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history of gemstones -4

All over the world gems adorned kings and the rich and powerful. The Egyptian Pharaohs held vast treasures of lapis lazuli and turquoise, while the jades of ancient China, turquoise of the Native Americans, and rubies, emeralds and sapphires of India ans south-east Asia have been described in various accounts.

Ornaments strudded with rare and valuable gems were worn for important ceramonies such as coronations, weddings, and funerals. Great events like victories in battle were not only linked to these gems, but were believed to be regulated by the power of these same gemstones. The Greek and Romans valued the diamonds greatly because of its mystic powers of endowing the wearer with purity, love, joy, courage and streght in battle. It was a talisman against poison, insanity and all evil spirits. Scholars and priests of the church supported the view that gems caused singular and unexplained miracles. THis view was prevalent even durung the Renaissance period. In 1664 AD, Anselm Boece de Boot, physician to the emperor Maximilian II reported that "from their purity, brilliancy and beauty it is most probable that gems were selected as receptavles for good spirits even as filthy, stinking ans frightful places are usually the abodes of unclean spirits". Gradually the belief that gems were pure and the Romans codified and thought tot he Germans in the north. The current cult of birthstones is a consequence of the development.

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