Metaphysical Properties

Design Idea A66W Necklace

by Barbara van Look, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

When jewelry makers encounter information about gemstones, they frequently discover where a stone is mined, what it's made of and the phrase "metaphysical properties." What is that information and how can a jewelry maker use it in designs?

What are "Metaphysical Properties"?

"Metaphysical properties" is a phrase frequently used to describe the belief that gemstones carry the power to create direct spiritual, supernatural and physical changes in people and their environments. Belief in the ability of gemstone materials to bring peace, health, protection and spiritual favor goes back beyond recorded history. This collected information, sometimes called "lore," comes from folk medicine, mythology, religious belief and other sources.

Both gemstone type and gemstone color can determine metaphysical properties. Red gemstones such as red spinel, garnet and ruby are frequently grouped into stones affiliated with romantic love. Black stones--such as jet, obsidian and black onyx--are used to indicate formal mourning in Western societies. Different colors of the same gemstone can often have different metaphysical abilities attributed to them: pink diamonds are said to increase creativity and yellow diamonds to promote thoughtfulness.

Metaphysical Properties in the West and the East

Peridot, Lapis and Citrine Gemstones
Peridot, lapis and citrine gemstones
In Western societies, the most commonly seen use of metaphysical properties are birthstones.

The 12 traditional birthstones became attached to individual zodiac signs due to their commonly believed metaphysical properties. Each stone was thought to strengthen a desirable characteristic within a particular zodiac sign. For example, peridot is the gemstone of August and the Western zodiac sign Leo. Leos have historically been considered strong-minded leaders and peridot is reputed to enhance confidence, patience and clarity of thought--ideal traits in a leader!

Meanwhile, in Eastern societies, gemstones were assigned to different chakras or chi points of the body. These were considered to be focal points for physical or spiritual energy. In these traditions, different gemstones were used to strengthen weaknesses within a person's body, mind and spirit to create a balanced being. If someone had fallen into lassitude, then citrine would be placed on their naval to open the flow of energy there and make them more active!

Diamond Anniversaries and Other Historical Uses

These days, gemstones are frequently used to honor people and commemorate occasions, with their metaphysical properties guiding their use.

Modern engagement rings popularly include diamonds, signifying eternal love. For the same reasons, the diamond is the symbol for the 60th wedding anniversary. But the diamond wasn't always the dominant symbol of love it is now. In Victorian times, engagement rings and other women's jewelry featured red garnet instead, because garnet was considered a stone promoting love and fidelity.

Most gemstones have long histories of metaphysical use. Some of the lore is still in use today, adapted to modern times. In ancient Greece and Rome, the grape-colored amethyst was believed to be able to promote sobriety and ward off intoxication. Colorless diamonds have a long history of use in Hindu and Buddhist yoga traditions to enhance the connection between the mind and the body. Modernly, amazonite is believed to absorb electromagnetism from computers and cell phones, while Vesuvianite is said to promote patriotism.
Jet, Amethyst and Amazonite Gemstones
Jet, amethyst and amazonite gemstones

Healing with Gemstones

There are a number of practitioners who draw on the metaphysical properties of natural gemstones and use them for healing physical, emotional and spiritual problems. These healers include both modern techniques such as Reiki and traditional culture methods, tending to use gemstones in similar ways. Stones are held to or placed over the afflicted area or on the appropriate chakra.

Then the practitioner summons healing energy to the area, which they believe is focused and purified by passing through the natural stone. Crystal users frequently state that the crystals must be natural materials which have not had any enhancements (such as heating or dyeing) to work. In addition, some massage therapists incorporate gemstone or crystal forms into their massage treatments, tapping into nerve centers or chi lines.

Metaphysical Jewelry

Diamond Chips and Rose Quartz Gemstones
Diamond chips and rose quartz gemstones
The modern jewelry maker can use this information to create designs with an additional layer of meaning. Diamond chips and garnet beads would be ideal for bridal jewelry, drawing on the lore of the West. Or use the philosophies of the East, and create a short necklace which places lapis lazuli at the base of the throat to promote truthful communication in business jewelry.

Tap into the metaphysical properties of gemstones by looking up each material in the Gem Notes section of the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website.

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**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.