The early verdure of spring might be regarded as at once a symbol of hope and of eventual disappointment, for it must soon pass away. Mercury, and Wednesday, the day of Mercury, were both typified by green, the sly fox being selected as the animal is sympathy with the wily god.
The typical green stone is the emerald, youth is the age of man represented by the color, and five the magic number expressing it. In ancient times green was used in the case of those who died in the flower of youth, an emerald being sometimes placed on the index-finger of the corpse, as a sign that the light of hope was spent, for the lower part of the torches used in religious ceremonies was marked with green.
Fulvius Pellegrinus relates that, in the tomb of Tullia, the dearly-beloved daughter of Cicero, there was found an emerald, the most beautiful that had ever been seen. In Italy the graves of young virgins and of children were covered with green branches. When the Codex Justinianus was rediscovered and added to the other Pandects, it was bound in green to signify that these laws were rejuvenated.
Black for men means gravity, good sense, constancy, and fortitude; for young women, fickleness and foolishness, but for married women, constant love and perseverance. The planet Saturn and Saturday are denoted by black. Strange to say, the diamond, the white gem par excellence , was selected to represent this sombre hue. Perhaps to offset this the animal chosen was the hog. As black was a mourning color, we need not be surprised that it typified decrepitude. The number eight, the double square, was supposed to have some affinity with black. The book of laws treating of dispositions made in view of death was bound in black.
The sinister significance of black is well illustrated by what is told of the ruthless Tartar Tamerlane. When he attacked a city, he caused a white tent to be pitched for himself on the first day of the siege, as a sign that mercy would be shown to the inhabitants if they immediately surrendered; on the second day a red tent was substituted, signifying that if the city yielded, all the leaders would be put to death; on the third day, however, a black tent was raised, an ominous signal that no mercy would be shown and that all the inhabitants would be slaughtered.
Violet for a man denoted sober judgment, industry, and gravity; for a woman, high thoughts and religious love. It was the color of the planet Jupiter and of Thursday. As with blue, the sapphire was conceived to 33 present violet most attractively. That the bull should be selected as the animal represented by this color probably arose from some mythological connection with Jupiter, possibly the myth of Europa and the bull.
Violet was the color of old age and was associated with the number three. The influence of color upon the nerves has been noted by some of the leading authorities on hypnotism. For example, Dr.
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Paul Ferez, finding that red light is stimulating and blue-violet calming, suggests that those who treat patients by means of hypnotism should have two rooms for their reception. In one of these rooms the curtains, wall-paper, chair-coverings, etc. Those suffering from a lack of will-power or from lassitude and depression are to be received in the red room, and those who are a prey to over-excitability are introduced into the blue room.
Moreover, according to Dr. Ferez, the sedative qualities of the violet-blue can be utilized in inducing the hypnotic state. For this purpose he recommends a violet-blue disk, which is to be rotated rapidly before the eyes of the patient, the movement serving to attract and hold his gaze better than any immovable object would do. Red stones such as rubies, carbuncles, and garnets, whose color suggested that of blood, were not only believed to confer invulnerability from wounds, but some Asiatic tribes have used garnets as bullets, upon the contrary principle that this blood-colored stone would inflict a more deadly wound than would a leaden bullet.
Such bullets were used by the rebellious Hanzas, in 34 , during their hostilities with the British troops on the Kashmir frontier, and many of these precious missiles were preserved as curiosities. In the ceraunia appeared the thunder-bolt; in the pyrope, living fire; the chalazia rock-crystal preserved the form and coldness of the hailstone even if cast into the fire. In the emerald were shown the deep and translucent waves of the sea; the carcinia imitated the form of crabs; the echites, of vipers; the hieracites, of hawks; the geranites, of cranes.
The Greek names of these stones enumerated by Erasmus signify their real or supposed resemblance to certain natural objects, or to something characteristic of such objects. Evidently this was a quartz pebble. The oldest magic formulas that have been preserved for us are those of the Sumerians, the founders of the 35 ancient civilization of Babylonia. Some of them contain references to the use of precious stones as amulets, as appears in the following specimen:. A curious Babylonian mythological text represents the solar deity Ninib, the son of Bel, as determining the fate of various stones by pronouncing a blessing or a curse upon them.
For instance, the dolomite was blessed and declared to be fit material for the statues of kings, while a substance called the elu stone was cursed, proclaimed to be unfit for working, and doomed to disintegration. Alabaster was favored by the god, but chalcedony aroused his anger and was condemned. Not only was it evident from the rich ornaments adorning the body that she had been of noble birth, but it was also apparent that she must have been exceedingly beautiful in form and feature, and must have died in the flower of her age.
The hair was artistically braided and adorned with twenty bronze hairpins. About her neck was a remarkably beautiful necklace composed of four rows of beads with numerous pendants representing divinities and sacred symbols. There were also two smaller necklaces with beads of gold, lapis-lazuli, and carnelian; two large jewelled ear-rings hung from her ears, and on the index-finger of her right hand was a ring set with a scarab; a gold belt garnished with lapis-lazuli and carnelians was bound about her waist and a gold bracelet adorned with semi-precious stones encircled her left wrist.
In the sarcophagus was a beautiful mirror of golden-yellow bronze, and three alabaster vases, one still containing some balm or perfume, and another some galena native lead sulphide to be used as a cosmetic for the eyes, as well as a little ebony pencil for its application. The principal necklace was undoubtedly regarded by the fair Egyptian as an amulet of great power, but it failed to protect her from an untimely end; perhaps, however, its virtues may have aided her soul in its passage through the trials and tests imposed in the underworld.
Of the numerous pendants which lent to the necklace its peculiar quality as an amulet, three, in carnelian, figure the god Bes; seven, also in carnelian, the hippo 37 potamus-goddess Toeris, of whom there are besides two representations in lapis-lazuli; then we have a heart of lapis-lazuli; a cat of lapis-lazuli; four falcons of carnelian; one crocodile of carnelian and two of lapis-lazuli; four fish of carnelian, as well as two others of a blackish-white and of a green stone, respectively, and two scorpions of carnelian, and seven flower-forms of the same stone.
The greater part of the beads in this necklace are of annular form, of gold, electrum, ivory, or lapis-lazuli; there are a few larger annular or spherical beads of carnelian, chrysoprase, and malachite, and measuring up to 3. A necklace, from the time of the Old Empire c. This necklace, the parts of which were found about the neck of a body, presumably that of a young man, was composed of rounded and annular beads of carnelian and shell, as well as of flat, perforated fragments of turquoise and almandine garnet and an approximately lozenge-shaped bead of amethyst 1.
The chief ornament was the turquoise ibex 1. That there was in Egypt a strong inclination to use a certain particular stone for a given amulet, will be noted in the case of those inscribed with special chapters of the Book of the Dead. This is also true of amulets of certain forms. Of the heart amulets, numbering 47 in the rich collections of the Cairo Museum, nine are of carnelian, four of hematite, two of lapis-lazuli, and two each of green porphyry and green jasper, carnelian being thus the most favored among the more precious materials. Amulets of animal form are plentifully represented in this collection, figuring a large variety of members of the animal kingdom such as the hippopotamus, crocodile, lion, bull, cow, hare, dog-headed ape, cat, dog somewhat doubtful , jackal, hedgehog, frog, hawk, cobra and fishes, to which list may be added a four-headed ram and a ram-headed sphinx.
One of the special uses of amulets was for seafaring people, for, in ancient times especially, all who went down to the sea in ships were greatly in need of protection from the fury of the elements when they embarked in their small sailing-vessels. A fragment of a Greek Lapidary, 23 probably written in the third or fourth century of our era, gives a list of seven amulets peculiarly adapted for this purpose.
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The number might suggest a connection with the days of the week, and the amulets 39 were perhaps regarded as most efficacious when used on the respective days. In the first were set a carbuncle and a chalcedony; this amulet protected sailors from drowning. The second had for its gem either of two varieties of the adamas,—one, the Macedonian, being likened to ice this was probably rock-crystal , while the other, the Indian, of a silvery hue, may possibly have been our corundum; however, the Macedonian stone was regarded as the better.
A coral was placed in the fifth amulet, and this was to be attached to the prow of the ship with strips of seal-skin; it guarded the vessel from winds and waves in all waters. For the sixth amulet the ophiokiolus stone was selected, most probably a kind of banded agate, for it is said to have been girdled with stripes like the body of a snake; whoever wore this had no need to fear the surging ocean. The seventh and last of these nautical amulets bore a stone called opsianos , apparently a resinous or bituminous material, possibly a kind of jet; this came from Phrygia and Galatia, and the amulet wherein it was set was a great protection for all who journeyed by sea or by river.
The ancient treatises on the magic art show that the use of amulets was considered to be indispensable for those who dared to evoke the dark spirits of the nether-world, for without the protection afforded by his amulet the magician ran the risk of being attacked by these spirits. A costly Chinese amulet consists of the diamond, the ruby, and the emerald, to which are added the pearl and coral; Oriental sapphire and topaz are classed with the ruby.
Sometimes these five princely gems are wrapped up in a paper bearing the names of the respective divinities, to which is added the name of the moon, and those of the twenty-seven constellations, or houses of the moon. Such an amulet, suspended at the entrance of a house, is believed to afford protection to the inmates. That gems had sex is asserted by the earliest writers 41 as well as by many of those of a later date.
While this must usually be understood as a poetic way of indicating a difference in shade, the darker varieties being regarded as male and the lighter ones as female, Theophrastus, the earliest Greek writer on precious stones, clearly shows that this sexual distinction was sometimes seriously made, for he declares that, wonderful as it might seem, certain gems were capable of producing offspring.
This strange idea was still prevalent in the sixteenth century, and ingenious explanations were sometimes given of the cause of this phenomenon, as appears in the following account by Rueus of germinating diamonds: It has recently been related to me by a lady worthy of credence, that a noblewoman, descended from the illustrious house of Luxemburg, had in her possession two diamonds which she had inherited, and which produced others in such miraculous wise, that whoever examined them at stated intervals judged that they had engendered progeny like themselves.
The pearl-fishers of Borneo are said to preserve carefully every ninth pearl they find, and place them in a bottle with two grains of rice for each pearl, believing, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that these particular pearls have the power to engender and breed others.
Custom and superstition require that each bottle shall have the finger of a dead man as a stopper. Talismanic influences are taken into account in the 42 wearing of jewelry by Orientals, two bracelets being frequently worn lest one member should become jealous of the other, thus disturbing the equilibrium of the whole organism.
The piercing of the ears for ear-rings has been attributed to a desire to chastise the ear for its indiscretion in hearing secrets not intended to be heard, while costly and ornamental ear-rings are set in the ears to console those parts of our anatomy for the suffering caused by the operation of piercing. At an early date the Christian Church registered its opposition to the practice of wearing amulets. At the Council of Laodicea, held in A.
In later times the invincible tendency to wear objects of this character found expression in the use of those associated with Christian belief, such, for instance, as relics of the saints, medallions blessed by the priest, etc. The amulets of the Jews differed in many respects from those used by Christians.
The Mosaic prohibition of representations of human or animal forms imposed great restrictions upon the employment of engraved gems, and the Jew was only permitted to wear or carry those bearing merely characters of mystic or symbolic significance. In talmudic times amulets were sometimes hidden in a hollow staff, and they were believed to have more power when concealed from view in this way. They were like concealed weapons, and it was said that, as a father might give such an amulet to a son, so God had given the Law to Israel for its protection. In the Old French didactic poem, the Roman de la Rose , composed in the twelfth century, appear traces of the belief in the magic properties of precious stones.
Chaucer translated this poem into English in the fourteenth century and we quote the following lines from his version. They describe the costume of the symbolical figure, Riches. At the trial, in , of Hubert de Burgh, chief justiciar, one of the charges brought against him was that he had surreptitiously removed from the English treasury an exceedingly valuable stone, possessing the virtue of rendering the wearer invincible in battle, and had given it to Llewellyn, King of Wales, the enemy of his own sovereign, Henry III of England That precious stones could, under certain circumstances, lose the powers inherent in them was firmly believed in medieval times.
If handled or even gazed upon by impure persons and sinners, some of the virtues of the stones departed from them. Indeed, there were those who held that precious stones, in common with all created things, were corrupted by the sin of Adam. Therefore, in order to restore their pristine virtue it might become 45 necessary to sanctify and consecrate them, and a kind of ritual serving this purpose has been preserved in several old treatises.
The subject is sufficiently curious to warrant here the repetition of one of these forms. The stones which required consecration were to be wrapped in a perfectly clean linen cloth and placed on the altar. Then three masses were to be said over them, and the priest who celebrated the third mass, clad in his sacred vestments, was to pronounce the following benediction: The Lord be with us. And with thy spirit. Let us pray. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, in whom dwells all sanctification, benediction, and consecration; who lives with Thee and reigns as God for all eternity, Amen.
Thanks be to God. But Duke Albert of Saxony acted shrewdly. Of a crystal aggregation of this type he writes as follows: Opaque, rough-surfaced, jagged on the edge, distorted in the spine, it exhibits a quite human image of decrepitude and dishonour; but the worst of all signs of its decay and helplessness is, that halfway up, a parasite crystal, smaller, but just as sickly, has rooted itself in the side of the larger one, eating out a cavity round its root, and then growing backwards, or downwards, contrary to the direction of the main crystal.
Yet I cannot trace the least difference in purity of substance between the first most noble stone, and this ignoble and dissolute one. The impurity of the last is in its will or want of will. It is considered an exceedingly good omen when it happens that all three gems are of the same sort. This idea is elaborated by Marbodus, Bishop of Rennes, in the eleventh century, who declares that agates make the wearers agreeable and persuasive and also give them the favor of God. The agate possessed some wonderful virtues, for its wearer was guarded from all dangers, was enabled to vanquish all terrestrial obstacles and was endowed with a bold heart; this latter prerogative was presumably the 52 secret of his success.
Some of these wonder-working agates were black with white veins, while others again were entirely white. The wearing of agate ornaments was even believed to be a cure for insomnia and was thought to insure pleasant dreams. In spite of these supposed advantages, Cardano asserts that while wearing this stone he had many misfortunes which he could not trace to any fault or error of his own. He, therefore, abandoned its use; although he states that it made the wearer more prudent in his actions. By this method he apparently arrived at positive results based on actual experience; but he quite failed to appreciate the fact that no real connection of any kind existed between the stones and their supposed effects.
According to the text accompanying a curious print published in Vienna in , the attractive qualities of the so-called coral-agate were to be utilized in an air-ship, the invention of a Brazilian priest. Over the head of the aviator, as he sat in the air-ship, there was a network of iron to which large coral-agates were attached. The main lifting force was provided by powerful magnets enclosed in two metal spheres; how the magnets themselves were to be raised is not explained.
In the network above the figure were to be set coral-agates, supposed to possess such magnetic powers as to keep the craft aloft. III, Franckfurt am Mayn, , p. About the middle of the past century, the demand for agate amulets was so great in the Soudan that the extensive agate-cutting establishments at Idar and Oberstein in Germany were almost exclusively busied with filling orders for this trade. Brown or black agates having a white ring in the centre were chiefly used for the fabrication of these amulets, the white ring being regarded as a symbol of the eye.
Hence the amulets were supposed to neutralize the power of the Evil Eye, or else to be emblematic of the watchfulness of a guardian spirit. Even at present a considerable trade in these objects is still carried on. That there is a fashion in amulets is shown by the fact that, while red, white, and green amulets are in demand on the west coast of Africa, only white stones are favored for this use in Northern Africa. There are a few talismanic stones which have gained their repute in our time, notably the alexandrite, a variety of chrysoberyl found in Russia, in the emerald mines on the Takowaya, in the Ural region.
The stone as found in gem form rarely weighs over from one to three carats, and is characterized by a marked pleochroism of a splendid green changing to a beautiful columbine red. But in Ceylon much larger gems are found, some few weighing 55 60 carats each, although rarely of more than one or two carats. The color is of a darker and more bottle-like green, and the change by night renders them darker and more granitized than the Russian stones, which are extremely rare.
As red and green are the Russian national colors, the alexandrite has become a great favorite with the Russians, and is looked upon as a stone of good omen in that country. Such, however, is its beauty as a gem that its fame is by no means confined to Russia, and it is eagerly sought in other lands as well.
Amber was one of the first substances used by man for decoration, and it was also employed at a very early period for amulets and for medicinal purposes. More or less shapeless pieces of rough amber, marked with circular depressions, have been found in Prussia, Schleswig-Holstein, and Denmark, in deposits of the Stone Age. A more prosaic explanation likened amber to resin, and regarded it as being an exudation from the trunks of certain trees. Indeed, the poetic fancy we have just noted is the same idea clothed in a metaphorical or mythological form.
Another fancy represented amber to be the solidified urine of the lynx, hence one of its names, lyncurius. The brilliant and beautiful yellow of certain ambers and the fact that this material was very easily worked served to make its use more general, and it soon became a favorite object of trade and barter between the peoples of the Baltic Coast and the more civilized peoples to the 57 south. Amber ingeniously carved into animal forms has been discovered in tumuli at Indersoen, Norway.
Pieces of amber with singular natural markings were greatly esteemed, especially when these markings suggested the initials of the name of some prominent person. Thus, we are told that Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia paid to a dealer a high price for a piece of amber on which appeared his initials.
But he was cleverly consoled by Nathaniel Sendal, the relator of the 58 story, who easily persuaded the dealer that the markings could just as well signify the initials of some other name. While the special and traditional virtue of the amethyst was the cure of drunkenness, many other qualities were attributed to this stone in the fifteenth century. For Leonardo, 50 it had the power to control evil thoughts, to quicken the intelligence, and to render men shrewd in business matters.
An amethyst worn on the person had a sobering effect, not only upon those who had partaken too freely of the cup that intoxicates, but also upon those over-excited by the love-passion. Lastly, it preserved soldiers from harm and gave them victory over their enemies, and was of great assistance to hunters in the capture of wild animals. The amethyst shared with many other stones the power to preserve the wearer from contagion. A pretty legend in regard to the amethyst has been happily treated in French verse. The god Bacchus, offended at some neglect that he had suffered, was determined to avenge himself, and declared that the first person he should meet, when he and his train passed along, should be devoured by his tigers.
Fate willed it that this 59 luckless mortal was a beautiful and pure maiden named Amethyst, who was on her way to worship at the shrine of Diana. As the ferocious beasts sprang toward her, she sought the protection of the goddess, and was saved from a worse fate by being turned into a pure white stone. From the various descriptions of this stone given by ancient writers, it appears that one of the varieties was probably the purple almandine or Indian garnet, and it is not improbable that we have here the reason for the name amethyst and for the supposed virtue of the stone in preserving from drunkenness.
For if water were poured into a vessel made of a reddish stone, the liquid would appear like wine, and could nevertheless be drunk with impunity. Arnoldus Saxo, writing about , after reciting the virtues of the beryl as given by Marbodus, after Evax and Isidorus, reports in addition that the stone gave help against foes in battle or in litigation; the wearer was rendered unconquerable and at the same time amiable, while his intellect was quickened and he was cured of laziness.
The heliotrope or bloodstone was supposed to impart a reddish hue to the water in which it was placed, so that when the rays of the sun fell upon the water they gave forth red reflections. From this fancy was developed the strange exaggeration that this stone had the power to turn the sun itself a blood-red, and to cause thunder, lightning, rain, and tempest. They then interpreted 61 the sounds of the wind and thunder in various ways, so as to give apt answers to the questions addressed to them touching future events. It is well known that the sighing of the wind, and, indeed, all those natural sounds which constitute the grand symphony of Nature, were interpreted by prophets and seers into articulate speech.
Damigeron also declares that the bloodstone preserved the faculties and bodily health of the wearer, brought him consideration and respect, and guarded him from deception. In the Leyden papyrus the bloodstone is praised as an amulet in the following extravagant terms:. The world has no greater thing; if any one have this with him he will be given whatever he asks for; it also assuages the wrath of kings and despots, and whatever the wearer says will be believed.
Whoever bears this stone, which is a gem, and pronounces the name engraved upon it, will find all doors open, while bonds and stone walls will be rent asunder. The carbuncle was recommended as a heart stimulant; indeed, so powerful was its action, that the wearers were rendered angry and passionate and were even warned to be on their guard against attacks of apoplexy. However, not only in Christianity was this stone used to illustrate religious conceptions, for the Koran affirms that the Fourth Heaven is composed of car 62 buncle.
Rumphius 58 states that in he was told by a chirurgeon that the latter had seen in the possession of one of the rulers in the island of Amboin a carbuncle said to have been brought by a serpent. The story ran that this ruler, when a child, had been placed by his mother in a hammock attached to two branches of a tree. While there a serpent crept up to him and dropped a stone upon his body. In gratitude for this gift the parents of the child fed and cared for the serpent. The stone is described as having been of a warm yellow hue, verging on red; it shone so brightly at night that a room could be illuminated by it.
It eventually passed into the possession of a King of Siam. The wearing of carnelians is recommended by the Lapidario of Alfonso X 60 to those who have a weak voice or are timid in speech, for the warm-colored stone will give them the courage they lack, so that they will speak both boldly and well.
This is in accord with the general belief in the stimulating and animating effects produced by red stones. On a carnelian is engraved in Arabic characters a prayer to keep away evil and to deliver the wearer from all the tricks of the devil and from the envious. The inscription reads in translation:. Throughout all the East people are afraid of the envious. They believe that if you envy a person for his health or his wealth or any good thing he may have, he will lose it in a short time, and it is the devil who incites the envy of some people against others.
So it is supposed that by wearing this stone, bearing this prayer against the envious, their envy will cease to do you harm. The popularity of the carnelian as a talismanic stone 64 among Mohammedan peoples is said to be due to the fact that the Prophet himself wore, on the little finger of his right hand, a silver ring set with a carnelian engraved for use as a seal.
This most interesting seal is described by the Rev. King, the writer on Antique Gems.
At the time of his lamentable death it must have been carried off in South Africa by the Zulus, when they stripped his body, and it has never been recovered. An ingenious though far-fetched explanation of the power attributed to chalcedony of driving away phantoms and visions of the night is supplied by Gonelli, writing in For him the source of this asserted power was to be found in what has been erroneously termed the alkaline quality of the stone. This dissipated the evil humors of the eye, thus removing the diseased condition of that organ which caused the apparitions to be seen.
Even those who had the right to seek the gem could not see the chrysolite in daytime; only after nightfall was it revealed by its radiance; the seekers then marked well the spot and were able to find the stone on the following day. From this Egyptian source, and possibly from others exploited by the Egyptians, have come the finest chrysolites peridots, or olivines , the most magnificent examples of this gem.
These found their way into the cathedral treasures of Europe, evidently by loot or trade at the period of the Crusades, and are generally called emeralds. Some of these gems are nearly two inches long. Pliny quotes from Juba the tradition that the topaz chrysolite derived its name from the Island of To 67 pazos, in the Red Sea, the first specimen having been brought thence by the procurator Philemon, to Berenice, mother of Ptolemy II, Philadelphus.
Chrysolite olivine, peridot , to exert its full power, required to be set in gold; worn in this way it dispelled the vague terrors of the night. If, however, it were to be used as a protection from the wiles of evil spirits, the stone had to be pierced and strung on the hair of an ass and then attached to the left arm. Wonderful things are told of the virtue of the chrysoprase, for Volmar states that, if a thief sentenced to be hanged or beheaded should place this stone in his mouth, he would immediately escape from his executioners. A strange story regarding a magic stone reputed to have been worn by Alexander the Great is related by Albertus Magnus.
On his return from his Indian campaign, wishing one day to bathe in the Euphrates, he laid aside his girdle, and a serpent bit off the stone and then dropped it into the river. The appreciation of coral as an ornament, or for amulets, seems to presuppose a certain development of civilization, for savage tribes greatly prefer glass ornaments. Many attempts have been made to introduce coral beads instead of glass beads among such tribes, but with no success, as the cheaper, but brighter, glass always commands a higher price.
To still tempests and traverse broad rivers in safety was the privilege of one who bore either red or white coral with him. That this also stanched the flow of blood from a wound, cured madness, and gave wisdom, was said to have been experimentally proved. Coral, which, for twenty centuries or more was classed among the precious stones, to retain its power as an amulet, must not have been worked, and in Italy only such pieces are valued for this purpose as have been freshly gathered from the sea or have been cast up by the sea on the shore.
To exercise all its power against spells, or enchantments, coral must be worn where its brilliant color makes it conspicuous; if, however, it should by accident be broken, the separate pieces have no virtue, and the magic power ceases, as though the spirit dwelling in the coral had fled from its abode.
The peasant women are careful to guard the corals they wear for a special purpose from the eyes of their husbands, for the substance is believed to grow pale at certain seasons, regaining its pristine hue after a short interval of time. Indeed, the women believe that the coral shares their indisposition with them.
All this serves to show that a kind of vital force is believed to animate the material, gaining or losing in vigor according to certain conditions, and finally disappearing when the form is broken. These beliefs are all clearly traceable to the animistic ideas of primitive man. Therefore it does not seem unfitting that 70 the diamond should be presented as a token to the pearl, and that pearls should go with the diamond.
The virtues ascribed to this stone are almost all directly traceable either to its unconquerable hardness or to its transparency and purity. It was therefore thought to bring victory to the wearer, by endowing him with superior strength, fortitude, and courage. Marbodus 74 tells us it was a magic stone of great power and served to drive away nocturnal spectres; for this purpose it should be set in gold and worn on the left arm.
For St. Hildegard the sovereign virtue of the diamond was recognized by the devil, who was a great enemy of this stone because it resisted his power by day and by night. Cardano 77 takes a more pessimistic view of the qualities of the diamond. He says:. It is believed to make the wearer unhappy; its effects therefore are the same upon the mind as that of the sun upon the eye, for the latter rather dims than strengthens the sight.
It indeed renders fearless, but there is nothing that contributes more to our safety than prudence and fear; therefore it is better to fear. The diamond was often associated with the lightning and was sometimes believed to owe its origin to the thunderbolt, but we do not recall having seen elsewhere the statement made in an anonymous Italian manuscript of the fourteenth century.
Here it is expressly 71 asserted that the diamond is sometimes consumed or melted when it thunders. That the diamond can be entirely consumed at a high temperature was a fact not known in Europe in the fourteenth century, and therefore the belief in the destructive effect of the electric current must have arisen from superstitious or poetic fancies, and not from any vague conception of the true nature of the diamond. In the Talmud we read of a gem, supposed to have been the diamond, which was worn by the high priest. This quality is also alluded to by Sir John Mandeville, who wrote:.
It happens often that the good diamond loses its virtue by sin and for incontinence of him who bears it. The Hindus classed diamonds according to the four castes. The Brahmin diamond gave power, friends, riches and good luck; the Kshatriya diamond prevented the approach of old age; the Vaisya stone brought success, and the Sudra, all manner of good fortune. On the other hand, in the treatise on gems by Buddhabhatta 80 we read:. A diamond, a part of which is the color of blood or spotted with red, would quickly bring death to the wearer, even if he were the Master of Death.
The Arabians and Persians, as well as the modern Egyptians, agree in attributing to the diamond a wonderful power to bring good fortune, and Rabbi Benoni, a mystic of the fourteenth century, treating of its magic virtues, asserts that it produces somnambulism, and, as a talisman, so powerfully attracts the planetary influences that it renders the wearer invincible; it was also said to provoke a state of spiritual ecstasy.
An alchemist of the same century, Pierre de Boniface, asserted that the diamond made the wearer invisible. A curious fancy, prevalent in regard to many stones, attributed sex to the diamond, and it is therefore not surprising that these stones were also supposed to possess reproductive powers. In this connection Sir John Mandeville wrote:. They grow together, male and female, and are nourished by the dew of heaven; and they engender commonly, and bring forth small children that multiply and grow all the year.
I have oftentimes tried the experiment that if a man keep them with a little of the rock, and water them with May dew often, they shall grow every year and the small will grow great. The following lines from a translation of the celebrated Orphic poem, written in the second century, show the high esteem in which the adamas was held at that time:.
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The writer is disinclined to believe that the ancients knew the diamond. The ancient Hindu gem-treatise of Buddhabhatta asserts that the diamond of the Brahmin should have the whiteness of a shell or of rock-crystal; that of the Kshatriya, the brown color of the eye of a hare; that of the Vaisya, the lovely shade of a petal of the kadali flower; that of the Sudra, the sheen of a polished blade. To kings alone the sages assigned two classes of colored diamonds,—namely, those red as coral and those yellow as saffron.
These were exclusively royal gems, but diamonds of all other shades could be set in royal jewels. A typical diamond is thus described in a Hindu gem-treatise: A six-pointed diamond, pure, without stain, with pronounced and sharp edges, of a beautiful shade, light, with well-formed facets, without defects, illuminating space with its fire and with the reflection of the rainbow, a diamond of this kind is not easy to find in the earth.
According to a wide-spread superstition, the talismanic power of a diamond was lost if the stone were acquired by purchase; only when received as a gift could its virtues be depended on. The spirit dwelling in the stone was thought to take offence at the idea of being bought and sold, and was supposed to depart from the stone, leaving it nothing more than a bit of senseless matter.
If, however, the diamond or turquoise were offered as a pledge of love or friendship, the spirit was quite willing to transfer its good offices from one owner to another. One of these may be given as illustrating at once the wild improbability of some of these recitals and the belief in the wonderful magic virtues of the diamond: Jehudah of Mesopatamia used to tell: Once while on board of a ship, I saw a diamond that was encircled by a snake, and a diver went to catch it. The snake then opened its mouth, threatening to swallow the ship.
Then a raven came, bit off its head, and all water around turned into blood. Then another snake came, took the diamond, put it in the carcass, and it became alive; and again it opened its mouth, in order to swallow the ship. Another bird then came, bit off its head, took the diamond and threw it on the ship. We had with us salted birds, and we wanted to try whether the diamond would bring them to life, so we placed the gem on them, and they became animated and flew away with the gem.
It is said that the first large diamonds discovered by Europeans in South Africa were found in the leather bag of a sorcerer. Although large stones or fragments of rock are usually the objects of adoration as fetiches in Africa, any small stone that is wrapped in colored rags and worn on the neck may be regarded in the same way. Al Kazwini relates as follows the marvellous tale of the Valley of Diamonds: This is a valley, connected with the land Hind. The glance cannot penetrate to its greatest depths and serpents are found there, the like of which no man hath seen, and upon which no man can gaze without dying.
However, this power endures only as long as the serpents live, for when they die the power leaves them. In this place summer reigns for six months and winter for the same length of time. Now, Alexander ordered that an iron mirror should be brought and placed at the spot where the serpents dwelt. When the serpents approached, their glance fell upon their own image in the mirror, and this caused their death.
Hereupon, Alexander wished to bring out the diamonds from the valley, but no one was willing to undertake the descent. Alexander therefore sought counsel of the wise men, and they told him to throw down a piece of flesh into the valley. This he did, the diamonds became attached to the flesh, and the birds of the air seized the flesh and bore it up out of the valley.
Then Alexander ordered his people to pursue the birds and to pick up what fell from the flesh. When people wish to take out the diamonds they throw down pieces of flesh, which are seized by vultures and brought up to the brink of the gorge. There such of the diamonds as cling to the flesh are secured; these are of the size of a lentil or a pea.
The largest pieces found attain the size of a half-bean. Now it happened that many eagles built their nests on the top of this mountain, and the gem-seekers used to place large pieces of flesh at the foot of the mountain. The eagles pounced upon these and bore them away to their nests, but were obliged to alight from 76 time to time in order to rest, and while the pieces of flesh lay on the rock, some of the corundums became lightly attached to this, so that when the eagles resumed their flight the stones dropped off and rolled down the mountain side.
These oft-repeated tales are explained by Dr. Valentine Ball as originating in the Hindu custom of sacrificing cattle when new mines were opened, and leaving on the spot a certain part of the meat as an offering to the guardian deities. As these pieces of meat were soon carried away by birds of prey, the legend arose that the diamonds were obtained in this way. This custom still prevailed in some parts of India when Dr.
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Ball wrote. The effect exercised by Hindu superstition on even the most enlightened Europeans of our day may be recognized in the fact that the gifted prima donna, Mme. Maeterlinck, the wife of the foremost living European poet, has confessed that she wears a diamond suspended on her forehead because her husband believes that this brings good fortune to the wearer.
This forehead-jewel is characteristically Hindu and enjoys in India the reputation of being especially auspicious. The emerald was believed to foreshow future events, 90 but we do not learn whether visions were actually seen in the stone, as they were in spheres of rock-crystal or beryl, or whether the emerald endowed the wearer with a supernatural fore-knowledge of what was to come. As 77 a revealer of truth, this stone was an enemy of all enchantments and conjurations; hence it was greatly favored by magicians, who found all their arts of no avail if an emerald were in their vicinity when they began to weave their spells.
On this page is the account of the emerald, set in a ring worn by King Bela IV of Hungary , that was fractured when he caressed his wife. To this supernatural power inherent in the stone, enabling it to quicken the prophetic faculty, may be added many other virtues. If any one wished to strengthen his memory or to become an eloquent speaker, he was sure to attain his end by securing possession of a fine emerald.
Strange to say, however, the emerald, although commonly assigned to Venus, was often regarded as an enemy of sexual passion. So sensitive was the stone believed to be in this respect that Albertus Magnus relates of King Bela of Hungary, who possessed an exceptionally valuable emerald set in a ring, that, when he embraced his wife while wearing this ring on his finger, the stone broke into three parts.
In Rabbinical legend it is related that four precious stones were given by God to King Solomon; one of these was the emerald. The possession of the four stones is said to have endowed the wise king with power over all creation. A talismanic emerald, once the property of the Mogul emperors of Delhi, has recently been shown in Europe.
The stone is of a rich deep green, and weighs 78 carats. Emerald sharpened the wits, conferred riches and the power to predict future events. To evolve this latter virtue it must be put under the tongue. It also strengthened the memory. The material is frequently found in Russia, England, and elsewhere, and is cut in England or Russia. It is quite cheap, and at the same time very soft, so that it can be scratched with the finger-nail.
That found in Russia is of a golden-yellow or salmon color, and is worked into various ornaments, the one popular form being egg-shaped, and, because of their form, such objects are frequently given as Easter gifts. They are also believed to possess qualities of protection and to bring good fortune.
The virtues of the hematite were praised in an ancient gem-treatise written by Azchalias of Babylon for Mithridates the Great, King of Pontus d. Azchalias, as cited by Pliny 97 taught that human destinies were influenced by the virtues inherent in precious stones, and asserted that the hematite, when used as a talisman, procured for the wearer a favorable hearing of petitions addressed to kings and a fortunate issue of lawsuits and judgments.
Probably, like the loadstone, it was believed to confer invulnerability. The high degree of skill possessed by the Pueblo workers is strikingly shown in a finely inlaid hematite cylinder found in Pueblo Bonito. The inlays are of turquoise and are designed to make the cylinder a conventional representation of a bird. The wings are indicated by turquoise inlays of pyramidal outline, curved so as to follow the curvature of the cylinder, the head being figured by a conical piece of turquoise attached to one end.
This conical termination bore a small bird-figure carved in relief. The jacinth was more especially recommended as an amulet for travellers, because of its reputed value as a protection against the plague and against wounds and injuries, the two classes of perils most feared by those who undertook long journeys.
Moreover, this stone assured the wearer a cordial reception at any hostelry he 82 visited. In addition to these qualities the jacinth augmented the riches of the owner, and endowed him with prudence in the conduct of his affairs. Hildegard, the Abbess of Bingen d. The patient is then to eat of the bread; if, however, his stomach should be too feeble, unleavened bread may be used. All other solid food given to the sick person should be treated in the same manner. We are also told that if any one has a pain in his heart, the pain will be relieved provided the sign of the cross be made over the heart while the above mentioned words are recited.
The wearer of a jacinth was believed to be proof against the lightning, and it was even asserted that wax that had been impressed by an image graven on this stone averted the lightning from one who bore the seal. That the stone really possessed this power was a matter of common report, it being confidently declared that in re 83 gions where many were struck by lightning, none who wore a jacinth were ever harmed.
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By a like miracle it preserved the wearer from all danger of pestilence even though he lived in an air charged with the disease. A third virtue was to induce sleep. The name jade includes two distinct minerals, nephrite and jadeite. The former is a silicate of magnesia, of exceedingly tough structure, and ranks 6. This shows that at the very early time when these characters were first used, the Chinese already collected jade and employed it for personal adornment.
Jade amulets of many different forms are popular with the Chinese. To a newly-wedded pair is given the figure of a man riding on a unicorn and holding castanets in his hand; this signifies that an heir will be born in due time. Such is the fondness of the Chinese for jade that those who can afford the luxury of its possession are wont to carry with them small pieces, so that they may have them always at hand; for they believe that, when handled, something of the secret virtue of the substance is absorbed into the body.
When struck, jade is thought to emit a peculiarly melodious sound, which for the Chinese poet resembles the voice of the loved one; indeed, jade is termed the concentrated essence of love. Fashioned into the form of a butterfly, a piece of jade acquires a special romantic significance in China, because of a Chinese legend which relates that a youth in his eager pursuit of a many-hued butterfly made his way into the garden of a rich mandarin. Several Oswald collectors' figurines and a limited edition grayscale plush toy appeared shortly after the DVD set's release.
The Disney Store also began to introduce Oswald into its merchandise lines, starting with a canvas print and Christmas ornament that became available Fall A standard-issue color plush toy matching Oswald's appearance in Epic Mickey appeared in late This was followed by an ongoing roll-out of clothing and other products at the Disney Store, various chain stores, and the Disney California Adventure theme park.
On July 6, , the Oswald animated series was said to be in development on Christopher Painter's online resume prior to being removed following online discussion regarding its inclusion. Using Ub Iwerk's sketchbook drawings in , archivists recreated a scene from an Oswald cartoon, Harem Scarem. Oswald is one of the main characters in the video game franchise Epic Mickey. The world of Epic Mickey is called "Wasteland" and it is similar to Disneyland but for "forgotten" Disney characters, including Oswald,  who rules the place.
Tetsuya Nomura , creator and lead producer of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, had requested for Oswald's use in Kingdom Hearts III , but the response from Disney was that the character would be "too difficult" to use, with no further clarification or details from Disney. Oswald starred in Harem Scarem , a new cartoon created by archivist from Walt Disney's sketchbook taking dozens of drawings. A couple of Oswald's lost cartoon were found in the s as only 19 of 26 cartoons were previously known to have survived. Disney has yet to make an official comment on the rumored series.
Shortly after the rabbit starred in his black and white animated silent shorts between and , he was successfully able to sell merchandise for Universal: a chocolate-covered marshmallow candy bar, a stencil set, and a pin-backed button. Disney slowly reintroduced him with merchandise such as shirts, figurines and a DVD with 13 of his original cartoons.
Also inside Mickey's meeting area, a doodle of Oswald and Mickey can be seen. The Oswald character showed up at the parks in Florida and California on the day Disney reacquired Oswald, but made no further appearances at the time. In , Tokyo Disneyland produced a float featuring Oswald for their first Easter holiday event. In , Oswald appeared with other old Disney characters on the Construction walls for Disney California Adventure Park's new entrance.
Oswald's Service Station is a s gas station housing a gift shop located at the north end of the street and features Oswald prominently in its logo. Disney California Adventure also sells Oswald merchandise, while next door Disneyland Park offers Mickey Mouse merchandise exclusively. He is carved into a tree near the exit door. During the s, the Oswald shorts, as well as Oswald himself, proved extremely popular and had received substantial critical acclaim. The Film Daily noted that the series was "one of the best sellers of the 'U[niversal]' short subject program. The Moving Picture World noted Oswald was "good for a lot of smiles and real laughs.
If the first of these new cartoon comedies for Universal release is an indication of what is to come, then this series is destined to win much popular favor. They are cleverly drawn, well executed, brimful of action and fairly abounding in humorous situations. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is all of that. Some of his experiences are hilarious and breath taking.
With the release of Oh, Teacher , Moving Picture World wrote that it "lives up to the promise of the first This one deals with Oswald as a school kid and introduces a cat as his rival. It contains some of the best gags we have seen in cartoons. With the release of The Mechanical Cow , Moving Picture World wrote that Oswald "has a wild and amusing time with his ingenuous milk producer". With the release of Great Guns , Moving Picture World wrote that Oswald is a "hero in action in the trenches and [in] a situation where two planes fight each other like pugilists".
They found that Great Guns was "chock full of humor" and wrote, "This series is bound to be popular in all types of houses if the present standard is maintained. In addition to striking a new note in cartoon characters by featuring a rabbit, these Disney creations are bright, speedy and genuinely amusing The animation is good and the clever way in which Disney makes his creations simulate the gestures and expressions of human beings adds to the enjoyment. They should provide worthwhile attractions in any type of house.
Oswald looks like a real contender. Walt Disney is doing this new series. Funny how the cartoon artists never hit on a rabbit before. Oswald with his long ears has a chance for a lot of new comedy gags and makes the most of them. Universal has been looking for a good animated subject for the last year. They've found it. Disney has done some new projects with Oswald since recovering him.
He's co-starred with Mickey in a video game series [ Kids who have discovered those games have discovered the Oswald films, and it's fascinating to see that Oswald is a genuinely popular character with kids today. If you ask a high schooler if they know Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a surprising number will say yes.
Tetsuya Nomura , creator and lead producer of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, lists Oswald as one of his favorite Disney characters. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Animated cartoon character who was Walt Disney's signature character before Mickey Mouse. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit filmography. Retrieved Of mice and magic: A history of American animated cartoons Rev. December 3, Retrieved April 4, The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved May 26, Vintage Books. Press of Mississippi. Retrieved September 4, Harvard Business School. The Big Cartoon Database. Retrieved September 25, The Los Angeles Times.
Retrieved December 18, Jim Hill Media. Retrieved June 27, February 9, Idle Thumbs Podcast. Event occurs at — Retrieved January 9, Retrieved September 8, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Memorabilia Collection. July 6, December 1, Retrieved October 30, May 30, Archived from the original on July 11, Retrieved May 31, Retrieved May 30, Gaming Examiner. Archived from the original on June 15, Retrieved June 11, March 28, March 23, The Telegraph.
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