Crystals | History
Crystals have been prized for thousands of years for their beauty and healing properties.
The first historical references come from the Ancient Sumerians, who included crystals in magic formulas. The Ancient Egyptians used semi precious stones, mainly Lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, emerald and clear quartz were used in their jewellery and carved grave amulets from the same gems primarily for protection and health mainly. They used what they called Chrysolite, known now as topaz and peridot to combat night terrors and purge evil spirits. Ancient Egyptians used crystals for protection and health, as well as cosmetically grounded lead-ore and malachite which was used as an eye shadow. Lapis lazuli was made into a poultice and rubbed into the crown of the head to take away all spiritual impurities. Pharaohs where known to use stones to assist them in ruling wisely from personal items and clothing found in archaeological discoveries.
The Ancient Greeks attributed a number of properties to crystals and many names we use today are of Greek origin. The word 'crystal' comes from the Greek word for ice, as it was believed clear quartz was water that had been frozen so deeply it would remain a solid. The name Hematite comes from accent Greek word for blood, because of the red colouration produced when it oxidises. Hematite is an iron ore and the ancient Greeks associated iron with Aries, the god of war. Greek soldiers would rub hematite over their bodies to aid them in battle and protect them from their enemies.
One of the most traditional precious stones with a history going back to ancient Greece is amethyst. Amethyst was reclassified as semi-precious after large deposits were found in Brazil and Uruguay in the first half of the nineteenth century. The introduction of the term semi-precious into the English lexicon corresponds with the new amethyst discoveries. Amethyst due to its deep purple colour is associated with Bacchus the Greek god of wine. Large drinking vessels used for water and wine were often carved from this stone. Roman matrons believed that wearing Amethyst would help to guarantee fidelity. Cleopatra is said to have worn a ring made of Amethyst engraved with the image of Maend, a Persian god who was considered a source of enlightenment and love.
Jade was highly valued in ancient China as they believed that since jade objects lasted so long, they were linked to immortality. They believe jade to also bring good luck, purity, and enhanced intelligence. Jade remains significant to this day and was embedded into the olympic medals from the 2008 games in Beijing. Chinese emperors were sometimes buried in jade armour and in Mexico around the same time period there have been found burials with jade masks. More recently (250 years ago) the Maoris of New Zealand wore jade pendants representing the ancestral spirits, which were passed down the generations through the male line. The tradition of green stones being lucky continues in parts of New Zealand to this day.
This is a very brief history and a lot more details are found through out artefacts, but this gives us a little insight into the significance of crystals and semi precious stones and their use throughout human existence in many forms including that of healing and protecting. In more recent times crystals have been used in healing therapies with outstanding effects. Their metaphysical structure vibrates and resonates with our subconscious self.
Looking to find out what stone is best suited for you then take a look at our zodiac stone page.