Gemstones as Amulets and Talismans

extraordinary powers and virtues of gemstones

From ancient times to the present, gemstones and minerals have been thought to have extraordinary powers and virtues which far exceed their physical and purely aesthetic qualities.

The peculiar characteristics of gems and minerals, particularly their mystery of origin, rarity, durability, beauty, and true permanence, always have appealed to man’s sense of the supernatural.

As such, minerals and especially gems have played a prominent role in the practice of magic and the occult.
Because of their allure, gems and crystal have been important in the early scientific, medical, and religious histories of virtually all societies. As a result, it is often difficult to distinguish between the magical uses and the less occult uses of gemstones.

For instance, the drugs of medieval apothecaries consisted largely of powdered gem material to be swallowed by the afflicted person. Although the anticipated cures were often expected to be instant and complete, the use of gemstones in this way was more medical than magical.

However, when gemstones and minerals are worn as pantacles, amulets or talismans to ward off evil or to enable the wearer to attain supernatural powers, the intent of their use is clearly magical.

The magical uses of gems and minerals can be summed up as follows:
Amulets to ward off evil or bad luck,  talismans to attain extraordinary or supernatural powers and capabilities,  zodiacal gems
or birthstones, and as the raw materials used by the alchemist in transmuting base metals into gold.

Gems as Amulets and Talismans

An amulet is an inanimate object, frequently a carved gemstone, which is believed to be the dwelling place of a spirit.
The amulet is worn with he hope that the spirit within will be active in warding off the forces of evil.
As a general rule, amulets are oddly shaped or marked objects, for it is believed that such objects are more likely to attract a wandering good spirit in need of a home than would smooth, ordinary shaped objects.
Whereas amulets are used to ward off evil, talismans are worn to attain supernatural powers and capabilities. Talismans are often engraved with signs, symbols, or words to intensify their magic powers.

Gems as Birthstones

Today one of the most popular magical uses of gems is as birthstones.
The wearing of birthstones stems from the belief that a special stone has been assigned to each month of the year and that this gem is endowed with a peculiar virtue for those born in that month.

Although the notion that each month has its special gem can be traced back to ancient times (at least the first century A.O.), the wearing of birthstones is a comparatively recent tradition, originating in Poland sometime during the 16th century.

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