The History Of Crystals

Talia Michaels

Posted on May 30 2018

The History Of Crystals

Whether you are growing your crystal collection or spiritual growth, sometimes it is always fascinating to know the history of something you love. This blog post will explain where crystals were first discovered and their purposes over the ages.

The oldest pieces of rock on Earth are Z
ircon crystals, they have formed in craters left by asteroid impacts early in the planets life. Zircon crystals are more than 4 billion years old. 

Amethyst is also dated one of the oldest crystals, it was first discovered from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil where large Geodes occur within volcanic rocks.

Baltic Amber were discovered from as long as 30,000 years ago while Amber Beads were discovered in Britain from 10,000 years ago around the end of the last ice age. The distance they travelled to reach Britain shows their value to the people of that time.

Jet and Jet Beads were also extremely popular. Bracelets and necklaces have been discovered in Palaeolithic Gravesites in Switzerland and Belgium. There have been Malachite mines in Sinai since 4000 BC.

Minerals, Gems and Crystals have been used for millennia to enhance emotional, physical and spiritual balance. How the ancients knew we may never know for sure, but these cultures certainly considered stones a major aspect of their existence.

Ancient Sumerians
The first historical references to the use of crystals came from the Ancient Sumerians who included crystals in magic, rituals and light work. 

Ancient Egyptians
Used Blue Lapis, Carnelian, Emerald, Amethyst, Clear Quartz and Turquoise for their jewellery. Amethyst was used for protection for the gods in their tombs. The Egyptians buried their dead with Quartz upon the forehead. This was believed to help guide the departed safely into the afterlife. Many wore crystals over the heart to attract love and placed crystal-laden crowns upon their head to stimulate enlightenment and awaken the Third Eye. Galena Crystals were used for the eye make up known today as 'Kohl'. 

Ancient Greece
The world 'Crystal' originates from the greek language meaning 'ice'. The Greeks found beautiful quartz crystals in the Alps mountains and believed that they were a form of water frozen so hard that they would never thaw. The greeks used crystals for many reasons. Hematite comes from the word for blood, because of the red colouration produced when it oxidises. Hematite is an iron ore and the ancient Greeks associated iron with Aries, the god of war. Greek soldiers would rub hematite over their bodies before battle, to make themselves invulnerable. Greek sailors also wore a variety of amulets to keep them safe at sea. Ancient greeks used a lot of gemstones for their jewellery also.

“The tears of the Buddha were said to be rubies” (Rankine 316). It is also said about the Ruby crystal that, “Rubies were used by the Chinese to pay homage to Buddha” (Ferguson79). In addition, David Rankine wrote that the “Tibetans believed Rubies could help heal problems connected with sperm production” (316).

Another precious gem referenced in Buddhism is the Sapphire. Rankine wrote “In Buddhism Sapphire is known as the ‘stone of stones’ and is said to promote devotion, tranquility, happiness, serenity and spiritual enlightenment” (323).

The use of gems in Buddhism was not limited to precious stones however, semi-precious gems were also used. The most prominently used of these stones is Turquoise. A Buddhist belief involving this stone is that “Buddha once destroyed a monster with the aid of a magic turquoise” (Rankine 347). Jade is another stone commonly used by Buddhists. “Jade was considered to be a stone demonstrating the five cardinal virtues of chastity, courage, justice, modesty and wisdom. It was considered sacred to the Goddess Kwan Yin and to Buddha” (Rankine 243).

Many cultures and religions date back centuries for crystal healing, uses and protection properties. The Original Holy Bible mentions healing crystals such as Onyx, Agate and Amethyst. Crystals have been a growing interest in todays society for their fascinating uses and natural beauty, Gaia is more beautiful than a lot of us are aware of.

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