Beyond the aesthetic appeal, many believe that gemstones carry properties that can positively influence their physical and emotional wellbeing. This belief in the meanings of natural stones has withstood the test of time, dating back several generations, across different cultures all over the world.
Part of the reason why people have been drawn to natural stones and believe that they carry special properties is their ethereal appearance – the way they refract light, and how they are both translucent yet murky.
The popularity of gemstones was also propagated by the writers and poets in the Middle Ages who spun metaphors that likened crystals to perfection, desire, love, and purity.
But just as no two stones are the same, natural stones have varying properties and can help affect different aspects of one’s life. Here’s a shortlist of the meanings of natural stones.
The Meanings of Natural Stones (and How They Might Help You)
The February birthstone is easily one of the most recognizable gemstones because of its striking color, ranging from a deep purple to a soft violet. Purple has long been associated with spirituality, so amethyst is believed to signify chastity, purity, and piety.
Its name is derived from the ancient Greek word “amethystos” which means “not drunk,” as the stone itself is linked to a myth involving Bacchus, the Roman god of wine; so the ancient Greeks believed it helped to protect from intoxication and its aftereffects.
It was also used by Ancient Egyptians in protective amulets and prayer.
Today, amethyst remains one of the most powerful gemstones. It’s known as a calming stone, with properties to help cope with stress and encourage peaceful sleep if kept under the pillow to stave off nightmares. Amethyst is also frequently used in gemstone therapy, and the crown is its primary chakra.
Another unmistakable natural stone, the tiger’s eye is a type of quartz known for its eye-catching mix of golden to reddish-brown hues. Like other gemstones of orange and yellow tones, it’s supposedly linked to creativity and healing.
Simon A. Eugster, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The tiger’s eye is considered a protective stone that encourages a peaceful mind and temperament. It may help manage emotions, keep the mind focused, and deepen meditation.
Tiger’s eye is also said to have healing properties that protect against negative energy and encourage centered personal energy. This stone is often used in home décor for its feng shui properties. Additionally, tiger’s eye is commonly worn as jewelry.
This type of chalcedony has a curious history. Called “el jaza” in Arabic, which means “sadness,” the black onyx used to be associated with suppressing properties. It has been around for centuries, with onyx artifacts dating back to the Minoan Crete and the 2nd Egyptian Dynasty.
During the Victorian era, the dark stone was fittingly worn for somber events. These days, black onyx is regarded as a balancing stone. Its suppressive qualities help in controlling intense emotions and managing energies that clash against each other.
The original uploader was Grandor at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Because it can help promote level-headed thinking, it’s connected to rational judgment and good fortune.
Black onyx is recommended for those who are embarking on a new chapter in their lives as it encourages commitment and strength. It’s associated with the root chakra, the body’s grounding energy source.
Also known as the Artists’ Stone, the carnelian is a chalcedony boasting vibrant brown to red shades. It helps promote energy and increased creativity, and wards off negativity. If you are about to undertake a major project or you’re going through a big change in your life, the carnelian can help boost confidence and reinforce motivation.
jaja_1985, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Like other natural stones of reddish tones, it’s associated with passion, strength, and love. The carnelian is linked to the second chakra, or navel, so it can help encourage digestion, ease cramps during menstruation, and improve metabolism.
With its attention-grabbing color and unique patterns, malachite is a popular gemstone that was frequently used by merchants and traders in ancient times. It was easily marketable back then because no two malachite stones were identical, and they can easily be carved into various shapes and designs. Its rich green shade is associated with wealth, so it was often worn by businessmen and traders when conducting transactions.
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Today, the meaning behind this natural stone is protection. It’s commonly carved into eye-like shapes and framed with silver to ward off the Evil Eye and other negative energies. Malachite is also considered the stone of travel as it can help conquer the fear of flying, manage jet lag, and encourage smooth travel.
It’s connected to the heart chakra, so it promotes expression, aids in understanding one’s feelings, and supports interpersonal relationships.
Taking its name from the Latin word “lapis,” which means stone, and the Persian word “lazhuward,” which means blue, this natural cerulean stone has a long history linked to royalty and intellectuals. It was one of the most coveted prizes in Ancient Egypt and was used to inlay King Tutankhamen’s golden sarcophagus, as well as the burial adornments of other Egyptian royals.
Philippe Giabbanelli, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
It was also linked to Egyptian gods, such as the ancient sun god Ra, who had lapis lazuli hair; so, it was frequently worn as a protective amulet.
This strong association to royalty makes the lapis lazuli a powerful stone that symbolizes honor, power, vision, and wisdom. It’s commonly used in gemstone therapy and is known to help stimulate the mind. It aids in learning, ideation, analysis, and problem-solving.
Also called the stone of truth, lapis lazuli promotes honesty and communication. It’s linked to the third eye chakra and can help increase self-awareness.
There’s a lot more behind the meanings of natural stones than some might think. They’re more than eye-catching trinkets. They come with rich histories and incredible powers.
Did you find something on this list that resonates with you? Himalaya Jewelry carries a variety of natural stone jewelry. Check us out on Instagram!