Diamonds symbolize true love. Of course. Everyone knows this. But diamonds are far from the only gem imbued with special meaning and significance.
While diamonds have earned a reputation for being a sign of the love of the giver for the receiver because of the extensive efforts by the De Beers group, many other gemstones have different reputations gained from different cultures and histories around the world. So if you’re looking for a more wallet-friendly option for a beautiful and meaningful custom engagement ring, then some of these stones may just do the trick. Read on to find out what some other precious stones symbolize!
The Meanings of Gemstones
Agate stones are known for their unique and beautiful interior stripes and marbling. These stones represent strength, courage, and safety.
Alexandrite is a unique stone in that it has color-changing abilities. Discovered in the 1830’s by Russian miners, the stone was observed to have changed color from its original emerald-green to vibrant reds and purples once light was shone on them. The stone is widely considered to be a good omen, and many consider it to signify the balance between the physical and the spiritual.
Amethysts are purple gemstones that are steeped in lore from many different cultures; the ancient Greeks believed it could relieve drunkenness due to associations with the wine god Dionysus. Leonardo Da Vinci believed the amethyst could enhance intelligence and be protection against evil, whereas Buddhists believe amethysts can enhance meditation and thus use them as gems for Tibetan prayer beads. In general, amethysts have been associated with peace, balance, and courage.
Ametrine is a naturally-occurring gemstone that is a mixture of amethysts and citrine. The stone features purple, yellow, and orange colors and is believed to possess the perfect balance of the qualities of both the amethyst and the citrine. It is believed to be a powerful healing stone with detoxifying qualities.
Aquamarine has a mythical foothold in the stories of sirens and mermaids. Some legends claim that these stones first washed up on shore from the treasure chests of sirens. Because of this association, aquamarines have been said to keep sailors safe at sea, purify water, and cure poisons. They are also believed to provide good health, mental clarity, and courage.
Citrine is known as a “healing quartz” and as it’s said to promote vitality and energy. According to Chinese feng shui, citrine creates wealth and abundance.
Diamonds may have gotten a facelift by De Beers, but they were acknowledged to be precious even before. The ancient Romans and Greeks believed diamonds to have been the tears cried by the gods, or to be splinters from falling stars. The Romans also believed that diamonds were what tipped the arrows of Cupid. Ancient Hindus used diamonds to adorn the eyes of their deities and believed that they could protect the wearer from danger. Many cultures also believed that diamonds imbued strength and courage.
Emeralds are known for awarding foresight and sharpening intuition. Emeralds are also seen as another symbol of love due to its associations with the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Some legends also claim that placing an emerald under your tongue can award you with the ability to see the future, and that emeralds can cure diseases and protect against evil spells.
Garnets have a long history; they have been used by pharaohs in ancient Egypt as necklaces, and in ancient Rome as rings to stamp official documents with. As a result, garnets are associated with nobility and the clergy. Garnets are also prominent in ancient Greece, as they believed that garnets sprung from the pomegranate that the goddess Persephone ate to survive in the Underworld. Garnets have also been said to provide spiritual protection, and red garnets are said to encourage passion and sensuality.
Lapis Lazuli is a blue gemstone that is said to provide wisdom and protect from psychic and mental attacks. It is also said to provide relief for ailments such as inflammation, depression, insomnia, and vertigo, and to bring peace, harmony, honesty, and self-awareness.
Morganite is a pink gemstone that is believed to bring healing energy, inner peace, confidence, and unconditional love. It is also said to soothe stress and anxiety.
Opals, similar to alexandrite, can also change colors. As such, it has been believed to possess supernatural powers. In ancient Rome, opals symbolized hope and love. In ancient Greece, it was believed the stone could award the gift of prophecy and protect the wearer from disease. Europeans considered opals a symbol of purity, hope, and truth.
Pearls are the oldest precious gem and were known in ancient China to protect against fire. In Europe, pearls were a symbol of purity and chastity.
Rubies were believed to provide safety and peace in India and Burma. The ancient Hindus thought offering rubies to the god Krishna would make them emperors in the future. Europeans believed these gems would guarantee health, wealth, success in love, and wisdom.