[Sca-cooks] Precious stones to ward off evils

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Mon Nov 26 20:33:55 PST 2007

I think there are some prehistoric jade finds in Europe.

Ogden's book on jewelery in classical antiquity goes through the 
question of European jades in considerable detail; as best I 
remember, he concludes that every case is a misidentification. It 
seems to have been regarded as a new gemstone when the Spanish 
brought it back from the New World, hence the Spanish name.

>A rumored little jade Buda found in an early Norse grave not withstanding it
>is my understanding that jade was relatively unknow in Europe through out
>all but late period as it was a gem of the orient and the new world.
>I suggest that diamonds would have been of less value as a gem stone in
>period compaired to stones more easily worked and of more vivid hues.  Its
>value would have been that it would scratch all other stones and metal as

As best I recall, Cellini includes diamond among the precious stones.

>It is my conjecture that a persona of 15th century Christian Spain would
>intersect with Moslem and Jewish traditions but would not yet have direct
>access to the orient or the new world.


>The only direct "period" reference I have would be to a translation of a
>period Arab book of gems and my notes on that are on a hard drive that I
>cannot access presently.

Pliny discusses the properties of gemstones in some detail. But he's 
generally sceptical.

One of my favorite bits is where he mentions that if you put a 
certain stone beneath your pillow, in your dreams you will see the 

Or at least, he adds, you will see it as well as the soothsayers do

I think Albertus Magnus discussed stones too--that should be fairly 
easy to find. _De Lapidibus_? There are a number of medieval European 
lapidaries with such information.

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Suey" <lordhunt at gmail.com>
>To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
>Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 9:16 PM
>Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Precious stones to ward off evils
>>  Daniel wrote:
>>>  Regarding the believed properties of stones it seems to me that there
>>>  were several intersecting belief sets related to religions.
>>  Never thought of that before as my only sources are Christian Spain
>>  until now.
>>  He continues:
>>>  Be that as it may there are some stones that are relatively region
>>>  specific, jade is specific case in point.
>>  I disagree, I think? We are dealing with nobility. Logic as I see it is
>>  that the more valuable the stone the more powerful it would be against
>>  evils. So jade would be important for the lower nobility of a specific
>>  region but not for the upper class nobles who could afford diamonds.
>>>  The Christian se[c]ts also intersect directly, albeit in late period,
>>>  with those of India, China and Japan and in early period the Pagan.
>>  Now I want to know your sources. My first reference is Spain 15th C but
>>  I shy away from other European countries. Please enlighten me.
>>  Suey
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David Friedman

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