Cane/walking stick handles – Gemstones

Why were particular gemstones or other materials chosen for use in creating canes and walking sticks? What magical properties did their makers believe these materials possessed?

Amethyst
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and is a popular gemstone. If not for its widespread availability, amethyst would be very expensive. The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek and means “not drunken.” This was possibly due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol, but most likely the Greeks were referring to the almost wine-like color of some stones that they may have encountered. Its color is unparalleled, and even other, more expensive purple gemstones are often compared to the color and beauty of amethyst. Although it must always be purple to be amethyst, it can and does have a wide range of purple shades. Throughout history, amethyst’s importance has been recognized around the world, and more than any other stone, there are many religious and cultural references from ancient societies to the New Age movement with descriptions for its use in jewelry and ceremonial items. Amethyst is the stone of humility, piece of mind, piety and resignation. It was associated with Bacchus, god of wine, and was thought to cure drunkenness. It became a symbol of sobriety, possibly because water in an amethyst jug looked like wine, but had no intoxicating effect.

Blue Chalcedony
Blue Chalcedony is most commonly thought to give physical strength, endurance and beauty to the wearer. Revelations states that Chalcedony is the 3rd layer in the City of Heaven. Rabainus Maurus, Archbishop of Mainz, believed Chalcedony was the 2nd apocalyptic gemstone, representing inner charity. As a protector, it has healing properties and is said to ward off negative magic and psychic attack. It is also thought to provide protection during political upset and while traveling.

Garnet
Born to the house of Mars and the month of January, the garnet is the stone of inspiration and energy, its red stones are like the ripe round polyps of a pomegranate. And fittingly, that is where garnet derives its name, from the Latin word “Granatum” meaning “seed-like,” like the seeds of a pomegranate. Its value lies in its purity of color and lack of inclusions. Healer and protector, it promotes loyalty, devotion, and sincerity. In the thirteenth century, the blood red Pyrope garnet was thought to be effective insect repellents. To prove the authenticity of a garnet, owners would take off their clothes and smear their bodies with honey. If insects did not swarm them, the garnet was real!

Jade
A gemstone known for over 7,000 years, jade was actually proved in 1863 in France to consist of two separate, distinct minerals, namely Jadeite and Nephrite. However telling the two apart is very difficult, and this may be the reason why the word jade is used as a description of both. Nephrite comes in several qualities, although the best is rare and very expensive. It was one of Faberge’s favorite stones and embodies the epitome of Russian taste.

Malachite
Malachite helps clear and activate the chakras and clears the path to your desired goal. It brings fidelity in love and friendship and is a protective stone for the aviation field. It brings tolerance, flexibility and patience, and a stabilizing influence. Steady, pulsing electromagnetic energy.

Precious stone shafts
Canes with precious stone shafts are extremely rare, the few known examples made of malachite, and an unprecedented example made from Lapis Lazuli. Lapis Lazuli was always highly prized. In Mesopotamia, this blue stone symbolized the heavens and so was used to decorate the ceilings of temples. In Egypt, it was used to adorn statues of the gods, while in Europe, viewed as a cure for melancholy and fever, it was reserved for the very wealthy people and one of the Faberge’s favorite precious stones.

Rose quartz
Rose quartz is the most powerful stone for dealing with affairs of the heart and opens the heart for giving and receiving love. This stone is believed useful for dealing with issues on an emotional level, and soothes negative influences. A stone from the heart and for the heart, it can also allow one to communicate internally with their spirit guides; you may or may not be aware of them but they are teaching you all the same.

Ruby
Ruby belongs to the category of costly gemstones. Wearers of the unblemished ruby enjoys wealth and property and is blessed with children. He becomes fearless, and is protected from afflictions, sorrow and disasters. He becomes virile and his willpower and spirit are strengthened. He occupies a respected position in society.

For antique cane and walking stick enthusiasts