In a time when the world has seemed unstable and increasingly unpredictable, it is little wonder that many of us have sought out a higher talismanic power to offer guidance and reassurance. Interest in crystal healing, and harnessing the protective powers of gemstones, is at an all-time high, dovetailing with wider trends such as meditation and mindfulness that allow us to seek solace in spirituality.
The trend for carrying crystals for good luck has radiated through the celebrity world. Kim Kardashian surrounds herself with carefully chosen crystals to promote “calmness, healing and good energy”, while Kate Hudson has been known to try to boost the anti-aging powers of her favourite La Mer moisturiser by storing it on top of amethyst crystals. And we all remember Gwyneth Paltrow’s claim that jade and rose quartz eggs should be popped somewhere most private to banish negative energy and spice up your love life.
While healing crystals and gems are trending on Instagram, the practice is an ancient one. For millennia, humans have worshiped stones from the earth as guardians against evil, promoters of health and prosperity – even forbearers of love.
In her most recent book, The New Stone Age, Vogue jewellery editor Carol Woolton writes about the rediscovery of gems and crystals as talismans in reaction to the challenges of modern life: “In spite of living in an exciting era of innovation, with limitless technology and information at our fingertips, the changing social, economic and political climates feel like a gathering storm propelling us to use these stones – as our ancient ancestors did – as a purposeful shield for daily life.”
Solange 18ct white gold and amethyst Hotlips ring, £4,800, available at Solange
Do gemstones really have healing properties?
Ask Eva Meijer, founder of Eva Gems & Jewels, if she believes in the healing powers of gemstones and you should prepare yourself for a complicated answer. She describes herself as a “typically Dutch” former sceptic; yet after years of watching clients be intuitively drawn to particular gemstones, mixed in with her own research into metaphysics and gemmology, she has been swayed.
“Humans are intuitive creatures, and my research into metaphysics taught me how keenly our bodies can tune in to gems through vibrations,” says Eva. “This school of thought says that crystals and precious minerals vibrate at a higher frequency and that these vibrations gravitate towards the weaker cells in our body. Therefore, gems can lend us extra energy where we most need it. This was a light-bulb moment for me. Suddenly the healing benefits of gems, such as helping to balance and harmonise us, didn’t seem as farfetched to me anymore.”
If we look back through the history books, ancient civilisations assigned protective or productive powers to coloured gemstones. Aquamarine takes its name from the Latin for seawater, marinis, and is said to keep sailors safe at sea as well as calm the waves of marriage. The Ancient Greeks decreed that opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from illness. Peridot was prized by the Ancient Egyptians as a method of warding off evil spirits.
Eva Gems & Jewels 18ct gold, blue and green aquamarine, and pink sapphire Unbearable Lightness earrings, £4,878, available at Eva Gems & Jewels
The transformative power of colour
Eva points out that gemstones have another healing property that is simpler to comprehend than vibrations per second, and more tangible than centuries-old folklore. It is simply that colour makes us happy. It makes us feel.
“Colour, to me, has always been very seductive,” she says. “It’s powerful and it influences you; there’s a primal energy about it that draws you in. Irrespective of whether you believe in the healing properties of gems, there’s no denying they boost your mood. My mission now is to help passionate women find and unleash the power of their own colour.”
Not only is the hunt for your ideal coloured gemstone a serotonin-boosting experience, it can be an entirely transformative, and therefore healing, process, says Eva. “The quest for a stone leads you on a path of self-discovery – on a bold adventure to find your true self,” says the gem expert, who found her own happy place in Bangkok’s twinkling gem district. It was there she found the courage to shed a corporate career to follow her passion and study the coloured stones that so captivated her. “You can also see it as a way of delving deep into yourself, liberating yourself from societal norms and standards, letting go of what others may think and instead finding what makes your soul sing.”
Dubini 18ct gold, milky quartz, rose quartz, lemon quartz and rutilated quartz cabochon Empress cuff, £5,860, enquire at Dubini
Whether you choose to invest in the idea of a gemstone’s spiritual healing properties or simply find yourself lifted by just the right shock of colour, a well-chosen gemstone can indeed be a tonic for the soul.
A version of this article was originally published at Eva Gems & Jewels. Watch Eva Meijer and The Jewellery Cut co-founder Rachael Taylor in conversation on the topic of healing gemstones here