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.

The Folklore of Diamond

The diamond is one of the most well-known gemstones—if not THE most well-known. This precious gem is solely made of carbon and is incredibly tough. The legends are true: only another diamond can cut a diamond. However, have you heard other the legends and lore of this beautiful gemstone?

5 diamond rings on one woman's finger

Many ancient civilizations believed that this “King of Gems” was lightning made real on Earth. They also believed diamonds had incredible healing powers, such as the ability to cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders, and draw toxins from the blood.

Hildegard of Bingen, the German mystic, said that sucking on a diamond would prevent lying and aid in the ability to fast from food. In folklore, diamonds could prevent fear and anxiety.

Legend has it that diamonds can promote creativity and imagination in those who wear them. People have felt the gems could open their minds to impossible ideas being possible. It was also believed that diamonds symbolized wealth and the ability to manifest abundance.

Since ancient times, the diamond has been a symbol of eternal love, trust, and faith. This is why diamond engagement rings are so popular.

If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring, a stunning diamond piece for a friend’s April birthday, or something special for yourself, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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

The Folklore of Bloodstone

This ancient gemstone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets. Bloodstone was believed to have healing powers, especially for blood disorders. It is sometimes called the “martyr’s stone,” as legend tells that it was created when drops of Christ’s blood stained jasper at the foot of the cross.

Close-up of Bloodstone

Many other ancient cultures believed bloodstone gems had magical powers, with some references to its ability to heal dating back to 5000 BC.

The Babylonians used bloodstone in their divination, and the Egyptians prized bloodstone because they believed it helped them to defeat their enemies. They also believed it increased their strength or made them invisible.

Still, others believed that bloodstone could help control or change the weather, win legal battles or give the gift of prophecy. It was so loved for its properties, many used the gemstone in jewelry, signet rings, and even small cups or statues.

Today, some still wear bloodstone jewelry as a lucky charm. No matter how you use or wear bloodstone, it’s a unique gemstone great for everyday wear.

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

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

The Folklore of Aquamarine

Aquamarine is made of two Latin words: aqua, meaning “water,” and marine, meaning “of the sea.” It was once believed that this gemstone would protect sailors and guarantee a safe voyage. Legend has it that aquamarine’s serene blue color would invoke calming properties of the sea, helping to cool tempers and allow the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.

Yet sailors aren’t the only ones who thought aquamarine could protect them. People in the Middle Ages believed that wearing aquamarine would prevent them from being poisoned. Ancient Romans would carve a frog into the gem to help turn enemies into friends. Ancient medicines were made from aquamarine powder to help cure a variety of infections, eye ailments, and allergic reactions.

In folklore, aquamarine represented not only the sea, but also the heavens since the sky reflected in the water. It was believed that its reflective properties and symmetry could reveal hidden aspects of reality and things deep within our souls. This made aquamarine a popular stone with healers, mystics, shamans, and prophets.

When meditating with aquamarine, people believed it enhanced their paranormal abilities and aided in the occurrence of epiphanies. They focused on the stone’s perceived ability of calming reflection.

Other legends say that aquamarine helped with decision making, perseverance, and responsibility. People felt it aided with clear reasoning and feeling empowered during debates in order to come to a compromise.

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

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

Folklore of Zircon – the Oldest Mineral on Earth

Zircon is the oldest mineral on Earth. Due to its chemical makeup, it has survived ages of geological events, such as erosion and pressure shifts, recording these changes like a time capsule.

Zircon Gemstone

You can find zircon in a variety of colors, including blue, brown, red, orange, yellow, and green. Sometimes the gems are heat treated to enhance certain colors.

During the Middle Ages, people believed that zircon could induce sleep, ward off evil, and bring prosperity and wisdom. In the past, others felt it could heal madness, reduce temptation, and improve intelligence.

Zircon is now known as a “Stone of Virtue.” Folklore states that people believed it to have healing and grounding properties that helped them feel more balanced, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The believed healing properties included relieving pain and cramps, removing toxins from the body, and reducing fevers. Grounding properties included limiting nightmares, reducing stress, and alleviating symptoms of withdrawal.

Other people have felt that zircon helped with feelings of grief, sadness, anxiety, and fear. They said it promoted letting go of old feelings and helped them reevaluate what is important in life, including relationships with others and with material objects.

Zircon is often confused with man-made cubic zirconia. However, zircon is a naturally occurring mineral called zirconium silicate. Both zircon and cubic zirconia are great alternatives to diamonds.

If you’re looking for zircon jewelry for yourself or to gift to someone with a December birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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

Legends and Folklore of Turquoise

Turquoise has a rich history throughout millennia and across a variety of cultures. The earliest uses were beads found in Iraq, dating back to 5000 BCE. Turquoise gemstones were found in jewelry in Egyptian tombs, dating back to 3000 BCE. It was even used in King Tut’s burial mask.

Turquoise necklace from Lika Behar Collection.

Native Americans have mined turquoise in the southwestern part of the United States for nearly a thousand years. They’ve worn it during ceremonies to call upon spirits and to symbolize the god of the sky. They used it to guard burial sites and in divining since it enhances communication between spiritual and physical worlds.

Legends state that the blue-green stone could protect the wearer, so it was often used in shields, weapons, and bridles for warriors going to battle. It was also thought to instill tranquility and promote wisdom. Some have even believed it to have the power of immortality.

Turquoise is widely known as a symbol of friendship and happiness. In folklore, the stone’s energy would be programmed with a specific intention for daily wear or meditation uses. Many people would wear it near their heart as they believed it promoted positive, happy vibes.

With its blue color streaked with brown ribbons, the stone symbolized the earth and sky coming together and the joining of female and male energies.

Other legends believed that turquoise helped the user communicate and manifest wholeness and truth.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous piece of turquoise jewelry for yourself or to gift to someone with a December birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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