Gemstones have long been attributed with healing powers. Gemstones were used for healing in ancient Persia, India and Greece. Ancient Indian scriptures contain descriptions of gemstones complete with prescriptions for their use.

The western system of birthstones traces its origin to the Bible, where Moses set rules regarding the "Breastplate of Judgement" which was set with 12 gems. To this day gems adorn the mitre of the Pope and Bishops of the Christian churches.

During the renaissance period in Europe, the great physician Paracelsus used medicines made from crushed gems. Kings and Queens from around the world wore gems on their crowns, originally as a means of expanding their influence throughout the kingdom. Most crowns sat upon the head so that the main gem in the centre would touch the middle of the forehead (third eye).

Gemstones have had little place in modern medicine, although in recent times they have enjoyed a revival in popularity. Whether you wear gemstones for their sparkle, colours and beauty, or for their healing properties, they remain as popular as ever.

In gemstone healing, the greatest benefit is generally achieved by holding the stones close to the skin. What better way then to take advantage of any energies they may hold, than to use gemstones in jewellery. Below is a guide to the healing properties of many gemstones, which may aid the jewellery designer in deciding which combinations of gemstones to use to gain the maximum beneficial effects for the wearer. Combine the beauty of colour with the mystical properties and you can both heal and sparkle!

The healing properties of gemstones

African Turquoise / Chrysocola - Strengthens and aligns all chakras & subtle bodies, Brings any & all energies to a higher level, Stimulates Throat & Navel Chakras. Grounding, healer of the spirit. Calms & soothes the mind. Dissipates negativity.

Agate - A cooling stone, it reduces fever, quenches thirst, beneficial in stomach area. It quiets the pulse and heart palpitations and insures good health and a long and prosperous life. Botswana Agate: Use with high-pressure oxygen therapy. Fire Agate: Master healer with colour therapy, enhances all essences. It grounds and balances, binds sexual & heart chakra, burns energy. Moss Agate: Emotional priorities, mental priorities; circulatory, pancreas & pulses, blood sugar balance. Agate guards against danger. Wearers become temperate, continent and cautious. It helps one view oneself with more clarity, and see the world through a broader viewpoint. Wearing Agate is believed to cure insomnia and to ensure pleasant dreams.

Alexandrite - Helps fight low self-esteem. Improves central nervous system disorders. Alexandrite relieves spleen & pancreas problems. Alexandrite is a stone of good omen. Alexandrite can assist one in centering the self, reinforcing self-esteem, and increases ones ability to experience joy.

Amazonite - Improves your skin. Releases fear and anxiety. Amazonite makes your married life happier.

Amber - Excellent for eyes, and for glandular swellings of the throat and lungs. Amber balances endocrine and digestive network. Amber brings good luck. It is associated with time, cycles and longevity. Amber is also regarded as being highly sensual and magnetic. Amber has long been associated with healing energy and mental stimulation, and is said to balance aggressive traits.

Amethyst - Magnifies psychic abilities and right-brain activity. It strengthens immunity, while energizing and purifying the blood. Amethyst relieves headaches, improves blood sugar imbalance. Named from the Greek word "amethystos" which can be translated as "not drunken", amethyst was believed to protect its owner against drunkenness. As the myth goes, drinking wine from an Amethyst goblet would prevent one from becoming inebriated. The gemstone still symbolizes sobriety. Amethyst was thought to encourage celibacy. Because of that, amethyst was very important in the ornamentation of churches in the Middle Ages. Bishops still often wear amethyst rings. Amethyst is associated with a number of superstitions, being regarded as a love charm, and as a protection against thieves. In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to Buddha and rosaries are often fashioned from it. Placed under the pillow at night, the beautiful amethyst is believed to produce a calm and peaceful sleep. Amethyst is given as a symbol of sincerity, security, and peace of mind.

Adventurine - Is said to increase libido. Releases fear and anxiety. Green adventurine strengthens one's blood and muscle tissues. Adventurine is said to increase confidence, and gratitude, promotes emotional tranquillity and positive attitudes. Adventurine is a wonderful stone to use daily, especially during meditation and prayer.

Bloodstone - in ancient times bloodstone was thought to be able to stop haemorrhages with the merest touch. Bloodstone relieves stomach and bowel pain. It strengthens blood purifying organs and improves blood circulation. Bloodstone has a positive influence on a bladder. Bloodstone is used to help one become more knowledgeable in the ways of the world. Bloodstone is also believed to be a very magical stone.

Calcite (Orange)- Balancer, Alleiviates fear, Lightness of being.

Carnelian - Governs and increases passion, Solar Plexus Chakra.

Chalcedony - Believed to banish fear, hysteria, depression, mental illness and sadness. Chalcedony reduces fever. Wearing chalcedony is believed to be excellent for eyes. Chalcedony prevents from touchiness and melancholy. Worn by many to promote calm and peace. Chalcedony also stimulates creativity.

Charoite - Put beneath your pillow, especially if you are prone to disturbed sleep or fears which surface in dreams. In combination with amethyst, it will help to release these fears. Charoite is said to be useful for the cleansing and purification of one's energy body as well as for the transmutation of negative energies within oneself. Work with Charoite to foster a synthesis between the heart and crown chakra, walk your spiritual path with awareness, and manifest your soul's wisdom and light in daily life. The purple colour of Charoite, among its other roles, helps to bring us closer to spirit by showing us that everything, even the thoughts we hold as true, can be dissolved and replaced with more empowering energies. The colour black in this stone grounds the purple ray, and enables us to explore the nature of our fears; while white represents the connection to spirit.

Citrine - Valuable in the treatment of depression, it eliminates self-destructive tendencies. Citrine is said to stimulate memory. It aids digestion, and removes toxins from the body. Citrine is a good healing stone, especially for heart, kidney and liver. It helps fight diabetes. Citrine symbolizes light-heartedness, joy and happiness. Citrine is a great protective talisman. It calms and soothes. Citrine is the signature of wisdom and peace. It stimulates the mental body and aids the opening of the bridge between higher mental body and intuitional levels. Citrine is said to help one connect with Spirit. It enhances creativity, and motivates writers.

Coral - Used in difficulties of the lungs and digestion. It relates to the circulation of the blood and to the heart. Coral helps restore harmony in the event of emotional conflict. It works against nutritional deficiencies, depression and lethargy. Coral is said to cure madness and give wisdom. Coral is used to build an emotional foundation. Coral protects children. It aids in the safe crossing of rivers, passages through tempests. It excites nerve power, brilliancy and gladness and is a true health-giver. Note that coral loses its powers when broken.

Diamond - Assistance for all brain diseases. It is beneficial in stomach area. Diamonds strengthen the owner's memory. Diamonds symbolise faith, purity, life, joy, innocence and repentance. They assist in developing concentration and in being honest. It is believed the diamond loses its brilliance with the health of the wearer, regaining it only when the owner recovers. Diamond is an antidote to poison and is capable of detecting poison by exhibiting a moisture or perspiration on its surface. Supposedly, the higher quality the diamond, the better it supports these qualities.

Emerald - Extensively used for physical and emotional healing. Emerald has refreshing soft green colour, which has amazing healing powers for eyes, and it is a good talisman for any eye trouble. If worn about the neck or finger, emerald prevents convulsions in children. Emeralds are also an antidote for poisons and poisonous wounds. It aids with ailments of the spine. Emeralds help fighting all mental illness and neurological disorders. It is said to drive away evil spirits, and to preserve the chastity of the wearer. Emerald is said to bring wisdom. Believed by the ancients to empower the owner with foresight into the future, an emerald is regarded as an amulet for good fortune. The emerald gives faith and success in love. It changes colour in the presence of false friends or false witnesses. It promotes constancy of mind, true friendship, and felicity in domestic life. As a love token, it registers the degree of love. If pale, love is waning. An emerald symbolizes rebirth and youth. According to legends, emeralds strengthen the owner's memory, quicken the intelligence and assist in predicting the future. When worn, the stone is supposed to prevent epilepsy attack, and when held in the mouth it is believed to be a cure for dysentery. It is supposed to assist women at childbirth.

Fluorite - Gives courage and dispels anxiety. Aids sleep. Heart Brow & Crown Chakra (Purple).

Fossils - Enhance telepathy to past worlds. Heightens business accomplishments. Stimulates the thymus.

Garnet - Excellent for blood deficiency diseases. It stimulates bloodstream and pituitary gland, relieves rheumatism and arthritis pain. Garnet combats depression and lethargy. Garnet also stimulates the spleen. Cures fever and promotes good health. Garnet should be carried close to the body. Its energy is balancing and peaceful. This stone of passion stimulates the sexual drive. Garnet gives energy and courage. It is said to encourage robust good health and sexual desire, enhance the wearer's imagination. Garnet symbolizes fire, faith, courage, truth, grace, compassion, constancy and fidelity. It also offers protection to the traveller.

Goldstone - Vitality, contains copper which helps blood flow. Cleans out toxins and brings back natural energy.

Hematite - Anti-depressant. Aids oxygenation of the bloodstream. Hematite helps fight against venereal diseases. It has a positive influence on a bladder. This stone also helps to treat hysteria. Hematite is said to be a good healing and grounding stone, it strengthens the body and improve resistance to life's stresses. Hematite inspires inner life and helps to keep inward peace.

Howlite - Aids & deepens sleep. Helps bring back wisdom from dreams. Strong calcium content/vibration so excellent for bones & nursing mothers.

Jade: Nephrite - Balances male/female energies. Talisman of protection. Blood cleansing.

Jasper - Energy, Planet: Mercury, Element: Air. All mottled jasper should be worn for protection Medicinal values were long attributed to jasper, including a belief that wearing it strengthened the stomach. Jasper was also believed to cure gynaecological problems. Leopard skin jasper is said to bring its wearer whatever they need. Poppy Jasper is said to help bring joy into life. Opalite Jasper is said to help one sleep. Jasper was thought to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. Picasso Stone Jasper - Aids Digestion. Promotes weight loss. Helps circulation & anxiety/stress. Picture Jasper - Understanding. Happiness. Red Jasper - Good Luck. Passion. Happiness. Brecciated (Poppy) Jasper - Harmony. Happiness.

Labradorite - Communication. Reactivate ancient/future memories.

Lapis Lazuli - Self-Confidence. Understanding. Third Eye & Throat Chakras. The stone is said to increase psychic abilities. Lapis is said to be a cure for melancholy and for certain types of fever. Lapis lazuli eliminates negative emotions. It relieves sore throat pain. Traditionally believed to increase mental clarity, virility, and calm. Lapis Lazuli is energy focuser for teachers, lecturers and speakers. Enhances creative self-expression. Lapis Lazuli is also powerful during meditation.

Malachite - Thoughtfulness, Romance, Assists tissue regeneration, Aids sleep. Malachite is worn by many to detect impending danger. This beautiful green stone offers bands of varying hues and is believed by many to lend extra energy. It is believed that gazing at Malachite or holding it relaxes the nervous system and calms stormy emotions. Malachite is said to bring harmony into one's life. It is also believed that malachite gives knowledge and patience. Malachite is used as a children's talisman to ward off danger and illness. It is attached to infant's cradles.

Marble - Dark Green & White - Gives strength of self-control & serenity, Enhances common sense, Helps disorders of bone marrow, viral & bacterial infections, Helps lower back pain.

Mookaite - Aids concentration.

Moonstone - Aligns vertebrae. Is a good digestive aid. Moonstone also soothes and balances the emotions. Moonstone is believed to be protective for women and babies. It's also associated with the sea and planting cycles. Moonstone is said to balance yin and yang. In India, moonstone is regarded as a sacred stone. It is believed to bring good fortune. Legend says that Moonstone is a highly prized gift for lovers as it arouses tender passion.

Mother of Pearl - Aids money and financial issues.

New Jade (Bowenite) - Romance. A great Talisman. Causes enemies to withdraw feeling danger. Eases clean break from past traumas. Brings success in pursuits. Increases abundance in trade. Dispels sorrow.

Nunderite (brown with bright green spots, Australian) - Safety for water travel. Helps one to blend with environment to remain unnoticed. Helps the recording of diaries/journals. Stimulates hindsight.

Obsidian - Often used for gaining clear insight into problems. Obsidian stabilizes and is a chastiser. Mahogany Obsidian influences friendship. Male energy. Stomach & Digestion. Clears subconscious blocks.

Onyx - Used as a heart, kidney, nerve, capillary, hair, eye and nail strengthener. Onyx is said to help one sleep. This gemstone helps to eliminate apathy, stress and neurological disorders. Onyx eliminates negative thinking, it is also believed to sharpen the wits of the wearer. Onyx is said to bring spiritual inspiration. It is a great assistance in holding emotions and passions under control. Black Onyx is used to help one change habits.

Opal - A cure for diseases of the eye. Fire Opal: Red corpuscle & blood disorders; depression; apathy; lethargy. Black Opal: Reproductive organs; spleen & pancreas; filters red corpuscles & aids white corpuscles; bone marrow; depression, especially of sexual origin. White Opal: Balances left and right brain hemispheres for neurological disorders; stimulates white corpuscles. Black opal is regarded as an extremely lucky stone. In ancient times opal was accepted as a symbol of faithfulness and confidence. It has reputed healing properties, especially to increase mental capacities such as creative imagination. Black opals worn near the heart on necklaces made of gold are said to protect one from the evil eye and protect travellers on journeys to far away lands. Opals have been ground up and used as magic potions to heal the body, ward off bad dreams, and used an energy enhancement tools.

Pearls - Eliminate emotional imbalances. They help one master the heart chakra, aid stomach, spleen, intestinal tract & ulcer problems. Pearl is said to help improve self-worth. As an emblem of modesty, chastity and purity, the pearl symbolizes love, success, and happiness.

Peridot - Increases strength & physical vitality. Peridot protects against nervousness and aids in healing hurt feelings. It helps liver & adrenal function. Peridot is also thought to protect lungs, sinuses, and wrists from illness and injury. Peridot is used to help dreams become a reality. This very popular stone is believed to attract love. The deep green hue of the peridot also suggests a connection in wealth-attracting. Peridot calms a raging anger. It is also useful to dispel negative emotions, and it is believed to promote sleep when worn to bed.

Quartz - Strength, luck & fortune. All the chakras. Dispels negativity. Smoky Quartz - Stability, reassurance, releases old negativity. Mildly sedative. Blue & White - Throat Chakra, promotes speaking of what's on one's mind. Comfort. Spleen, endocrine system & the blood . Rose Quartz - Love, Heart Chakra, increases fertility. Rutilated Quartz - All the chakras, clears mental & spiritual blockages. Eases depression.

Rhodonite - Positive thinking, Root Chakra.

Sardonyx (Red) - Combines properties of Onyx, Carnelian & Chalcedony. Assists in happiness in marriage & live-in relationships. Use to attract friends & good fortune. Diminishes hesitation.

Serpentine Chrysotile - 'Serpentine': Clear clouded areas of Chakras, stimulates the crown, helps with disorders of the body. 'Chrysotile': Helps to find the true self, helps telepathy, helps with disorders of veins & arteries & skin pores.

Sodalite - Cleansing, enhances communication.

Snowflake Obsidian - Power, balance of polarities, Root Chakra.

Tiger Eye - Tiger eye relieves high blood pressure. Very helpful with bronchial asthma, kidney diseases, rheumatic heart disease and psoriasis. Tiger Eye is used for focusing the mind. It is said that Tiger Eye offers protection during travel, strengthens convictions and confidence. This very warm stone is beneficial for the weak and sick.
Tourmaline - Calms nerves, regulates hormones, fights against genetic disorders. Tourmaline induces a tranquil sleep. Tourmaline is said to dispel fear, negativity and grief. According to legend, the tourmaline of all colours protects the wearer against many dangers and misfortune.

Rubellite - Is believed to enhance creativity, to increase fertility, to smooth away passive or aggressive nature.

Turquoise - Is said to guard against all diseases. It assists in tissue regeneration, subtle body alignment & strengthening. Turquoise has been thought to warn the wearer of danger or illness by changing colour. In the 13th century, turquoise was thought to protect the wearer from falling, especially from horses. Turquoise is also believed to bring happiness and good fortune to all. It's said that turquoise attracts healing spirits, making it a premier healing stone. Believed to be a protective stone, turquoise is worn to guard against violence and accidents. Turquoise is also a valuable amulet for travellers.

Unakite - Self-Growth

Zircon - Relieves pain. It is said to whet one's appetite. Zircon also prevents nightmares and ensures a deep tranquil sleep. Zircon supposedly helps one be more at peace with oneself. Zircon is believed to provide the wearer with wisdom, honour and riches. The loss of lustre on a Zircon stone is said to warn of danger. Jacinth (orange zircon) helps raise one's self-esteem.