The terms gemstone and crystal are used interchangeably but there is a subtle difference. Gemstones can be crystals but crystals cannot always be gemstones. Essentially, a gemstone is a mineral crystal which has been cut and polished so that it can be used as an attractive ornament or piece of jewellery. For thousands of years people have believed in the healing power of gemstones so wearing one has the duel benefit of looking beautiful and providing healing support at the same time.
Gemstones through the ages
Crystal jewellery has been worn since human civilisations began. There is clear evidence that Ancient Egyptians wore gems as talisman and amulets for protection and health. Lapis Lazuli was even used inside the eyes of dead pharaohs, in the belief that it would help them see their way into the afterlife.
Ancient Greeks believed that gemstones were objects of power. Soldiers would rub red hematite over their bodies before battle to keep them safe and sailors wore amulets to protect them at sea. Stories also indicates that ancient Greeks wore amethyst to prevent drunkenness and hangovers.
Jade played an important part in ancient Chinese and Mexican culture. Emperors were buried in jade armour in China and jade masks were worn at Mexican burials. Both cultures believed that the stone had kidney healing properties. Gemstones are also regularly referenced in religious texts including the Quran and the Bible as well as religious teachings from Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The practise of using gemstones to heal experienced a growth in popularity during the emergence of the new age culture. The healing techniques of the 20th and 21st centuries are derived from old traditions and have now become a widely recognised mainstream complementary therapy.
The healing properties of individual gemstones
Crystals are used therapeutically to enable energy to flow more freely. Different gems have different healing properties. In general, you should choose the gem that you feel most attracted to as that is said to indicate the stone with powers most special to you. Here are a few of the most popular gems that you can choose from:
Clear Quartz. Clear Quartz is known as a master healer as it can be used for anything. You can’t go wrong with this gem but sometimes people are more attracted to the colourful or interestingly textured properties of other crystals, which may address their more specific need.
Rose quartz. This beautiful pink coloured gem is said to heal heartbreak and open up the wearer to the possibility of love either from another person or self love. Rose quartz is set to promote inner peace and is a great crystal for children.
Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli helps to clear emotional blockages by increasing your intuition and wisdom. It enables the wearer to find self belief and their own power from within.
Fluorite. Fluorite is useful in helping the wearer to meditate and find inner tranquility. It wards off negativity and works well with the 6th and 7th chakras.
Jade. Jade promotes calm and serenity. It helps to expel toxins from the body and ease pain. This popular stone is said to be a “Jewel of Heaven” and enables people to find their inner creativity and understand the symbolism of their dreams.
Hematite. This silvery grey stone is anchoring. Carrying it in a pocket to difficult meetings or interviews can make the wearer feel more comfortable and grounded. It reduces negativity and is beneficial to the 1st ‘root’ chakra.
Amethyst. Another very popular stone which brings about calm and balance by clearing confusion and soothing negativity and stress. Physically, amethyst is said to balance hormones and the immune system. It is often used to promote sleep.
Turquoise. This beautiful stone was used by the native Americans to ward off evil, strengthen love and interpret dreams. It is believed to instil confidence and wisdom in the wearer.
Citrine. This yellow quartz stone is energising and cheerful. It helps the wearer to achieve their goals as it is filled with empowering energy from the Sun. Use it at the start of a new project.
Kyanite. Kyanite is successfully used during meditation to help open up communication with angels and spirit guides. It is a good for balancing chakras, in particular the 5th chakra.
Obsidian. Another dark coloured stone good for grounding and enabling the wearer to let go of negative behaviours. This is a good choice for those looking to embrace serenity and clarity in time for a change.
Once you have chosen your gemstone, if you plan to use them for healing purposes then you should cleanse them when you acquire then and then cleanse them again on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to work positively for you.