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"Don't value a gem by its setting [American proverb, Ap 248]."
We look into various uses of gems in past and present. Below are 34 gemstone remedies. Also, silver and gold crystals can be found too, but they are rare. As for the qualities attributed to different gem stones, all right proof seems largely missing, and descriptions or uses differ too. That is largely the lay of the land.
We take it from there - feel free to try out these alternative remedies as you please, as long as you don't ruin yourself on getting them, or endanger anyone and obstruct medical diagnosis and attempts at cure.
Over 1.500 precious and semi-precious stones exist. The 38 above were selected with a view to healing and wellness-promotion. There are a few practical ways of gems we may endorse: (1) wearing the gem or metal next to the skin or very close to it, as for example set in a ring, or as a bangle. (2) Making a homeopathic remedy of the gem; and this includes the conventional way of doing it.
Qualities attributed to gems may be described. For example, they contain minerals, and the effects of various minerals on a human body may be known more or less or not at all. In homeopathy effects of silver and gold have been studied, and not wholly by whim. Both of these metals have crystal variants. Dr. William Boericke writes that gold is used homeopathically against such as:
Feeling of self-condemnation and utter worthlessness. Profound despondency . . . thorough disgust of life, and thoughts of suicide . . . Great fear of death. Peevish and vehement . . . Anthropophobia [fear of people]. Mental derangements . . . Oversensitiveness [etc.]. [Link]
Boericke holds that homeopathic gold may counteract such dread states of mind as listed, in other words that the influence of gold is uplifting . . . If you want to cheer up others, give them gold, is one lesson that stands out. The fact is, many get uplifted by gifts of gold -
Dr. John H. Clarke lists up too much (unverified) in his large work Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica about gold and silver [LINK]. Clarke's work contains entries about gold, silver, copper, other metals, and other compounds. The three-volumed set contains a homeopathic view of about a thousand homeopathic remedies. That view is likely to be condemned as totally lacking in hard evidence by sceptics and scientists alike.
Others describe the said effects of gem stones by colours. We do not know if there is any serious research to substantiate such colour-ray-based claims.
As for the subtle influences ascribed to gems, many descriptions of such said influences may seem diffuse and too general. Besides, just as with birth stones, opinions vary too. Here is a Hindu outlook: [LINK]
Thus, statements as to who should wear what stone for what ends, may differ. And having this basic knowledge may come in handy some day.
Richard Liddicoat observes that while a stone must be rare to be thought valuable, it can also be be too rare to be valuable. He cites tanzanite as an example of the latter, too rare sort.
A hard stone may be fit for jewellry, and hence for being found precious. Many have heard of gems like ruby, emerald and sapphire, but there are lesser-known and just as beautiful gems [Epg v].
Lustrous and glistening gems tend to be cut and/ord polished to look attractive to humans, men and women. [Epg vi].
There are treasure hunters that dream of getting rich quickly. Good luck to them [Epg vi].
One should be aware that not a few gems are counterfeited gems. [Epg vi].
Colour imparted symbolic meaning to stones and gems. Rubies and red garnets suggest blood and fire, and were taken as symbols of life-strength. Sapphires and lapis lazuli recalled the blue of the sky - and gods of the sky - became symbols of mediation with the gods. Gold and amber, recalling the sun and warmth, were selected as tokens of divine protection, and so on. [Epg 1]
Thus, gems became tools of displaying various or so-called powers of humans. Regents have used crowns ornate with sapphires to represent the guessed up union of the regent and the divine side (sky), while rubies were tokens of the regent's fierceness in battle, and so on. [Epg 2].
Jewels on the hat also became tokens of rank. [Epg 2]
Many came to regard gems as talismans of some hidden protection. In ancient Egypt, for example, a green stone in which a scarab beetle was carved, symbolised the sun and eternity. [Epg 2]
Throughout the ages certain gems were thought to protect those who wore them or owned them from misfortune and certain harms. [Epg 2]
Gems as Medicine
In antiquity it was thought that gems could cure if powdered and ingested. In ayurveda the practice has continued to this day. This practice has given rise to misuses throughout Western history, at the very least. [Epg 3]
Christian Symbolism of Certain Gems
Jehovah instituted a breast piece with twelve stones on it (the great priest pectoral) to be used among answer-divining priests and kings [Exodus 28:17-20].
Later there are twelve stones in the Revelation of John [21:19-20]
One of the seven angels . . . showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone . . .
The passage suggests that some stones are part of a heavenly environment. You may start gathering the right sort of stones right now, if you care. Gem-adorned nobility has not waited. Why wait? Nice and polished stones come at lower prices. What do you think of that?
The gems mentioned - in addition to gold and pearls - are:
At the same time, think that what is mentioned in the Old Book hardly ever mentions animals, plants and minerals found very far from Egypt, to put it simply. So it could be wise to keep an eye open for other, valuable stones. Some will be cheaper too. Emeralds, diamonds and rubies are among the most expensive ones, at any rate.
Surely, one may soon find out that there are about 1500 more gemstones on earth, and that quite many were unknown to the ancient Jews of Palestine. You may assert, "In antiquity, Bible writers knew about some stones and did not know about the vast amount of other stones, such as tanzanite: it was made known in the West the 1800s and since has been extremely popular in the United States [cf. Epg 213].
Hunting for the right sort of "Bible stones" you may also well ask: "When the ancients said "sardonyx", could other sorts of sard and onyx be included too? What are the differences between sard and sardonyx and between sardonyx and onyx?" Definitions that are used now, where not used among the ancients. There is much confusion, as a matter of fact, and there was much confusion in ancient times too: What is onyx and what is sardonyx has not always been clear-cut.
One the one hand we may learn that onyx is a black agate (i.e., chalcedony, SiO2), and that onyx denoted a number of chalcedony varieties before taking on its present restricted meaning during the late Roman empire: Today onyx designates a sard so dark that it appears black. Onyx may also denote an agate with black and white layers. More generally, onyx is applied to any agate with highly contrasting layers of colours other than browish red. And there is black onyx and layered onyx.
Sard is a brown chalcedony. Originally the term designated the brown and red varieties of translucent chalcedony. In the 1700s AD the name was restricted to the reddish brown to dark brown varieties coloured by iron oxides.
Sardonyx is agate (chalcedony) with alternating reddish brown and white planar layers. To complicate matters a bit more, in ancient Rome sardonyx apparently designated all varieties of zoned agates imported from India. [Epg 201-2]
As for what the ancients meant by carnelian and chalcedony, I am not sure. Today carnelian is red and translucent chalcedony. Carnelian was first used as a synonym for sard . . .
In other words, there is room for heavy confusion as to what specifications the heavenly gems could have. But as for the 34 selected gems in the list almost at the top of the page, their propensities are as defined by the gemmologists, so as to eliminate any lingering doubt as to what is meant.
Later Uses of Conformity
In the middle of the 1700s the Jewish community in Poland re-interpreted the Bible and assigned a stone to each of the twelve signs of the zodial, and then to each of the twelve months.
Thus, many seem to fondle the idea that this and that birthstone brings luck - at least to the sellers. Various trade associations devised different lists of birthstones, in part out of commercial motives. You can believe that. [Epg 3-4]
Gems and Currency
In some quarters or circles gems became regarded as good investment objects, or currency. This is presently the case with diamonds, but not with jade. [Epg 4]
Having a certain gem to display indicates the wearer belongs to a given sociocultural group. By its size and rarity a gem indicates social esteem or rank of its owner.
"A gem should complement the person it adorns . . . in unison with her or him". [Epg 4]
Ad: Clarke, John Henry: A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. 3 vols. The Homeopathic Publishing Company. London, 1900 (vol 1) and 1902 (vols 2 and 3).
Ap: Mieder, Wolfgang (main editor), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Bm: Hamilton, W. R., A. R. Woolley, & A. C. Bishop: Bergarter, mineraler, fossiler: En felthåndbok.Gyldendal. Oslo, 1975.
Eos: Hochleitner, Rupert: Edelsteiner og smykkesteiner. Cappelen. Oslo, 1996.
Epg: Bariand, Pierre. The Larousse Encyclopedia of Precious Gems. Translated by Emmanuel Fritsch. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.
Mab: Boericke, William, and Oscar Boericke. Homoeopathic Materia Medica. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Boericke and Runyon, 1927.
Mb: Garmo, Torgeir T & Walter Schumann: Mileral- og bergarter: Ei felthandbok med fargebilete. NKS. Oslo, 1979.
Smk: Schumann, Walter: Smykkestener. Aschehoug. Oslo, 1978.
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