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Gemstones - Meaning and Myth

Gemstones - Meaning and Myth

If you're fascinated by the meaning and myth behind nature's most dazzling creation, gemstones, you'll love this!  I've pulled together my favourite, most interesting tales about the main gemstones we work with at Kalapriya - whether you're a crystal power believer or not, it's a colourful read!  Enjoy...



The conditions must be exactly right to create glowing, mysterious Amber.  Formed from fossilised tree resin of a certain pine tree that existed millions of years ago, it is treasured for its beautiful honey tones accented by bursts of light. Chinese folklore tells a different and glorious origin story, believing that Amber is formed when the souls of tiger’s morph into the gemstone at the time of death…

Amber is believed to open the avenues to wealth and prosperity, being an excellent stone for growth and revitalisation. With its ability to transform negative energy into a medium for healing and rejuvenation, Amber is protective, working deeply on psychic levels.



Amethyst has a rich history, filled with folklore and intrigue. Favoured by monarchs and the clergy due to the belief of its anti-intoxication properties, it has been used as amulets for soldiers, carved into wine goblets for Kings and set into the episcopal rings of Bishops and Popes. Pretty, feminine Amethyst hides a steely inner secret; it’s prized purple hue is produced by invisible traces of iron within natural Quartz.  With its regal colour, Amethyst was favoured by monarchs throughout history and was as expensive as Ruby and Emerald, until vast deposits were discovered in Brazil in the 19th century.

On a metaphysical level, Amethyst is believed to be the ultimate calming and protective stone. Holding strong healing properties, it’s excellent for lowering stress levels, reducing mood swings and aids with insomnia. Amethyst is the stone of the third-eye chakra enhancing states of higher consciousness and strengthening meditation practice.

Black Onyx


Dark, mirror-like Black Onyx has long been a symbol of strength. Ancient Romans carved images of Mars, the God of War, into the “Warrior Stone” and carried it into battle to give courage and protection.  Onyx and sister stone Agate are both forms of the mineral Chalcedony. The structure of Onyx has made it ideal to carve and there’s a long history of its use in cameos and intaglios To tell them apart Agate forms with curved bands throughout, while Onyx (which is found in black, blue, green, red, grey, gold or brown shades) features parallel bands.

By removing negative thoughts and destructive behaviours, Onyx fills us with inner strength and a driving force to succeed. The stone of destiny, it releases deep seated fears and deflects darkness to allow us to step into the light and reach our full potential.

Blue Topaz


Our imperfections are what make us colourful. Topaz is no different. 

Normally a brownish yellow, the variety of colours in natural Topaz are caused by impurities present as the stone forms. Used in the Middle Ages to ward off the evil eye, an amulet for travellers and to cure lunacy, Blue Topaz comes in several shades, the result of being heated to different temperatures. Topaz is photosensitive and so will change colour when exposed to heat and light.

Gain clarity and focus with this stone of manifestation and compassion. Balance the hectic pace of life and welcome in a feeling of tranquillity and connection to the higher self. Topaz is a powerful tool to help us visualise our higher intellect and to be able to react skilfully and calmly in fraught situations.



The name is derived from the Latin word for yellow, ‘citrina’ and Citrine is like all other Quartz-based minerals, it’s the impurities that give rise to their colour. It owes its beautiful honey tones to minute ferric or iron deposits. First used to decorate jewellery in ancient Greece, Citrine has been described as the “merchants”, or “money” stone due to the belief it would bring wealth to the wearer.

The stone of abundance, wealth and prosperity, Citrine is a manifestation stone that promotes creative thought and helps us to achieve our goals. Stimulating intuition, it connects us with our higher self, dissolving mental blocks and clearing our path to success.



Inspiring legends of love, passion and vitality, Garnet – also known as the “prophecy stone” has been found in the tombs of pharaoh’s dating back over 5000 years.  We’re all familiar with the deep, sensual red variety, but Garnets are actually found in a wide range of colours including Tsavorite, a stunning emerald green which is extremely rare and one of the most expensive gems to buy. There are six distinct types of Garnet, Pyrope, Almandite, Spessartite, Uvarovite, Grossularite and Andradite. They all have the same crystal structure but each one has slightly different chemical properties which can alter the colour and clarity of the stone.

The record keeper of ancient knowledge, Garnet is the stone of universal connection, intuition, and wisdom. Helping us see the light in dark situations, it warns us of danger and steers us to safer ground. Filled with loving compassion, Garnet shows us the beauty within ourselves, raises us up and promotes self-growth and confidence.

Green Amethyst


The basis for this incredibly beautiful and popular stone is natural, violet Amethyst that has turned green due to coming in contact with a heat source. If already green when mined, it’s called Prasiolite and is extremely rare and expensive. It can be ‘encouraged’ to change colour in its raw form by ionising and heating after mining. Most amethyst turns yellow, orange, or brown but on rare occasions it transforms into this delicate mint shade.

Green Amethyst is an extremely powerful and protective stone which deflects negative energies and dissolves blockages. A salve for emotional wounds, Green Amethyst utilises love energy to heal the soul and promote harmony and peace.



Our favourite feldspar mineral, Labradorite was named after the Labrador Peninsula in Canada where it was first discovered. The Inuit people of the area believed that the beautiful, multi-coloured stones they found were snatches of the lights in the sky which had frozen and fallen to earth.  Labradorite is now found in colours ranging from blues, greens and gold to purples and pinks. The beautiful shimmer and iridescence is due to interference of light playing through lattice distortions of the stones structure. A very unusual occurrence and we now use the term ‘Labradorescence’ when we see the effect in other materials.

Breaking down the barriers to enlightenment, Labradorite is the bringer of light, helping us connect with our higher self. It promotes courage and perseverance while deflecting negative energy, allowing us forge new paths to a healthier mindset. Ridding us of fears and insecurities, Labradorite calms the mind and gives us the strength to pursue our own happiness.



First discovered near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa by the Dutch commander, Colonel Hendrik Von Prehn, this lustrous green gemstone was initially nicknamed ‘Cape Emerald’ by early traders, who hoped to exploit its green colour.  Later given the name Prehnite, this mineral can develop a radiating crystal structure and forms complete individual spheres given the right conditions. It can also display a stunning cats-eye effect when cut into cabochons.

Helping us to sense danger, Prehnite enhances ones own intuition that can become sullied by life’s turmoil, giving us a clear path to find our centre of balance. A stone of new growth, it harnesses a powerful energy that helps heal old wounds and give us courage to put the past behind us and forge new paths.

Rainbow Moonstone


A white form of Labradorite, this beautiful stone is not an orthoclase, in the case of true Moonstone, but it is in the same gem family. It shows the iridescent schiller effect of its sister stone, Labradorite, with wonderful ‘rainbows’ of colour flashing through it. True Moonstone, by contrast, has an even, milky appearance.

The bringer of inner peace. Filled with feminine strength and courage, Rainbow Moonstone gently leads us to connect with our own fearless nature while maintaining infinite compassion. It promotes restful, healthy sleep patterns and enhances lucid dreams and self-exploration.



Rubies come from the same mineral group, corundum, as Sapphires, a red Sapphire is called Ruby and for years there have been disputes over where we draw the distinction between Pink Sapphires and Rubies. Steeped in history and folklore, rubies were traded along the famous Silk Road as early as 200 BC. True beauty always comes with imperfections and Rubies are no different. Some types of inclusions in Rubies are shards of Rutile which cause a beautiful shimmer called ‘silk’. Considered one of the four precious stones, along with Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond. The imperfections in Rubies actually help us to distinguish them from synthetics and fakes. The Mogok Valley in Burma is considered to be the finest source of Rubies.

Filled with love, Rubies promote great strength and help us to achieve our full potential. They purify our mind, body and soul, allowing us to follow our true path to internal growth and connection with the higher realms. By deflecting negativity, they give us the space to prosper and follow our dreams.



Turquoise probably has the most extensive past of any gemstone and evidence of its use in jewellery stretch back thousands of years. Ancient cultures around the world used it ceremonially and as protective amulets, from the burial mask of Tutankhamun to the inlaid marble of the Taj Mahal, Turquoise has a rich history, steeped in myth and captivating folklore.

A beautiful blue-green mineral arrived in France from Persia (by way of Turkey) in the 17th century, finding its name from the French word for ‘Turkish’.  Imitations of this opaque gem abound, usually created using cheaper minerals (such as pale Howlite) which are dyed to create the rich colour which more valuable Turquoise boasts.  Huge nuggets of Tibetan Turquoise have been strung around the necks of yaks for centuries to protect them on the treacherous mountain trails of the Himalaya.

A stone used by shamans to bring truth and insight, Turquoise is highly protective and excellent for unblocking energy paths leading to greater clarity and understanding. Personal growth in the darkest of times is possible with the power of Turquoise.

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