals are very soft and tend to crack and scratch easily.
Sapphires – Are said to dull if your lover is cheating on your and are more intense in color when given by your true love.
Rubies – Usually associated with “Christ’s Blood” folklore. Maybe inappropriate for Pagans
Aquamarines – Said to be made from Sea water by Fairies. Worn for good luck by sailors.
Alexandrite – Supposedly discovered on the coronation day of Alexander II. A very expensive and rare stone, it changes color with different light sources, most dramatic change can be seen under black light as it goes from a purple-gray to a light green. Supposed to bring good fortune during the day, and increase amorous feelings at night.
Amber – Greek legend holds that two sisters convinced their brother, a Greek god, to race in a chariot ride that proved fatal. As punishment they were turned to trees and amber is their tears, hardened by the sun. Thought to bring cure to soar throats, and save the wearer from being poisoned.
Amethyst – Greeks believed drinking out of a cup with amethysts on it would keep you from getting drunk. Also said to protect you from overeating. Used to symbolize protection of the family, as well as humility and sincerity. It protects the wearer from reason and lies, prevents baldness, and keeps away nightmares.
Aquamarines – Greeks thought it was made from sea water and water nymph tears. Sailors kept them to keep the seas calm during travels. Romans thought aquamarines aided in ending wars, and carved frogs out of the stone, believing the talisman would make their enemies friends. Christian myth has it that it gives you power over the devil, and if you put the stone in your mouth, you cannot be lied to. Said to keep marriage happy, and if you break up with your mate, will help to reconcile you. Used to be put in a crib to keep babies safe.
Citrine – Protects the bearer from plague, acne, and wards of snakes.
Coral – Egyptians believed it warded off the “Evil Eye”, and was (snicker snicker kept men safe from falling to the ways of witches, and women free from the evils of warlocks. (Oh My! Hope my SO doesn’t hear about this… Oh.. I forgot – he’s Wiccan too. Better toss out my coral earrings then.) Romans made their children wear coral necklaces to keep them safe from evil. Believed to aid women wanting to get pregnant.
Emeralds – Christian myth says that when Lucifer was cast from heaven an emerald fell from his crown and was later carved into the Holy Grail. (Which makes me wonder what Druid legends there are about it.) Believed to aid vision, people with eye problems were advised to stare into emeralds to rest their eyesight and improve vision. Believed to improve memory and prevent diabetes. If kept under a pillow, you would dream about the future. Makes the wearer more honest
Garnet – Hebrew legends said Aaron’s breastplate was made from garnets and the Koran says that garnets are used to illuminate the Forth Heaven. Garnet was believed to let travelers at night see and ward off nightmares and poison.
Jade – Used by religions all over the world for carving religious statues and figures, and ceremonial items like knives were carved from it by pagans. (My notes don’t say which pagans or sects.) Bearer is gifted with pure thoughts and long life.
Opal - The story about opals that gave it the bad rep is Sir Walter Scott’s “Ann of Geirstein” where the heroine buys a cursed opal and later dies. Before that, blond women used to buy the opal since it was believed to keep their hair from getting dark. Also believed to allow the wearer to be invisible.Peridot – Said to ward off evil, terrors of the night, and bad dreams. The best way to ward off evil though, was to string peridot on the hair of a mule and wear it on your right sleeve. Said to cure sinus infections.
Ruby – (Just a side note, a Ruby is a red sapphire. Sapphires come in all colors.) Believed to be magical if flawless. In India it was believed that offering flawless rubies to Krishna guaranteed the person to be reincarnated as an emperor. Rubies should always be admired when seen, because it was believed that if you ignored a ruby, it dulled in color. Russians believed it cured diseases of the blood.
Sapphire – Legend is that the Ten commandments were engraved on Sapphire. Wearing a sapphire acted as an antidote against poisoning and if rubbed on a wound would stop bleeding. If given to a mate it would dull if you were ever unfaithful. If a wicked person wore it, it wouldn’t shine and would crack.
Spinel – It was used in the 18th century to find out if someone had “supernatural” powers. If you approach a witch with it, she would start to shake – thereby revealing her.
Topaz – Egyptians thought they were made by Ra the sun god. St. Hidegard prescribed putting topaz in wine and then drinking the wine to cure eye problems.
Zircon – protects travelers from harm and stops wounds from getting infected. Gave wisdom in financial matters to make you richer. If you wanted to counter a spell cast on you, you were to bake bread, then rub the zircon on the top of the bread and eat it.