The Folklore of Sapphire

Sapphires are associated with focusing the mind, maintaining self-discipline, and channeling higher powers. Throughout time, the September birthstone has been referenced in almost all religions.

Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle. Buddhists believed that it brought spiritual enlightenment, and Hindus used it during worship. Early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings.

Ancient Hebrews believed that the Ten Commandments were engraved on tablets of sapphire, though historians now believe the blue gemstone referenced in the Bible may have been lapis lazuli.

It was believed that this “holy” stone would prevent impure thoughts. Believers even went so far as to say it wouldn’t shine if worn by someone who wasn’t chaste. For royalty, it was assumed that sapphire gemstones would protect them from fraud, poverty, and bad decisions.

There are legends of the power of sapphire to heal physical wounds and disease. The simple method of placing a sapphire on the forehead was supposed to stop nosebleeds. Mixing the gemstone with milk was supposed to help sores and boils. People also made elixirs with sapphire to help calm the stomach and digestive tract and to heal internal ulcers.

Over time, sapphire began to symbolize love and commitment. For example, Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring in 1981. This gemstone is now given as a gift for fifth and forty-fifth wedding anniversaries.

If you’re looking for sapphire jewelry to celebrate a September birthday or 5th or 45th wedding anniversary, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of sapphire and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Spinel

Spinel is a gemstone that has often been confused with ruby. One of August’s birthstones, spinel can come in a variety of colors, including red, black, blue, green, and purple. It can also appear colorless.

Uncut and rough natural red spinel crystal.

Spinel can be found in deposits around the world. However, in ancient times, Southeast Asia produced very large formations of the gemstone. Red spinel is often called “flame spinel.” Two of these large, red gems are in the English crown jewels. Known as the “Black Prince’s Ruby” and the “Timur Ruby,” it was later discovered that they were spinels.

According to legend, spinel can help revitalize and bring energy to the owner. It is said to lower anxiety and stress. Along these lines, it’s also believed to encourage new ways of thinking and promote the fortitude to get through challenges in life.

In the mystic realm, some have felt that spinel helps communicate with higher powers. They say it improves intuition and clarity and balances emotions.

Magnetite is a type of spinel that has magnetic properties. As early as the 11th century, mariners used this form of spinel—known as lodestone—to magnetize their compasses.

Those who believe in crystal healing feel that magnetite helps align currents in the body. They also believe it can balance mood swings and polarities, such as physical and spiritual, and the two brain hemispheres.

If you’re looking for spinel jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of spinel and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Sardonyx

Sardonyx combines alternating layers of sard and onyx to create a reddish zebra-striped gemstone with white bands. It is one of three of August’s birthstones.

sardonyx gemstone

Used as a stone of strength and protection in ancient times, sardonyx is associated with courage, happiness, and clear communication. Ancients believed that placing a sardonyx gemstone at each corner of a house would grant protection against evil.

Amulets and talismans made of sardonyx were thought to give the wearer a boost of energy. Ancient Romans would carve Mars—the god of war—or Hercules into the gemstone to promote courage.

Sardonyx was used in the Middle Ages to counteract the supposedly negative effects of onyx. It was believed that the latter gemstone brought out anxiety, sadness, and anger—and even demons. They felt sardonyx could balance it out.

Religious texts also reference sardonyx. For example, it’s used as the first foundation stone in the walls of New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation.

Legend has it that sardonyx can help with depression, willpower, and confidence. It can help one find integrity, meaning, and happiness. Those who practice yoga have found it helps with meditation.

If you’re looking for sardonyx jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of sardonyx and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Peridot

Peridot—one of three August birthstones—is a lime green stone that has many links to nature. It has often been confused with topaz and emerald.

Peridot jewelry, include silver earrings, a necklace on silver chain, and two rings displayed on white acrylic desk

Legends have connected this gemstone to the sun, believing that it brought energy and happiness to the owner. In Oahu, Hawaii, small pieces of peridot wash onshore near volcanic areas. This gemstone is made of olivine, which is found in lava rocks. Ancient Hawaiian folklore told stories of the gems being tears from the goddess of elements, Pele. In fact, sometimes when it rained, the gemstones will fall from the sky.

In ancient Egypt, Cleopatra loved peridot for its beauty. She also believed it could keep dark, evil spirits away. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, so they used goblets encrusted with peridot to commune with their nature gods.

In ancient times, people believed that peridot was brought to our world by a sun’s explosion—and they weren’t far off. Some peridot crystals have been found in rare pallasite meteorites that are 4.5 billion years old.

German occult writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa said in the early 1500s if you held peridot to the sun, a golden star would shine from it to heal any respiratory ailments. Apothecary shops kept the gemstone in powdered form to use as an antidote to insomnia, bleeding, madness, and nightmares. It was also believed to help with a range of other things, from improving memory to easing labor and birth.

For thousands of years, peridot beads and talismans were worn for protection and to promote love, happiness, and wealth. When paired with gold, they believed the effects intensified.

If you’re looking for peridot jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of peridot and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Rubies

In ancient times, the ruby was considered more valuable than diamonds. Many cultures admired this precious gemstone and considered it a token of wealth, safety, and passion. It is now the birthstone for the month of July.

set of gold earrings and a necklace with a ruby isolated on white

Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 BC. Legend has it that they considered them so valuable that Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan offered to exchange a whole city for a large ruby.

Chinese noblemen adorned their armor with rubies, because they believed the gem would grant protection. They also buried rubies beneath building foundations to secure good fortune.

Ancient Hindus believed they’d be reborn as emperors if they offered rubies to the god Krishna. In Hindu folklore, the glowing fire within rubiesIn ancient times, the ruby was considered more valuable than diamonds. Many cultures admired this precious gemstone and considered it a token of wealth, safety, and passion. It is now the birthstone for the month of July. burned so hot that they allegedly boiled water. Greek legends similarly claimed that ruby’s warmth could melt wax.

In Burma—a significant ruby source since at least 600 AD—warriors believed that rubies made them invincible. They even implanted rubies into their skin to grant protection in battle. Burmese rubies are still some of the most prized of all ruby gems.

Many cultures also admired ruby as a symbol of love, passion, and commitment. Rubies have long been considered the perfect wedding gem. In present day, it’s a traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
If you’re looking for ruby jewelry for yourself or for someone with a July birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of rubies and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Pearls

Pearl folklore spans centuries. This June birthstone’s iridescent beauty has inspired many stories.

Chains of pearls

Ancient Japanese folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures like mermaids and nymphs. Early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth and the dragon had to be slain to claim the pearls, which symbolized wisdom. The phrase “pearls of wisdom” is still used today.

Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.” Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

Some ancient legends described pearls as tears cried by gods. It was believed that Eve cried pearls when she was exiled from Eden.

Pearls have also been symbols of wealth, purity, and fertility. Pearl jewelry is often worn by brides during weddings in Asia and in Western cultures.

Some cultures believed that pearls were bad luck, since the gemstones were ripped from living creatures. To counteract this, pearl jewelry had to be given out of love, without jealousy and malice.

If you’re looking for pearl jewelry for yourself or for someone with a June birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of pearls and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Alexandrite

Alexandrite was discovered in fairly modern times. Since it was found in the early 1800s in Russia, not much lore has built up around this incredibly rare gemstone.

Alexandrite ring sitting on a rock by the sea

When this gemstone was first discovered in emerald mines in the Ural Mountains, they assumed it was emerald. However, the mineralogist who found it later noticed that the gemstone changed colors depending on the type of light it was in.

Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light. The shifting colors are the result of alexandrite’s uncommon chemical composition that includes traces of chromium, the same coloring agent found in emerald.

According to legend, alexandrite was named for Alexander II because it was discovered on the future czar’s birthday. Because alexandrite’s red and green hues matched Russia’s military colors, it became the official gemstone of Imperial Russia’s Tsardom.

Since its discovery, people have felt this June birthstone brought good luck and abundance. Some have even believed it brought happiness and love into their lives.

Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination, bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.

If you’re looking for alexandrite jewelry for yourself or for someone with a June birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of alexandrite and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Moonstone

Throughout time, moonstone has been connected to the Earth’s moon. This mysterious stone—which looks like a moonlit night—has been the object of lore across the world.

For two thousand years, Romans used moonstone in jewelry. They linked the stone to the Moon Goddess Diana and believed that wearing moonstone would bring love, wealth, and success.

In Asia, there was a myth that every 21 years, blue moonstones were brought in by the tide. In India, it was believed that this gem was good luck and allowed romantic partners to read their future, if they placed the moonstone in their mouth during a full moon. Moonstone is one of India’s traditional wedding gifts. They also felt that the stone’s luster grew and weakened as the moon transitioned from a full moon to a new moon.

Hindu mythology also told that moonstone was made from the moon’s ethereal light. Legend portrayed it as a sacred and magical “dream stone” that could bring serene and beautiful dreams at night.

Legends have claimed that moonstone could help the wearer have clear visions and prophecies. If someone was continuously angry, the stone would lose its beautiful luster. It was also known as the “Traveler’s Stone,” as it was believed that it would protect people who wore it while traveling at night.

Current lore revolves around moonstone’s ability to help wearers go with the flow, similar to the moon affecting the tides.

This dreamy stone is gorgeous no matter how you feel about it.

If you’re looking for moonstone jewelry for yourself or a friend or someone with a June birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of moonstone and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

A Little Positivity Goes a Long Way During Coronavirus Pandemic

If there is a silver lining in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s seeing the beautiful and inspirational stories and posts from members of the American Gem Society. From beautiful, soothing colors to engagement ring cleaning, we wanted to share a few with you.

Diamond Boutique

When the closures began, Diamond Boutique created a series of “Chromotherapy” posts that featured beautiful images of jewelry paired with insightful messages.

Diamond Boutique opal ring

Gleim the Jeweler

Gleim the Jeweler shared gorgeous gems on their feed, ensuring that there was something full of color and beauty for their followers to enjoy.

Gleim the Jeweler sapphire earrings

Jack Lewis Jewelers

Jack Lewis Jewelers posted a series of personal videos that featured the store’s staff presenting their favorite piece of jewelry, and what it meant to them.

Jack Lewis Jewelers store staff videos

Sydney Rosen Company

Sydney Rosen Company understands that some of life’s most important events had to either be put on hold or canceled. They offered to help couples, even with something as simple as last-minute engagement ring cleaning.

Sydney Rosen Company wedding set next to face masks

We all enjoy the exquisite beauty of gemstones and inspirational stories that are attached to a special piece of jewelry. Please reach out to us if you have a question about jewelry and gemstones, or have a special story to share.

The Folklore of Emerald

Emerald is one of the four precious gemstones and is made from green beryl. Its name is derived from the Greek word smaragdus, meaning “green gem.” The stone’s color can range from light green with yellow or blue tones to a deep, dark green.

three emerald gemstones sitting on dark brown leather

Not only is emerald the birthstone for May, but it’s also linked to Gemini, Taurus, Leo, and Aries astrological signs.

Legends say that emerald has calming effects and loving energy. Some people use this gem in their daily meditations to help reduce stress. The green color invokes symbols of nature and money, leading many to believe in its ability to bring abundance to the owner.

It has been known as the “Stone of Successful Love,” representing inspiration, patience, and unity. Centuries ago, it was linked to the goddess Venus. Many people have given emerald jewelry as gifts to their romantic partners.

Other folklore has stated that emeralds relieved issues in muscles, eyes, the spine, and the chest area. It was believed to have rejuvenating properties.

If you’re looking for emerald jewelry for yourself or a friend or someone with a May birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of emerald and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.