Ancient civilizations around the world used crystals both as ornaments and functionally for medicine, rituals, healing, meditation, protection, offerings, and currency.
Egyptians also used crystals cosmetically. Galena (lead ore) was ground to a powder and used as the eye shadow known as kohl. Malachite was used in a similar manner. Green stones in general were used to signify the heart of the deceased and were included in burials. Green stones were used in a similar way at a later period in Ancient Mexico.
The Ancient Greeks attributed a number of properties to crystals and many names we use today are of Greek origin. The word 'crystal' comes from the Greek word for ice, as it was believed that clear quartz was water that had frozen so deeply that it would always remain solid. The word amethyst means 'not drunken' and was worn as an amulet to prevent both drunkenness and hangovers. 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, perportedly to make themselves invulnerable. Greek sailors also wore a variety of amulets to keep them safe at sea.
Jade was highly valued in ancient China and some Chinese written characters represent jade beads. Musical instruments in the form of chimes were made from jade and around 1000 years ago Chinese emperors were sometimes buried in jade armour. There are burials with jade masks from around the same period in Mexico. Jade was recognised as a kidney healing stone both in China and South America. More recently - dating from around 250 years ago - the Maoris of New Zealand wore jade pendants representing the ancestor spirits, which were passed down many generations through the male line. The tradition of green stones being lucky continues in parts of New Zealand to this day.
Green Jasper, Cowrie Shell & Copper Pendant on a Satin Cord
Green Jasper is an exceptional stone for healing disease within the emotional system, especially in areas of obsession by balancing out parts of one's life that have become all-important to the detriment of others.
Cowrie Shells was used as a form of currency in parts of Africa and has since been regarded as a symbol of prosperity and wealth also fertility and birth.
Copper is helpful for balance, communication, and synchronicity. Copper is a great conductor of energy and is useful for all types of spiritual purposes. Copper is a popular tool for healing and works with all of the Chakras to pull in energies from higher realms into the physical world.