Ancient Egyptian Stones and Crystals: The Magical and the Sacred

Updated on May 25, 2018
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Kitty has been studying Ancient Egyptian culture and religion since she was a young child. Now she enjoys sharing what she's learned.

The Power of Stones in Ancient Egypt

The Ancient Egyptians believed strongly that the natural world held supernatural powers. They believed in gods and goddesses that ruled over the sands of the desert and over the stars in the night sky. In Ancient Egypt, even stones and crystals held special powers and could bring the bearer and wearer certain gifts from the gods.

Buried royalty and priesthood have been found wearing sacred Ancient Egyptian stones, and these stones have also been found inlaid in artwork, in tombs, and in the great pyramids. Each stone and crystal was believed to have its own unique qualities, some of which are still used today in the New Age community. Let us learn more about the Ancient Egyptians and their precious stones.

Lapis Lazuli: The Soul of the Gods

Lapis lazuli is a deep blue stone with flecks of gold throughout. It is said to be one of the most prized ancient stones known to man. Cultures throughout the ancient world used lapis lazuli as a precious stone—in artwork and in apparel. Ancient Egypt was no exception to this rule. The Ancient Egyptians believed lapis lazuli was able to lead a soul into the afterlife and to recognize its immortality. They also believed this stone to be a stone of love, and therefore it had the ability to open one's heart to the love of others and towards oneself. Lapis lazuli was considered a stone for royalty, and this is because it was a stone sent to the Egyptians from the gods themselves.

When King Tut's tomb was discovered, they found many items inlaid with lapis lazuli, including the Golden Death Mask of King Tut himself. The Death Mask used lapis lazuli to outline the King's eyes, to show how make-up would have been worn by the King in life. Lapis lazuli was also used to dye clothing, making the clothing a rich blue color...in total opposition to the desert colors surrounding the Ancient Egyptians. Priests and royalty would wear these bright blue garments to show their connection to the gods and to immortality.

Blue Lapis Lazuli Scarab...an Ancient Egyptian stone that shows the sacredness of Lapis Lazuli to the Ancients.
Blue Lapis Lazuli Scarab...an Ancient Egyptian stone that shows the sacredness of Lapis Lazuli to the Ancients. | Source

Emerald: The Stone of New Life

Emeralds are often associated with Ireland, being that they are green and match the landscape of the Green Isle itself. However, emeralds were also beloved by the Ancient Egyptians. The oldest emerald mine dates back to 3000 BCE in Ancient Egypt. Emeralds, because of their brilliant green color, symbolized rebirth and fertility. Green was equal to new life, and so the Egyptians would wear emeralds to promote fertility...to promote a new pregnancy.

It was also thought to ward off evil spirits and negativity, and so it has been found around the necks of mummies to also ease them into the afterlife. Women would also wear or hold emeralds while giving birth to ease the labor and delivery pains. An Ancient Egyptian god known as Thoth (Tehuti) was said to have written a book known as the Emerald Tablet, while this book isn't made of emeralds, it is interesting that the book is named after the precious green stone.

Quartz: The Generator

Quartz is a stone that comes in many different colors and levels of clarity. Pink, purple, clear, and light blue quartz are just some of the great variety you might find. Quartz was used in Ancient Egypt in a number of ways including within their architecture, artwork, and of course in their jewelry. Quartz is thought to have been a sacred stone to the mythical Atlanteans, containing the memory of the time before Ancient Egypt was established, reaching back to the times of Atlantis and before.

At Abu Gorab, a monument was constructed by the Ancient Egyptians and it is thought that quartz crystal lies inside of the monument's walls. This monument was built as a temple to honor the sun god Ra, and interestingly quartz crystal is therefore thought to be linked with the sun. When placed inside of obelisks at various places throughout Egypt, the Egyptians saw the quartz crystal as being a generator...used to harness the energy of the sky, sun, and stars above. Quartz is said to be the most prominent crystal in the world, and is also called the "Universal Crystal". Magical properties of quartz are thought to be power, clarity, psychic intuitiveness, dreams, love, and more.

Egyptian Obelisks were powerful generators of energy...and so quartz was placed inside to further increase their generating powers.
Egyptian Obelisks were powerful generators of energy...and so quartz was placed inside to further increase their generating powers. | Source

Azurite: The Stone of Heaven

Azurite, the "Stone of Heaven", was so sacred to the Egyptians that only priests were allowed to handle it. It is a blue copper mineral that was used by many ancient civilizations in the carving of ornaments, and was ground down into a fine powder to use as pigment or dye for clothing and other garments. Its "azure" blue color was coveted by the royals and priesthoods. Azurite was said to help in focusing one's mental abilities and was also used in healing practices to cure cysts, tumors, and respiratory illness.

Azurite was also thought by the Ancient Egyptians to increase spiritual and magical powers, acting as an enhancer of sorts. In today's new age followers, azurite is used to remove negativity from one's life as well as to draw in positive forces and energies. It is not often placed into pieces of jewelry because it is a softer stone, but can be combined with malachite or encased in a polish in order to solidify it for preservation in jewelry form.

Azurite ground into a fine powder to be used as pigment as the ancients once did.
Azurite ground into a fine powder to be used as pigment as the ancients once did. | Source

Carnelian: The Red Eye of Horus

Carnelian was used in Ancient Egypt as a sacred stone; however, it was not considered to be as precious as some of the other rarer stones such as amethyst or emerald. Carnelian was a dark-orange to red stone that was utilized in jewelry and artwork mostly, usually in conjunction with two other stones—turquoise and lapis lazuli. This three-color combination of stones can be seen in the jewelry of the mummified Queen Hetepheres. Turquoise and lapis were inlaid to represent the sky and water, while carnelian was a representation of the Sun.

Many sun disks were inlay with carnelian, and carnelian is even written in correlation to the sun within the Egyptian Book of the Dead...more than once. It is mentioned to be not only the Eye of Ra but also the "violent" or "angered" Red Eye of Horus. Because carnelian was connected to the rising sun, it was also directly correlated to lions (lions were protectors of the rising sun). Carnelian is thought to have magical properties such as drawing in motivation, leadership qualities, fertility, and courage.

A pectoral of King Amenemhatt III from the 12th dynasty inlaid with Carnelian, tuquoise, and lapis lazuli.
A pectoral of King Amenemhatt III from the 12th dynasty inlaid with Carnelian, tuquoise, and lapis lazuli. | Source

These Precious Stones Today

All of these crystals and stones can be purchased today for use in your home or in jewelry. They each have their own special qualities, aesthetically and "magically". You can buy them in various shapes and sizes—crystal wands, towers, points, balls, pendants, and can be raw or polished. Put them in your bathroom and bedroom to help clear the air and bring in loving and passionate energies or put them beside your bed to enhance your dream-time.

Place two large crystals in the entrance-way of your home to protect your family and draw in prosperity. Use them in your garden to attract fertile soil and rain. There are so many ways to use crystals even in today's modern world. The Ancient Egyptians knew the power of these crystals in years passed, why can't we bring back that knowledge?

Learn about the "Crystal Movement"

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Nicole Canfield

    Comments

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    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

      Fiona 22 months ago from South Africa

      An extremely interesting hub - I love anything to do with Ancient Egypt but I never realized that they also used emeralds. Thanks

    • kittythedreamer profile image
      Author

      Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from Summerland

      Thanks for reading, newbizmau!

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 3 years ago from Mobile, AL

      A brief interesting history! Love it.

    • Dwight Phoenix profile image

      Dwight Phoenix 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Well aren't you the smart one...........

    • Johan Ismail profile image

      Faisal Usman 3 years ago from Islamabad Pakistan

      Good research, still stones are valueable

      Lol

    • profile image

      ArtDiva 3 years ago

      I attended the Tut Exhibit in SF years ago. The artifacts displayed, beautiful in both craftsmanship and symbolic meanings, the use of precious stones and gold, stunning. My favorite stone, Lapis Lazuli, that deep blue with specks of gold truly "captures the soul of the Gods." Interesting and informative article!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      There is so much I did not know. The magic and mystery as well as the obvious beauty certainly are captivating.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      You had me at "Ancient Egyptian!" Their use of precious stones and metals was unparalleled. Though aware of it, I've never really delved into the use of crystals. Maybe a Christmas gift to me? :) In fact, they would make great gifts for anyone. Voted up, beautiful, interesting and sharing. Christmas Blessings!

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