Gemstones have always fascinated mankind. In former centuries they were reserved for the ruling classes only. Today everybody can afford beautiful stones for jewelry and adornment. Precious stones for sale, especially if one includes those so called costume or fashion jewelry, are so numerous that is hardly possible for the layman to survey or judge what is available.
Gems have intrigued humans for at least 10,000 years. The first known, used for making jewelry, include Amethyst, Rock Crystal, Amber, Garnet, Jade, Jasper, Coral, Lapis Lazuli, Pearl, Serpentine, Emerald, and Turquoise. These stones reserved for the wealthy and served as status symbols. Rulers scaled documents with their jewel-encrusted seals. Such treasures can now be admired in many museums and treasure-vaults.
Today,gems are worn not so much to demonstrate wealth, but rather jewelry is bought increasingly for pleasure, in appreciation of it's beauty. Certainly, also today, when purchasing a gemstone, a certain love for a specific stone is part of it.
Formerly when people were less scientifically knowledgeable, gems always had an aura of mystery , something almost spiritual. That's why they were worn as amulets and talismans. Up to the present day, Gemstones have sometimes been used as remedies against illnesses. They could be used in three different ways: the mere presence of the stone was sufficient to effect the cure; the gem was placed on the afflicted part of the body; or the stone was powdered and eaten.
Presently, medical science worldwide is experiencing a revival of the ideas of the Middle Ages in the use of precious stones through the doctrines of the Esoterics. Gems also have an assured place on modern religion. The breastplate of the high priests of Judea was studded with four rows of Gemstones. Precious stones adorn the tiara and miter of the Pope and bishops as well as
the monasteries, reliquaries, and icons found in Christian churches. All major religions use Precious stones, be it as decoration of tools or adorning buildings.
A truly modern problem is the imitation of gemstones that have become more and more sophisticated. Althought replicas of precious matter have always existed, it is only in our modern times that imitating has turned into a booming economic sector with an often disreputable background.