The following is a list by months of representative Guardian
Angels, and their talismanic gemstones.
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Onyx, a chalcedony quartz with a fine texture and black color. Some onyx also displays white bands or ribbons against a black background. If the layers are even, this type of onyx is often carved into cameos.
The story of onyx is that one day frisky Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. He left the clippings scattered on the sand and the fates turned them into stone so that no part of the heavenly body would ever perish. Although black isn't generally the color one associated with fingernails, it is told that in Greek times, most all colors of the chalcedony from white to dark brown and black were named as onyx. Later, the Romans narrowed the name to refer to black only.
Jasper: Landscape in Stone
Jasper is an ornamental rock composed mostly of chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, in association with other minerals, which give it colorful bands and patterns. Jasper was a favorite gem in the ancient world, and the name jasper can be traced back in Hebrew, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Latin.
Jasper is often named according to its pattern: landscape jaspers, the most popular, offer a small world-scape in stone. Ribbon jasper, picture jasper, and orbicular jasper describe other designs. Jasper is found in many countries. It is sometimes used to create bowls and other objects and to adorn buildings, such as the Saint Wenceslas Chapel in Prague.
Ruby: King of Precious Stones
Ruby has been the world's most valued gemstone for thousands of years. Ruby was said to be the most precious of the twelve stones God created when he created all things. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, or "king of precious stones" and ratnanayaka, "leader of precious stones."
In fact, rubies are today still more valuable and rare than even the top quality colorless diamonds. Sizes above five carats are particularly rare.
Ruby is the gem quality of the mineral corundum, one of the most durable minerals which exists. Corundum has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale and is also extremely tough. In its common form, it is even used as an abrasive.
Topaz: Gem of the Setting Sun
The Egyptians said that topaz was colored with the golden glow of the mighty sun god Ra. This made topaz a very powerful amulet that protected the faithful against harm.
Wearing topaz will help only if you wish to be clear-sighted: legend has it that it dispels all enchantment and helps to improve eyesight as well! The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink. Its mystical curative powers waxed and waned with the phases of the moon: it was said to cure insomnia, asthma, and hemorrhages.
Topaz is a very hard gemstone but it can actually be split with a single blow, a trait it shares with the diamond. As a result it should be protected from hard knocks.
Topaz is the birthstone for those born in the month of November.
Garnet: Gem for all Seasons
Garnet is a gemstone for all seasons, they are a closely related group of gemstones that are available in every color but blue. Dark reds, tangerine orange, vivid lime green, soft bluish-pink, garnet is all these colors and more.
There are garnets that change color in different light, translucent green garnets that look like jade, garnets with stars, garnets that have been mined for thousands of years and garnets that were just discovered in the last decade.
Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. In ancient Asia and the American Southwest, garnets were used as bullets because the glowing red color was said to increase the ferocity of a wound. Garnets in legend light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. The ancient world is full of praise for the carbuncle, the glowing red coal of a gemstone we now now as garnet.
Garnet is known as the birthstone for January, which means that January babies will have a lot of choices in life! Garnets are fairly hard and durable gemstones that are ideal for jewelry use, except for Demantoid, which is softer and requires more protection.
Emerald: Gem of Eternal Spring
Because the rich green color of emerald is the color of spring, the ancients prized it as the gemstone symbolizing love and rebirth. Treasured for at least 4,000 years by different cultures all around the world, emerald is said to quicken the intelligence as well as the heart. Legend gives its owner the gift of eloquence.
Cleopatra prized her emeralds more than any other gem. She may have dropped her pearls in her wine for Mark Anthony but she kept her emeralds for herself!
One legend tells us that Satan lost the emerald from his crown when he was cast from the heavens. The emerald was shaped into a bowl which lore tells us that the Queen of Sheba sent to Nicodemus. Christ is said to have used the bowl at the last supper and Joseph of Arimathea, it is told, used the bowl to catch blood from the cross; which is what founded the order of the Holy Grail.
Emerald is the modern birthstone for May, the month of springtime romance, and the anniversary gemstone for the twentieth year of marriage, a wonderful emblem of enduring love.
Sapphire: Gem of the Heavens
Sapphire, the celestial gemstone, has been treasured for thousands of years. The ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a giant sapphire and its reflection colored the sky.
Sapphire has long symbolized truth, sincerity, and faithfulness; and it is an excellent choice for an engagement ring. When Prince Charles chose a sapphire engagement ring for Princess Diana, couples all over the world were inspired to revive this venerable tradition.
Sapphire is also the birthstone for September, the month when the most babies are born. Ancient lists also name sapphire as a birthstone for April and the gemstone for the sign of Taurus. There is nothing more restful to the soul than a fine sapphire."
Diamond: Not Necessarily Colorless
Diamond is the modern birthstone for April, so we would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about fancy colored diamonds
Fancy colored diamonds aren't a mass-market product that are advertised everywhere and sold by the numbers. They have more personality. Fancy colored diamonds are almost as much fun as colored gemstones! Like colored gemstones, each one is different. They come in fabulously expensive pale pinks and blues, pale to bright yellows, oranges, greens, and all those brown colors that are now being called names like cognac and champagne. So, buy a diamond instead of a colored gemstone if you must, but at least consider a fancy colored diamond which will give your jewelry more character, more individuality, more color!
Zircon: Brilliant but Misunderstood
Hindu poets tell of the Kalpa Tree, the ultimate gift to the gods, which was a glowing tree covered with gemstone fruit with leaves of zircon.
In the middle ages, zircon was said to aid sleep, bring prosperity, and promote honor and wisdom in its owner. Natural zircon today suffers for the similarity of its name to cubic zirconia, the laboratory-grown diamond imitation. Some don't realize that there is a beautiful natural gemstone called zircon.
The most popular color today is the blue zircon. Most blue zircon, which is considered a birthstone for December, is a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue color. Zircon is also available in green, dark red, yellow, brown, and orange.
Zircon is one of the heaviest gemstones, which means that it will look smaller than other varieties of the same weight. Zircon jewelry should be stored carefully because although zircon is relatively hard, it can abrade and facets can chip.
Agate: Stripe up the Bands
No gemstone is more creatively striped by nature than agate, chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a wide variety of colors and textures. Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in host rock. As a result, agate often is found as a round nodule, with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. The bands sometimes look like eyes, sometimes fanciful scallops, or even a landscape with dendrite trees.
Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect from fevers. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms.
Amethyst: a Royal Purple
Purple has long been considered a royal color so it is not surprising that amethyst has been so much in demand during history. Fine amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels and were also a favorite of Catherine the Great and Egyptian royalty. Amethyst, transparent purple quartz, is the most important quartz variety used in jewelry. Leonardo Da Vinci even wrote that amethyst was able to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence.
Because amethyst was thought to encourage celibacy and symbolize piety, amethyst was very important in the ornamentation of Catholic and other churches in the Middle Ages. It was, in particular, considered to be the stone of bishops and bishops still often wear amethyst rings.
The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from Greek myths. Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was angered one day by an insult from a mere mortal and swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wish. Along came unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a stature of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today.
Beryls: Emerald's Cousins
Everyone admires the green fire of emerald and the watery blue charm of aquamarine, but not many realize that they are different colors of the same mineral: beryl. There are other members of the beryl family much less known then their famous cousins. Pink and peach morganite, named after gem collector extraodinaire J.P. Morgan; heliodor, also known as golden beryl; rare red beryl, which is as red as emerald is green; pale green beryl, which is a green version of aquamarine; and colorless beryl, or goshenite, which shows off the brilliance of this gem family.
All the gemstones in the beryl family are brilliant and durable and perfect for jewelry use.
Sidhe Queen Scathach From the Isle
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Page Last Modified: October 2, 2011