Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

For Love of Gems

…A treatise on stones with ‘lovable’ properties for this season of romance! Read on to learn more about their varied histories, abilities, and how they can help to give you and your love life a lift…



Crushed pearls were often used as an antidote to many ills…including wandering lovers! Swallowing a potion made from a crushed pearl sometimes had the power to bring them back.

During the Renaissance in Florence, Italy, it was pearls and not diamonds which were actually the costliest stone. During this time, pearls were commonly hailed as the gem representing both purity and the Virgin Mary. As such, young brides would often cover themselves in pearls for their weddings; particularly their hair. A women’s hair was considered extremely alluring during this time, and only unmarried women wore it down.

Bridal hairstyles were always, as a result, worn up and elaborately braided…brides’ ears were usually covered with a cloth embroidered with pearls, largely due to the belief that the Virgin Mary conceived through her ear.


Rubies have many uses, but one can be as a warning or alarm system. One Renaissance author “himself had warning of the death of his wife as his ruby changed color.”

Rubies could also symbolize chastity, as in the 15th century portrait of the niece of the Duke of Milan, Maria Sforza (who was married as an “old maid” at the late age of 21!). In fact, like pearls, rubies were often used by Florentine brides during the Renaissance: this was because they were believed to remove both inappropriate lust and depression from the wearer





Amethyst has been said to intensify desire within both men and women, and can also function as a dream catcher to keep bad dreams at bay while in bed. Even St. Valentine, the symbol of romance, famously wore an engraved amethyst bearing the figure of a Cupid!


Rose Quartz:

rq.jpgThe stone of unconditional love, Rose Quartz promotes within the wearer a greater sense of self-worth, and as such, can create the confidence needed to bolster a spirit of romantic daringness!

Used as an aphrodisiac during the Middle Ages, rose quartz was said to arouse one’s lover “if a stone were held between thumb and forefinger and slowly drawn between the navel and the parts below.”



A famous sapphire which once belonged to the Count Welitski of Poland was known for being intensely blue during the day, and yet would transform into a fantastic shade of violet at night. Similarly, a French countess wrote a story titled “Le Saphire Merveilleux,” which claims that a change in sapphire color could be used to test a women’s faithfulness: a faithful woman would ensure that the sapphire remained blue.

We now know these as color-change sapphires, a very precious and valuable variety of stones. At the time, however, if a man wished to prove innocence, the woman in question would be asked to wear the sapphire for three hours in the afternoon. If he wished to prove unfaithfulness, however, she would be asked to wear it during the three hours from sunset leading into nightfall, when the gem’s hue would be completely different.

A nun from the Middle Ages, Hildegarde Von Bingen, once wrote: “sapphire has a magical property: if a stupid man uses it in the proper manner, he will become wise; if irritable, good-tempered.” ….Perhaps a great gift idea for the man in your life!




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“Treasures of Ur” emerald necklace. Copyright Eve Alfillé. Photo Credit Matt Arden.



These stones were known to miraculously retain the wearer’s beauty, and could grant good luck to a marriage!

Emeralds are known to be the stone of Venus, the Goddess of Love. They were also said to splinter upon the deflowering of a virgin, as is told in the story of King Bela of Hungary…upon touching his new wife, his famed emerald suddenly split!



An old English ballad tells the story of a lad who loved a princess in spite of the king’s disapproval, and was forced to escape to sea. Before he left, the princess gave him a ring with seven diamonds. However, “One day he looked his ring upon, he saw the diamond pale and wan” From the diamond’s message, he knew to hasten back, stopped her wedding to another suitor, and they lived happily ever after.

As exemplified in this story, diamonds have been known and praised for their ability to send messages since ancient times! They also have been said to promote courage in the wearer, and to grant them the ability to see one’s lover as beautiful always (even in sickness and old age)!



It has been said that a woman could see the face of her lover within a moonstone, if he were faithful and unwavering. For another suggested use, give your love a moonstone on the night of a full moon, and you may find that you will always have a mutual passion for one another.

..To keep your love strong this Valentine’s day, don’t forget to stop by the gallery and ask our helpful staff to see examples of any of these magnificent “Love Gems!”