Why women love gemstones

Women have long had a love for gemstones. Elizabeth Taylor even wrote a book titled ‘My love affair with jewelry’, which was warranted given her $4.2m dollar ruby, her 69.42-carat pear-shaped diamond and her legendary La Peregrina pearl, itself once owned by Mary I of England. While many believe the historical love of gemstones and jewellery is all about suggesting affluence, further investigation reveals the love to have greater roots in creating added attraction as well as suggesting high status.

Women’s love for gemstones and jewellery at large has varied throughout history according to women’s roles at the time. Many women used jewellery not simply as a statement of riches but of power. Though complete historical facts are hard to come by with legend and folklore playing their part, Cleopatra was known for her love of pearls, which were as popular as diamonds are today. It has been said she rode into battle on a horse of silver armour and wore jewelled sandals on her feet. The famous warrior queen Boudicca (aka Boadicea) was an Iron Age Briton who fought many successful battles against the Roman Empire was renowned for wearing a large golden torc around her neck. Indeed, gems, rings, bracelets and precious as well as semi-precious stones have since been found in the location of her battles.

But women also love gemstones to make them feel special, for sentimental reasons, to reflect their personalities and to complement their clothing. And psychology plays its part too. Abraham Maslow’s ‘Esteem’ needs are thought to have to be satisfied as one climbs towards self-fulfilment. In the past, it may have been to suggest status, but current thinking seems to be that gemstones can change the way not only that others might view women (hence boosting esteem needs), but also how they make women feel themselves in terms of their own wellbeing. And, if it’s all about feeling good about yourself, then maybe they have a greater power than we realise – all the more reason to make sure that those gemstones are as real as they feel.

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