For centuries, people have looked at the beauty and brilliance of gemstones and wondered about their meanings and symbolism. If you want to learn more about the gemstones in your favorite jewelry, check out a few of these popular gems and their meanings.
Image via Flickr by UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences
Amethyst comes from the Greek word "amethystos," which means "not intoxicating." In ancient times, people thought amethysts prevented them from getting intoxicated. Today, this popular purple stone is thought to clarify your thoughts, improve your decision-making abilities, and help keep your life balanced. Since purple is often considered a royal color, amethysts are also associated with royalty, nobility, and power. In fact, the British Crown Jewels include several pieces with amethyst gemstones.
Aquamarine's name originates from the Italian word for seawater. Since the light-blue gemstone reminds many people of the water, they think the gemstone protects sailors at sea and helps prevent seasickness. Aquamarine is also thought to alleviate fear and help promote relaxation on long trips. Additionally, the gemstone can represent hope, happiness, and youth. If you hold aquamarine in your hand, it's said to help clear your mind and give you better insight.
Bloodstone might have an ominous name, but it's actually believed to help us face hardships and challenges in life. The gemstone got its name because of its forest green base with specks of red. In the Middle Ages, people believed the red spots were drops of Christ's blood, which gave the stone magical powers. In the fourth century, people believed the bloodstone created solar eclipses and rain. Today, many think bloodstones help improve confidence and promote personal values.
Citrine is a bright, brilliant gemstone that ranges in color from light to dark yellow. Because of this dazzling color, citrine was once called the "sun stone." People also thought citrine could hold sunlight. Since this gemstone is believed to attract abundance and wealth, it's also called the "merchant's stone." As a result, many people keep it where they conduct business to acquire and maintain wealth. The stone is also thought to boost self-esteem, create balance, and open the mind to new thoughts.
The diamond has a mystique that spans centuries. Its name comes from the Greek word "adamas," which means "invincible," and they're the hardest-known natural substance on Earth. Diamonds are thought to have numerous meanings. Some people believe they can protect against panic. Others believe they can amplify thoughts. This means if they're given with love, they can help return mutual feelings. This is why diamonds now represent marriage and commitment. Colored diamonds also have other attributes. Many think yellow diamonds increase thoughtfulness, while pink diamonds are believed to encourage creativity.
Emeralds have collected a variety of legends throughout the years, thanks to their memorizing shades of green. Ancient Egyptians believed that emeralds represented fertility. They would often place emerald scarabs at the hearts of their mummies to help the deceased flourish in the afterlife. Romans thought that gazing through emeralds could help ease eyestrain. Some people believe emeralds can help them stay centered and make choices from positions of compassion. It's also considered an abundance stone that can open your heart to plentifulness.
Jade comes in a variety of colors, but green is the most common shade. Because of its warm, green hue, jade is thought to carry the energy of nature and the Earth. It's a traditional charm for gardeners because it's thought to ensure a bountiful harvest. In addition to plentiful harvests, some people also wear jade because they believe it brings prosperity and helps them hold onto money. Some people also think that jade can help relieve fear and anxiety. Additionally, they feel jade has nurturing, wholesome energy that calms and uplifts the mind.
The soft and shimmering moonstone comes in numerous colors. The stone has been associated with mystery, psychic abilities, and feminine power for centuries. It's thought to promote communication by encouraging receptivity, clear thinking, and inspiration. Since the moonstone has a smooth, silky surface and seems to glow from the inside, the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks thought it originated in the rays of the moon. Other colors have different meanings. The orange moonstone reduces stress, the yellow moonstone helps with sleep, and the blue moonstone can help heal a broken heart.
In addition to the diamond, emerald, and sapphire, the ruby is considered one of the four precious gemstones. The bold red color of the ruby is said to help activate confidence and passion. Since the ruby is used to open the heart and promote love, it's often given as a gift to symbolize friendship and affection. The gemstone has also been associated with improved energy, adventure, and concentration. Additionally, some people believe it can help them develop the courage they need to take on their fears.
Different cultures around the world value the sapphire. While most people picture a deep shade of blue when they think about the sapphire, the gemstone actually comes in a variety of shades, including green, purple, and yellow. Blue sapphires typically represent truth, wisdom, loyalty, faithfulness, and sincerity. They're also thought to calm the mind and banish unwanted thoughts. Since yellow sapphires resemble the sun, they're thought to bring positivity into lives. Purple sapphires can help you with a lifestyle change. Green sapphires are traveler's gemstones that can keep you safe on journeys.
Since turquoise comes in shades of blue and green, Native Americans often associated the gemstone with nature. Some tribes also thought the stone had protective properties. Ancient Egyptians thought the gemstone was a symbol of regeneration. Turquoise is also believed to help you clearly see the truth, speak your wisdom, and embrace your true self. Since it encourages enthusiasm, understanding, and attention to detail, it's ideal for providing inspiration for new projects.
These are some of the fascinating meanings behind popular gemstones. Which one is your favorite? Contact us at Martin Busch Jewelers and let us know!