Precious gemstones and their meanings
One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is choosing your engagement or wedding ring. It’s not only about the right aesthetics, precious stones also have meanings, history and connotations that it’s important to be aware of too.
Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but did you know that the ruby is the stone of love? Sara Taylor, owner of Taylor&Co, a bespoke wedding and engagement ring supplier, takes us through the most precious gemstones and the mythology and meaning behind them to help you understand the significance of your choice.
The birthstone for April, the diamond is perhaps the most precious and coveted gemstone in existence. Glamourized by popular culture, modern engagement rings generally feature diamonds, but what other meanings can we ascribe to this beautiful, glittering jewel?
On a less glamorous note, some believe that diamonds can help coughs and mucus problems. A more popular belief, however, is that diamonds are a symbol of faithfulness, love, purity, innocence, constancy and richness of the self. The Greek word for diamond – adamas – means invincible, and so many ancient cultures believed that the diamond had protective qualities.
New age culture believes that the diamond has the power to increase the energy of other gemstones, which is why some healers wear jewellery set with diamonds surrounding the amethyst. Another popular spiritual belief is that diamonds help to create wealth and abundance in all other walks of life, bringing clarity and resolution to seemingly unsolvable problems by helping you see more clearly into yourself.
You may check jamesallen.com for more detailed information about diamonds.
The birthstone for May, the emerald is a precious stone, steeped in history and mythology – 6000 years of it, to be precise – so you know your emerald will have a real story behind it. Said to be the sacred stone of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, in ancient Greek culture, and later Venus, for the Romans, the emerald is a symbol of hope, preserving love, loyalty, devotion, friendship, adoration and tranquillity, bringing the wearer wisdom.
The emerald is also the stone of fidelity and is said to change colour if your partner has been unfaithful – therefore a risky but practical choice for an engagement or wedding ring! However, some cultures believe that the emerald changes colour to alert the wearer of immediate danger.
In new age cultures, the Emerald is said to have healing properties, particularly for the heart and, in some cultures, the eyes. This myth comes from ancient Roman culture when legend tells us the Emperor Nero owned emerald glasses to protect his eyes during gladiator matches.
The ancient Greeks also believed that wearing an emerald made the owner more eloquent, intelligent and honest.
The birthstone for June (although February, April, July and November also claim it as a birthstone in some cultures), the pearl is the oldest recorded gem, again steeped in history and meaning. It is unique as it is produced by a living creature, the oyster, and for this reason, it has been considered extremely valuable for hundreds of years.
Astrologers and new age traditions feel pearls are connected to the moon, which is why they have been nicknamed the ‘teardrops of the moon’. Other cultures think that pearls were created by angels moving through the clouds of heaven.
In modern culture, the pearl is the symbol of purity, integrity, concentration, serenity, tranquillity and innocence and is said to increase femininity. For this reason, brides consider it extremely lucky to wear on their wedding day.
The birthstone for July, the ruby is considered by many to be the most powerful gem in existence, and is often referred to as the love stone, as new age cultures believe it generates all kinds of love, particularly self-love, showing you how valuable you are, as well as contentment and peace, vitality and royalty. According to many cultures, the ruby should be worn on the left hand as to connect straight to the heart and life force, to help you to find power and follow your dreams.
Said to have immense healing properties, the ruby is said to help the blood flow and rid the body of infection. It is also a lasting and powerful symbol of friendship.
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and is one of the four most precious stones in the world, alongside the diamond, ruby and emerald. Believed to represent protection and prophetic wisdom, it is said to help generate faith, hope, sincerity, truth, faithfulness, honesty and joy, as well as light, peace, beauty and understanding.
According to some historians and religious scholars, the ten commandments were presented to Moses on a sapphire plate and are therefore known as stones of destiny and joyful devotion to God. The stone of kings and high priests, the Sapphire is a true stone of wisdom and royalty.
In recent history, the stone has been made famous by its role in British royalty, with Princess Diana’s famous engagement ring which was then passed to Princess Catherine, giving it a revival in popular culture.
Thanks so much for a fab post Sara!
If you’re looking to design your own engagement ring or need some help on what type of engagement ring to choose, check out jamesallen.com.