Gems are from worn not as mere ornaments aet in jewellery, but because of very powerful and special properties they are believed to possess. From pre historic times, with doctors and medicine men were convinced that certain gemstones had magical powers to cure disease and heal wounds. They may be some psychological truth in this belief, as the very faith in the curative properties of gemstones has cured people of debilitating illnesses. Ancient physicians used ailments over the ages. Perhaps the chemical naature of the gem was responsible for the cure, but the knowledge that the treatment was expensive might also have played a significant role in the treatment. Some believed in the psychological effects alone and treated illness by placing the chosen stone on the patient or by getting him to wear the stone in jewellery. Even today, patients generallly resort to this form therapy after other treatments fail.
The ancient Hindus believed that swallowing the powder of the highest quality diamonds would impart energy, strength,beauty, happiness, and long life. The powder of a diamond was considered poisonous and caused various ailments and diseases such as lameness, jaundice, pleurisy and leprosy. The powder of different coloured diamonds was said to have different flavours, from sweet to sour salty.
According to physicians in Europe in the fifteenth century, a diamond would heal disease if the patient warmed it with his body in his sick bed, or even breathed on it while fasting. Held in the mouth, it would stop people from telling lies. In Europe till about the eighteenth century, medicinal properties were ascribed to hems. It is true that some gemstones do alleviate disorders; for example, pearls do cure digestive disorders because they are composed mainly of chalk, but the ancient octors did not know this, though they found that the treatment did work. Five thousand years ago, Egeptian doctors placed hematite on wounds as it was the colour of blood but it is now known that it does coagulate the blood and so stops bleeding.