Gemstone History and Properties
The humble Quartz, the crystalline form of oxidized silicon, is in fact the most abundant mineral on earth and includes many of the most popular gemstones in use today. It is relatively sturdy at 7 on the Mohs scale, yet is still softer than many other gemstones. Quartz gemstones normally occur in two growth forms. The first is a single, cohesive and usually transparent crystal like in the case of Amethyst and Citrine. The second is a mesh of tiny crystals known as a cryptocrystalline structure, like in the case of case of Agate or Jasper.
Aside from their structure, Quartz gemstones are also divided by the plethora of colors they exhibit. A colorless quartz is sometimes called Rock Crystal while a yellow one would usually be called a Citrine. In in the case of Gem Therapy, these different colors also dictate which planet the stone belongs to with colorless being associated with Venus, green with Mercury, red with Mars, yellow with Jupiter and purple with Saturn.
The Yellow Quartz is commonly known as Citrine but is sometimes referred to as Lemon Quartz or Topaz even though modern Topaz is an entirely different stone. Natural Citrine is a rare stone and most gems being sold as citrines are in fact heat treated Smokey Quartz or Amethyst. This is also one of the reasons why Citrine is often replaced with other secondary gemstones like Yellow Topaz or Tourmaline. Some consider the biblical Leshem to be a Citrine, but unfortunately there isn’t enough information to draw a conclusion. In most cultures the Yellow Quartz was associated with riches and plenty, and was frequently used as a talisman by noblemen and merchants.
Legendary properties and historical uses
While available since antiquity in the west, Citrines were often confused with other yellow gems such as Chrysolites and Heliodors, all of which were grouped under the name Topaz. This name is used even today to describe yellow gems, even though in modern times Topaz is the official name of a somewhat rare gemstone which was discovered in Brazil during the 18th century and wasn’t available before then.
Unlike gems which possess a more unique appearance, the powers attributed to Citrines were the common properties ascribed to all yellow gems. The main attribute which made these stones popular was the similarity of their color to that of gold, symbolically associating them with wealth and plenty. Their color was also similar to ripe wheat, further strengthening the association. This is why such stones became extremely popular among merchants and the upper classes.
Among the medicinal properties ascribed to yellow gemstones were the ability to impart happiness and vitality, thus curing heartaches and depression. They were also said to improve the appetite and strengthen the digestive system. The latter was especially important as a person’s weight often reflected their status.
Another important ability attributed to these stones was the power to cure insomnia, making them popular among travelers and nomads who had to constantly adjust to new sleeping conditions. Later on they were also believed to have the power to protect against highwaymen and storms, further increasing their popularity. These properties were also sought after by merchants traveling abroad on trading missions, which further cemented these stones as the talismans of wealth and prosperity.
The stone according to Hindu belief
In Hindu belief certain gemstones are connected to certain planetary deities, and these gemstones are able to transmit the energies associated with these deities to a person wearing them, allowing him to enjoy the benefits of those energies in the process.
According to Hindu belief, the Yellow Quartz is a representation of the energy of Jupiter, the god Brihaspati, on earth. The god Brihaspati, who physically manifests as the planet Jupiter, is considered to be the teacher of the gods in the Hindu pantheon and the god of religion, knowledge and righteousness.
The high status of this deity in the Hindu pantheon confers great meaning to the astrological effects of Jupiter on a person. According to vedic astrology, he is the indicator for growth and expansion, spirituality and children.
According to vedic astrology, a Yellow Quartz is suitable for a person if Jupiter is well positioned in his natal chart, and is especially recommend if its placement is weak as that is an indicator for education problems and ill luck. If however Jupiter’s position is harmful, the use of yellow Quartz is considered dangerous, but less so than other gemstones.
Among the properties ascribed to a yellow Quartz when it suits a person, are the ability to improve his mood and psychological condition, his memory and his learning and teaching ability. In addition, it is said that the yellow Quartz helps to improve sleep, alleviate aggression problems, balance the body weight, improve the marital relationship and increase fertility. It is also said to assist a woman in finding a husband, and to improve a man’s finances.
If however, the yellow Quartz proves unsuitable it is said to usually not cause much harm, yet in extreme cases might induce obesity, cholesterol problems, diabetes and even cancer.
According to Hindu belief, if one wishes to gain the blessing of the Jupiter, he should wear an eye clean Yellow Quartz that is set in jewelry made of yellow gold. The jewelry has to be made in such a way that the stone will be in contact with the skin, hence earrings are unsuitable. If the stone is set in a ring, the ring must be worn on the index finger of the right hand for right handed people or the left for left handed people and women.
Before wearing such a talisman for the first time, it must be washed in fresh milk and afterwards washed again in Ganges water (or any other holy water). The talisman must be worn for the first time on a Thursday falling close to the full moon, in the first hour after sunrise.