There are many superstitions that have become associated with different gemstones throughout the centuries. These may vary according to country and tradition, but for anyone inclined to believe, it may be a good idea to know the following before buying or giving gemstones as gifts on different occasions.
Diamonds are traditionally used in engagement and wedding rings for a good reason - they are said to symbolize affection between man and woman, and to invoke courage in a man and pride in a woman. But beware ... it is also believed that a diamond laid under the pillow will betray an unfaithful wife!
Emeralds are also believed to confer happiness on married couples. In some parts of the world, they are also thought to be aphrodisiacs - which would perhaps explain why they bring marital bliss.
Pearls, however, should never be used in an engagement or wedding ring, or indeed given as a gift to anyone, because they symbolize tears and are believed to bring sadness. Brides are particularly cautioned against wearing pearls on their wedding day lest they bring tears to the marriage.
In the East opals are thought to be lucky; elsewhere the opal is usually considered to be the most ill-fated of all gemstones and is often referred to as the stone of tears. Thus, engagement rings must never contain an opal, to prevent the new bride from quickly becoming a widow!
You should never give or accept a gift of opals or pearls. Both of these stones are believed to bring extremely bad luck unless purchased by the owner. If they are to be given as a present, the bad luck can be negated by handing its giver a small sum of money to turn it into a financial transaction and so break the curse of these stones.
Bad luck associated with opals can also be offset by wearing them in settings that include diamonds, as diamonds are said to have power over the opals.
Rubies are said to change color according to the health of the wearer. They can give an indication of health problems that may not be apparent to an observer and even conditions of which the wearer is unaware.
Some believe women who wear emeralds during childbirth have a less painful birth. They can also help to cure dysentery and epilepsy, negate the poison of snakes, and the blind may benefit from touching them.
Wearing of pearls is sometimes said to cure madness, and also help to treat jaundice, and snake and insect bites. Pearls are also thought to cure depression in women - maybe because receiving pearls is sure to make most women happy. But be careful -- not only are pearls said to have aphrodisiac properties, but placing a pearl under one's pillow and sleeping on it may cause couples to conceive.
Opals have been said to improve eyesight, and to help blondes maintain their hair color. Some also believe that opals turn pale in the presence of poison, and lose their shine once their owners die.