When you first hear the word ‘Vibgyor’, it sounds nonsensical. But, say it and you will be able to remember the seven colours of the rainbow, and in their proper order!
VIBGYOR, if you take each letter separately, you will find that it represents the name of a colour. The letter V stands for violet; I for indigo; B for blue; G for green; Y for yellow; O for orange and R for red. So there you have violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
There, wasn’t that helpful? Now, rattling off the seven colours of the rainbow will be a piece of cake for you!
Colour brightens our world. Just as colourful are the gemstones. Their beauty fascinates and dazzles. Let us look closer at gems representing the various colours of the rainbow. For instance, a violet coloured gemstone is the amethyst. Right from the beginning, amethyst has been prized as an ornament and amulet. In ancient times, it was thought to prevent drunkenness. In fact, the word amethyst comes from the Greek word amethystos, meaning ‘non-intoxicating.’
Another belief was that the stone protected against evil sorcery and brought success and good luck. Amethyst is considered the stone of ‘spirituality and contentment.’ It has healing properties and an amethyst crystal is practically indispensable to healers — single crystals are very beneficial but clusters are even more powerful.
An indigo coloured gemstone is sapphire. Did you know that the sapphire is the second hardest crystal, after diamond? Because of its rare beauty, the stone is quite popular as a talisman among royalty and has etched a place in history, atop the crowns and tiaras of kings and queens, princes and princesses.
Legend has it that a venomous snake left in a vessel with a sapphire died, as the gemstone protected one against poison. The sapphire is the most effective healing stone for the nervous system. In addition, it helps to regulate the function of the thyroid gland.
Lapis lazuli is blue in colour. The lapis has been highly valued for many thousands of years. Apparently, Afghanistan mined fine quality lapis lazuli over 6000 years ago. It was said to impart ancient knowledge, and the wisdom to use it and to enhance one’s awareness, insight and intellect, bringing with it peacefulness and self-acceptance. A rather interesting fact!
Lapis lazuli is derived from the Latin word, lapis, which means stone, and from the Arabic, aula, which means blue. It has always been greatly valued by rulers, being used for magical and medicinal purposes. Physicians for ancient Egypt and Babylon used lapis for many medicinal purposes, including curing cataract in the eyes.
A popular precious stone is the glorious green emerald. In ancient mythology emerald was associated with the god Mercury, who was known to be the messenger of the gods, and of travel. It thus makes perfect sense that the emerald is commonly referred to as the ‘Traveller’s protection stone.’ The emerald was highly esteemed in antiquity, the stones were used for ornaments in early Egypt where some of the first emeralds were mined.
The emerald is the sacred stone of the goddess Venus. It was thought to preserve love and has long been the symbol of hope.
Topaz is a yellow coloured stone. Perhaps the most famous is a giant specimen set in the 17th century Portuguese crown (an incredible 1,640 carats!). The Braganza, as it was named, was first thought to be the largest diamond ever found, later it was discovered to be a colourless topaz.
The name topaz comes from Sanskrit and means ‘fire’. The Egyptians said that topaz was coloured with the golden glow of the mighty sun god Ra. This made topaz a very powerful amulet for protection. The Romans associated topaz with Jupiter, who also, is the god of the sun. Topaz is said to enhance one’s spiritual potential and is used to increase intelligence and creativity.
A gemstone of orange hue is agate, but it can, however, come in a multitude of colours. This is thought to be the stone sought-after for protection. Interestingly, the agate is one of the oldest stones in recorded history. No gemstone is more creatively coloured and striped by nature than agate.
The meaning of agate is ‘the stone of balance’, additionally, agates are considered power stones. They are very grounding, solid and stable. All agates are considered to have protective and healing energy. In fact, agates are among the oldest good luck and healing stones. In ancient times, this stone was highly valued as a talisman or amulet, it was also said to quench thirst and protect from fevers.
Improving memory and concentration is another attribute of the agate!
Finally, the red coloured precious gemstone is ruby. Much romance and royalty surrounds this stone. It has enjoyed a most regal position in myth, legend and lore for thousands and thousands of years. It has, for quite a long time, been a favoured talisman among royalty worldwide. Burmese ruby are the most celebrated and sought-after in the world.
In 1992 a brand new deposit of ruby was discovered in North Vietnam. Some of the specimens so closely resemble the Burmese crystals, and some scientists believe the crystals were formed by the same geological event.
The ruby is what you need to bring fire into your life. This gem can create a strong sense and means of power within a person. And an ancient tradition suggests that a 'ruby blessing' protects gardens from violent storms.
In a nutshell, gemstones are minerals. Minerals are inorganic combinations of chemical elements that are found naturally. Gems are commonly weighed by the carat, equal to one fifth of a gram. The study of gemstones is called gemmology. Try naming more gemstones; do some research, play the game with family and friends and flabbergast them with your knowledge!