Alternative love stones...
Diamonds are held as being the ultimate symbol of committed love. However, this tradition only really dates back to the 1947 De Beer's advertising campaign 'A Diamond is Forever'. So, with Valentines day in mind, what other stones could you use to express your feelings with?
It has long been believed that "the idea of passion was associated with the red and radiant ruby", and it is easy to see how this belief might have come about. Indeed, Kunz goes on to say that "the glowing hue of the ruby suggested the idea that an inextinguishable flame burned in the stone. Gemmologists have long been aware that a ruby is not only red in colour, it also emits red light when placed in bright sunlight.
According to Thomas de Cantimpré's 'De Proprietatibus Rerum', translated in 1861 by Konrad van Meganbury, beryl (aquamarine) "reawakens the love of married people". Strangely enough, despite this historical belief, the aquamarine doesn't figure in the traditional or modern lists of appropriate wedding anniversary gifts.
Apparently, although an emerald "revealed the truth or falsity of lover's oaths", making it a good gift for a lover one feels uncertain of, it has the downside of being "regarded as an enemy of sexual passion". While this stone might show that your lover is true, it might put a dampener on any physical expression of your joy in the good tidings!
According to historical writings, "when struck, jade is thought to emit a particularly melodious sound". This tone is supposed to be reminiscent of a lover's voice - so to the Chinese, jade is considered to be "the concentrated essence of love".
Moonstone was considered to be an appropriate gift for lovers as it was believed "to arouse the tender passion, and to give lovers the power to read the future... that is in store for them". To read this future, the lovers had to perform a ritual where they held the stone in their mouths during a full moon. Be warned - the stone may predict both good and bad...
All quotes from 'The Curious Lore of Precious Stones' by George Frederick Kunz.