Notes on the Virtues and Properties of Jewels, Gemstones, and Precious Metals
In June 2013 I will launch a blog devoted to gemstone esoterica. Why?
A garnet which is colored like the crow, the horse, the ass, the jackal, the bull, or the blood-stained beak of a vulture holding a piece of flesh brings on death; and the authorities advise us to shun it.
~S. M. Tagore
Because when you hold a jewel in your hand, you become part of a singular story that winds through exotic lands and far-flung civilizations. Because gemstones pervade the history of alchemy, magic, literature, and industry. And because for centuries, jewels have been used to appease the planets, cultivate divine favor, cure disease, and avoid the evil eye.
I would like to share some of these unique and colorful gemstone stories with you. If this piques your interest, please stay tuned for upcoming posts or subscribe to my feed.
If metals remain buried long enough in the earth, not only are they consumed by rust, but by long continuance they are even transmuted into natural stones, and there are a great many of these; but this is known to few.
Coelum Philosophorum or Book of Vexations (Waite, 1894 translation)
There may no doubt supernaturall effects be wrought by gemms and stones, but not such as can properly be said to be the effects of gemms or stones, or of which gemms or stones can be truly and absolutely said to be the causes, but onely instrumentall causes. Such effects as these are wrought either by the power of God, or of the devil.
~Thomas Nicols (1652)
A Lapidary, or the History of Pretious [sic] Stones with Cautions for the Undeceiving of all Those that Deal With Pretious [sic] Stones