Since ancient times, different things have been credited with magical and/or spiritual powers. That’s definitely the case with gems and precious stones. The problem is that the modern versions seem to be pretty self-serving, with various stones credited with powers including healing and astral characteristics, and also including the highly valued jewellery grade stones.
Ancient civilizations and precious stones
In fairness, although the association between stones and spirit seems to be well outside what’s considered “normal” in Western society, in ancient civilizations the opposite was the case. The stones and their unique characteristics were highly prized for their beauty, and it’s hard to argue with the fact that gemstones give a definite impression of being something beyond the ordinary and special.
The ancient and modern interpretations of the powers of stones include “energy fields”, meaning the “frequencies” of different types of stone. Ironically, for societies which knew nothing about advanced chemistry, electricity, or atomic energies, the real chemical characteristics of stones, particularly gemstones, are pretty special. The modern version of the powers of stones was more utilitarian. The original lasers, for example, used rubies to focus the energies of amplified light. The healing powers
The general idea wasn’t entirely wrong, either, in terms of the health aspects of stones, although it was hardly anything like the modern interpretation of healing. Many forms of minerals contained in precious stones are in fact essential to human life, including a large number of common electrolytes. The human body in fact contains most of the Table of Elements, so the basic idea that human health involves minerals in various forms is actually pretty right.
The difference is that the modern view of healing minerals, like calcium, potassium, magnesium and silica are seen as nutrients, not aesthetic healers. Most modern supplements contain a lot of different minerals commonly found in precious stones. A case of the ideas preceding the facts, perhaps.
The spiritual powers
The spiritual values of precious stones are largely a matter of interpretation. Precious stones are considered to relate directly to spiritual matters, confidence, harmonious vibrations and similar characteristics. The play of light, forming rainbows is considered to relate to chakras, or parts of the body related to spiritual and physical health.
The ideas of harmonies and light are truly ancient, and the strong aesthetic values of the precious stones and gemstones are obvious analogies. These colours and plays of light have been major aesthetic concepts in all cultures, so the idea that a feeling of well-being or fascination with the play of light on a diamond aren’t too hard to understand.
The meanings of stones are an interesting study in concepts, whether you believe in them or not. Aventurine, for example, is considered to eliminate negative energies. Blue Topaz is said to assist in clarity in communication. Jade is famous in Chinese lore as a “harmonic stone” (quite right, good jade emits a musical note when tapped) and a stone of wisdom.
There are meanings applied to each of the precious stones and gemstones. Diamonds, interestingly, are seen as power stones, able to enhance positive or negative effects. That’s an almost poetic reference to diamond rings, where the wearer may relate to the ring in so many ways. Maybe the metaphysical power of stones isn’t so hard to understand, after all?