There are two main criteria that lend value to the gems of the world and both are quite subjective: Their perceived beauty and their perceived rarity.
Think about it, all precious stones stand out from the crowd, so to speak. This is why they speak to the senses so loudly, especially the eyes. And for the erect biped, predator that we are, the eyes are very important tools. They also inform our notion of beauty.
Ancient people began harvesting what we now call gems and precious stones, even precious metals such as gold, long before anyone could write about any such discoveries. The beauty of gems is irresistible and undeniable. There are even some animals who cannot resist their charm. Ravens come to mind.
Color is an aspect of gems that certainly affects our attraction to them. Sometimes, the color may evoke a memory, but there is more to it than this. Color does have meaning. Researchers even measure emotional responses to color. There is a reason why we have favorite colors. They evoke strong emotions. Colors have been linked to personality, also.
What is your favorite color? Is your favorite gem of that same color, perhaps? That is not rare. Many people prefer a certain color gem to their own birthstone. In fact, both have meaning and combining them adds depth to personal ornamentation. Here are some meanings and character traits associated with color. We begin with the most popular, red.
You might find it interesting that many people who have come close to death or have had life-changing experiences report suddenly being in love with the color red once they recover. They cannot quite explain this, other than by stating that red reminds them of their new-found vitality. Indeed, red is the color of life and vitality. Many confident and outgoing individuals feel attracted to red. It is said that red enthusiasts tend to be impulsive and optimistic. This does not mean that those who prefer red cannot be shy also. In fact, some very quiet people have great strength of presence, and it is not rare for such individuals to also have an affinity with red.
Orange is related to red, of course, and as such it is often associated with vitality also, but while red is the color of strength, orange is often the favorite color of highly sociable individuals. In fact, individuals who emerge from a subdued existence will report an irresistible tendency to add orange accents to their surroundings, to the point of painting an entire room orange, typically a family room or dining room. In other words, they turn the room where they might entertain friends into an orange heaven. Orange is the color of youth also.
The color most often associated with the sun and wisdom. Yellow may be one of the colors with the most ancient symbolism. Not even the blue sky has fascinated mankind as much as the sun. Yellow is the color of adventure and high intellect, or rather curiosity. This only seems fitting. It brings to mind sea-faring adventurers whose journeys were mapped by the stars and sun more than by landmarks. Yellow moves the significance of color closer to the head. It is the color of great thinkers, of individuals with an analytical mind.
We will continue tomorrow, with green, blue and purple.