Gemstones: historical healing or legends and luck?

Throughout the centuries, many cultures have believed certain gemstones have had healing powers or abilities that could be unlocked if they were worn. Today, while some of these traditional thoughts are still attached to these stones, many people are not aware of the legends surrounding some of the world's most prized gemstones. Here's Laurelle Antique Jewellery's quick guide to some of the most popular:


Rubies are culturally significant - they were mentioned in the Bible four times - and have been revered by many due to their bright red colour being similar to blood. Because of this, many cultures attributed rubies to holding the power of life.

In ancient Hindu culture, those who offered rubies as a gift to the God Krishna were granted rebirth as mighty emperors. In Burmese culture, warriors wore rubies in the belief they would become invincible when they were in battle. The warriors, however, not only wore these rubies; they would insert them under their skin to incorporate them as part of their body.

Later, wealthy medieval Europeans would wear rubies in the belief that this would guarantee them wealth, good health, wisdom and a successful love life.


Cleopatra was famously known to have a fanaticism for emeralds and used them in her personal jewellery collection. Many legends say those who placed an emerald under their tongue were gifted with the ability to see into the future, reveal hidden truths and become protected from evil spells.

Emerald was also once believed to help cure diseases such as cholera or malaria. Other legends believed that wearing an emerald would reveal if a lovers vows were true or false and also make them an excellent speaker.


Throughout the centuries, sapphires have been heavily associated with romance and royalty.

In ancient Rome and Greece, kings and queens were sure that blue sapphires protected them from envy or harm. Later throughout the Middle Ages, members of the priesthood would wear sapphires because they believed the gemstone symbolised heaven, and many ordinary people believed it brought blessings from God.

Other cultures throughout the ages have attributed sapphires with many powers; some believed they guarded a wearer's chastity, some believed they would help the wearer make peace with their enemies, many believed sapphire influenced the spirits and revealed secrets from the oracles.