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Gemini: Aquamarine And Hematite

[Legends Of Gems]  [Diamonds And Zirconia]  [Color In Gems]  [Birthstones] 
[Aquarius Gems]  [Pisces Gems]  [Aries Gems]  [Taurus Gems]  [Gemini Gems]  [Cancer Gems]  [Leo Gems]  [Virgo Gems]  [Libra Gems]  [Scorpio Gems]  [Saggitarius Gems]  [Capricorn Gems] 

( Orginally published November 1937 )

The aquamarine takes its name, as described by Pliny, from the green of the sea, but it varies from the cool sea green to an intense deep green, almost that of the emerald. From ancient times it has been held in almost the same reverence as the emerald and has frequently been considered the stone of purity for an engagement ring. Also it has often been chosen as a stone suitable for an anniversary gift from a man to his wife, assuring happiness and constancy in love and marriage, preventing quarrels between husband and wife, and protecting them against scandal and slander.

In ancient times it was sacred to Neptune and was worn by sailors and travelers on the sea. Engraved with the head of the sea god and his trident, the stone had special power to protect its wearer from the perils on the sea, not only from wind and wave, but from sea monsters and submerged rocks. Travelers by land also believed that the aquamarine preserved them from dangers in strange lands, and assisted them in finding the hidden objects of their search. It also had power to preserve the wearer against poison administered by the envious or by enemies.

The aquamarine was a favored stone for students and those whose professions required deep study. It was believed to stimulate the intuition as well as the intellect and to make the wearer quick witted. Students of the occult considered that an amulet of aquamarine stimulated their insight and imagination to discover concealed meanings in the writings of the ancients, even to discover long-lost scrolls and manuscripts.

Medicinally aquamarine was endowed with the power to cure ailments involving the jaws and the throat, as well as the stomach and liver. Necklaces of aquamarine beads were believed to cure the toothache as well as to preserve the teeth.

If the aquamarine is worn as a birthstone, it has the power of banishing fears and of controlling the emotions in times of stress and anxiety.

The hematite, which is so infrequently worn today as a gem stone, was in times past as highly favored as jasper for carved amulets and intaglio seals. It is likely that certain occult influences attached to the color of jasper, as all green stones were noted for their protective powers. The hematite, however, could not have been chosen for that reason, as it has a black or blue-steel color. It was called the iron stone by the Greeks, who favored the glossy black specimens. That it enjoyed a wide popularity among the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians is evident from the number of relics of carved hematite found in their graves.

Though the stone exhibits a dull color, a scratch will reveal red streaks of iron oxide. Indeed, its name is derived from the Greek word haima, meaning blood. The red powder used by the Japanese in polishing the rock crystal balls which they prize is a crushed hematite.

Medicinally this stone was valued by the ancients for its power to stop the bleeding of wounds, a quality also ascribed to carnelian and jasper and now explained because of the presence of the iron oxide. Hematite was long believed to relieve pain or ailments of the eye, an attribute not to be explained today. Perhaps it was the talismanic power of the hematite which the warriors of old relied upon when they rubbed their bodies with the stone before advancing to combat.

Soothsayers in ancient days advocated an amulet of hematite to petitioners of kings or lords in the belief that success would thus be assured. Also a favorable outcome of lawsuits and disagreements between relatives was indicated if the hematite was worn. Legend does not say what happened if both sides to the suit relied upon the talismanic power of the stone to secure success.

Hematite was a favored stone of the American Indians in widely separated parts of the country, as is shown by the many amulets which have been turned up by the plow in open fields as well as found in exploring tombs. It is believed that the Indians shaped it with flint tools, either drilling holes or cutting notches so that the stone might be worn as a charm against the skin. Amulets of hematite have been found with an inlay of turquoise.

In England, there has lately been a revival of interest in hPUnatite for seal rings or watch charms, the carving being either cameo or intaglio. The Duke of Windsor is said to prize very highly a hematite ring of lustrous black which was recently given to him.

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