precious stones


precious stones
   Lapidaries, i.e. treatises on the 'virtues' of precious and semi-precious stones, circulated throughout medieval and Renaissance Europe. Some writers dealt only with their supposed curative properties; others said they had a moral influence too, for example that amethyst prevents drunkenness, and sapphire cures anger and stupidity; the majority also listed magical powers, for example detecting poison, driving demons away, ensuring the favour of princes, etc. The power of the jewel could be enhanced by engraving it with planetary or zodiacal symbols, or with religious formulas such as Hebrew titles for God, names of angels, acronyms representing Scriptural phrases, etc. Many surviving medieval and Elizabethan rings and pendants prove that these principles were put into practice by those who could afford to do so. Those who could not, nevertheless knew about them at second hand, through popular manuals of magic such as The Secrets of Albertus Magnus, of the Vertues of Herbes, Stones, and certaine Beasts (1637). Unrelated but analogous beliefs have arisen in the 20th century, first as regards the luck of birthstones, and more recently as regards the healing properties and spiritual symbolism of crystals.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Precious stones — Precious Pre cious, a. [OF. precious, precius, precios, F. pr[ e]cieux, L. pretiosus, fr. pretium price, worth, value. See {Price}.] 1. Of great price; costly; as, a precious stone. The precious bane. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Of great value or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • precious stones — valuable stones, good jewels, costly jewels …   English contemporary dictionary

  • precious stones — Jewels, gems …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • Precious Stones in the Bible —     Precious Stones in the Bible     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Precious Stones in the Bible     Precious stones are stones remarkable for their colour, brilliancy, or rarity. Such stones have at all times been held in high esteem everywhere,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • PRECIOUS STONES AND JEWELRY — In the Bible Precious stones are mentioned in various contexts in the Bible, the most comprehensive list appearing in the description of the breastpiece worn by the high priest. The breastpiece was set with 12 precious stones arranged in four… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones — Infobox short story name = Time Considered as a Helix of Semi Precious Stones title orig = translator = author = Samuel R. Delany country = language = series = genre = Science Fiction published in = publication type = publisher = media type = pub …   Wikipedia

  • Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones - The BBC Sessions 1979-1984 — Infobox Album Name = Time Considered As A Helix Of Semi Precious Stones – The BBC Sessions 1979 1984 Type = studio Longtype = Artist = Comsat Angels Released = 1992, reissued in 2006. Recorded = 1979 1984 Genre = Post punk Length = 1:14:25 Label …   Wikipedia

  • Precious — Pre cious, a. [OF. precious, precius, precios, F. pr[ e]cieux, L. pretiosus, fr. pretium price, worth, value. See {Price}.] 1. Of great price; costly; as, a precious stone. The precious bane. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Of great value or worth;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Precious metals — Precious Pre cious, a. [OF. precious, precius, precios, F. pr[ e]cieux, L. pretiosus, fr. pretium price, worth, value. See {Price}.] 1. Of great price; costly; as, a precious stone. The precious bane. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Of great value or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • precious stone — precious stones N COUNT A precious stone is a valuable stone, such as a diamond or a ruby, that is used for making jewellery. Syn: gem, jewel …   English dictionary