All About Gemstones: Origin, Birthstones, and Healing Powers

Peridot Gemstone Sterling Silver RingSince they were discovered, gemstones have fascinated people. Many different cultures throughout history have placed a value on gemstones that has equaled or even transcended other prized substances such as gold. While some find gems desirable for their aesthetic properties, many others believe that the stones have healing, or even magical, qualities. Still others cherish gems because of an association with their birth date. Overall, gemstones have one of the most interesting stories of any type of jewelry.

Before we delve too much into these stories, though, let’s talk about how gemstones are defined. Usually, gemstones are naturally occurring substances that have been excavating and cut into a smaller size. At times, they are polished and may even be heated (or “cooked”) to alter their coloring. Most gems are minerals, although there are some stones such as amber (which is actually fossilized tree sap) that are still grouped into the general gem category. There is a wide variety of gemstones and, therefore, there is a huge range when it comes to characteristics like color, shape, hardness, chemical composition, rarity and monetary value.
Many people may be most familiar with gemstones due to their birthday. There is an association between gemstones and birth date in a way similar to zodiac signs. In the past, you may have had numerous stones that correspond to your birth month – these are called birthstones. Also, a gem could be a birthstone for more than one month. For example, the birthstone for June is usually pearl, although turquoise has also been listed as a June birthstone. Turquoise is also a July birthstone, along with onyx and ruby. In the 20th century, United States jewelers began meeting to form a standardized list of birthstones. This has been periodically updated from the first list formed in 1912, although the current list is, for the most part, still very similar. Different countries and cultures have their own lists, some of which list one unique stone for each month. Although these lists may vary a bit, they mostly overlap.

In addition to visual pleasure and commemorating one’s birth, gemstones have other significant draws. Many believe they possess healing potential, both for amplifying certain positive traits as well as draining negative qualities or problematic conditions. While these beliefs are often linked to alternative medicine in modern times, countless civilizations throughout history have formed a link between gemstones and positive health. There is evidence that the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians (especially Cleopatra), ancient Indians, Chinese, Native American Indian, Aztecs and Mayans all valued gemstones for more than visual reasons. In fact, many scholars assert that crowns originally included gems not to display wealth but to amplify the wearer’s traits. Those who believe in this healing power of gems claim that the key lies in the gem’s conductive vibrational qualities and/or its inherent electrical charge. This may seem farfetched to some. However, it is worth noting that modern technology frequently makes use of gemstones such as quartz for their conductive properties. Different gemstones are used to treat different conditions of the body because of their individual properties. For example, sapphire is said to aid communication, insight and happiness while topaz is used to treat insomnia, anxiety, exhaustion and stomach troubles. There are studied practitioners of gem therapy, although many people simply choose to utilize the gemstone’s powers by wearing their chosen stone around their neck.

Whether you are interested in gemstones because of their appearance, connection to your birth month, or their power properties, Silver Mine Gifts offers many dazzling pieces featuring gems. From rings to pins to earrings, and many others, browse or search for gemstones items at Silver Mine Gifts.

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