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Magical and Healing Properties

Countless magical and medicinal properties have been attributed to gemstones over the centuries. Diamonds gave immunity to poison and revealed infidelity ... amethyst protected against drunkenness ... heliotrope (bloodstone) stopped nosebleed and conferred invisibility ... sapphire enabled the wearer to escape from prison. For many centuries, because the origin of disease was unknown, its treatment was linked with magic and superstition.

Although the healing properties of certain gemstones were first recorded in the early Egyptian days, it was not until Roman times that scholars such as Pliny wrote of gemstones as a form of medicine. It was the ecclesiastical writers who compiled the first major treatises on healing with gems.

The use of gemstones for healing was carried out in different ways. At times, the mere presence of the stone was thought to be sufficient to effect a cure. At other times the gem was placed on the afflicted part of the body and sometimes the stone was powdered and eaten. Successes achieved by the various applications of gemstones may not have been due to the gems directly, but to the effect of the suggestion on the sufferer. Failures were excused by the explanation that the stone used was not "genuine". Today, increasing numbers of people are pursuing various non-traditional methods of illness diagnosis and therapy. Many of these alternative approaches, including "natural" medicine, acupuncture and even gemstones, have been employed in the treatment of disease for centuries and are again becoming more and more accepted, which would indicate a certain degree of success. There seems to be little doubt today that in many cases the mind does, in fact, play a vital role in the ability of the body to recover from illness ... the healing power of positive thought is accepted by both traditional and
alternative medical practitioners. The belief in the powers of a certain therapy, therefore, could indeed contribute to the
cure of the illness.

In many of the books on the healing powers of gemstones, so many virtues are attributed to each stone that one might conclude that any stone can cure any disease. It appears, however, that in many cases of duplicated healing powers,
either the colour or the constitution of the stone has indicated its appropriateness for a particular disease.


Shown on the following pages is a list of some of the healing properties attributed to various gemstones over the years.

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