Jewelry and Gemstone Legends and Lore

By: Kingfisher
Gemstones have mesmerized and enticed people for centuries. Legends have developed throughout the world and followed these gemstones until today. These legends and stories have only served to intensify the interest with which these gemstones have been followed. Think about the image that is brought to mind when the Hope Diamond is mentioned. Many more stones have stories and legends to equal that of the Hope.

Diamond Legends

Perhaps the Hope Diamond is the most legendary gemstone of all. It has the reputation of bringing disaster to its owner. It shows red under a uvlight and is a fancy gray blue under natural light. The stone is said to be recut from a larger stone to its current shape. The Smithsonian Institute owns it. The Hope Diamond is not the Heart of the Ocean mentioned in the movie Titanic as some have said. The Hope Diamond was not on the Titanic.

Many of us have of the Taylor-Burton Diamond at 69 carats was Richard Burton’s 40th birthday gift to Elizabeth Taylor. She sold the stone in 1978 to pay for a hospital in Botswana. She still wears another gift, the Krupp Diamond, which is 33.19 carats.

Pearl Legends

Probably the most famous story about pearls was about Cleopatra. She is said to have bet Mark Anthony that she could host the most expensive party. To do so, she dissolved a large pearl earring in vinegar and drank it.

Early Romans thought that pearls were created as a drop of rain penetrated between the layers of the oysters. The Persians had a legend that the pearl was created at the point of meeting between the rainbow and the earth.

Opal Legends

The Aborigines (native people of Australia) believe that ancestors to mark their presence left behind the opal. Some groups feel that Opals brought them fire. One local legend suggests that Muda, in the form of a pelican created Cooper's creek. He died where the opals are found and the fish in his pouch turned into opals.

Emerald Legends

Emeralds were considered to be healing in the distant past. Legend has it that in the 3rd century, emeralds were used to rest the eyes and to make snakes go blind. In Arabia, it was thought that emeralds would melt the dissolve a snake’s eyes. Other uses of emeralds were to cure dysentery, stomach troubles and even diabetes.

It was thought that the Holy Grail was carved from an emerald that fell from Satan’s crown. The Incas and Aztecs thought the emerald was a holy stone. It has even been suggested that emeralds would provide royal ancestry to commoners.

Emeralds are a form of corundum and legends abound about their powers and history, but Rubies are also corundum, and few if any legends follow Rubies.

Sapphire Legends

Early people thought that the earth was set into a sapphire. Early Persians believed that the earth rested on a Sapphire and the sky is blue because it is reflected from the Sapphire. One old legend even suggests that a snake put in a vessel with a Sapphire would die. It was believed that the Ten Commandments were written on Sapphire tablets.


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