The first historical references to the use of crystals come from ancient the Ancient Sumerians, who included crystals in magic formulas. The Ancient Egyptians used lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, emerald and clear quartz in their jewellery. They also carved grave amulets of the same gems. The Ancient Egyptians used stones primarily for protection and health. Chrysolite (later translated as both topaz and peridot) was used to combat night terrors and purge evil spirits. Egyptians also used crystals cosmetically. Galena (lead ore) was ground to a powder and used as the eye shadow known as kohl. Malachite was used in a similar manner. Green stones in general were used to signify the heart of the deceased and were included in burials. Green stones were used in a similar way at a later period in Ancient Mexico.
Crystals and gemstones have played a part in all religions. They are mentioned throughout the Bible, in the Koran and many other religious texts. The origin of birthstones is the breastplate of Aaron, or the "High Priest's Breastplate", as mentioned in the book of Exodus. In the Koran, the 4th Heaven is composed of carbuncle (garnet). The Kalpa Tree, which represents an offering to the gods in Hinduism, is said to be made entirely of precious stone and a Buddhist text from the 7th century describes a diamond throne situated near the Tree of Knowledge (the neem tree under which Siddhartha meditated). On this throne a thousand Kalpa Buddhas reposed. The Kalpa Sutra, in Jainism, speaks of Harinegamesi the divine commander of the foot troops who seized 14 precious stones, cleansed them of their lesser qualities and retained only their finest essence to aid his transformations.
Rings and gemstones have a special place in Islamic culture and history. Most if not all Muslims agree that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) wore at least one ring, and this is something that is followed by Muslims all over the world.
“When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wanted to send a letter to the Romans, he was told that they would not read any letter unless it had a seal on it, so he took a ring of silver. It is as if I can see it shining on his hand, and engraved on it were the words ‘Muhammad the Messenger of Allah.’”
Gems have a special place in Islam. One example of this is Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, the Black Stone, which sits by the Kabah and which Muslims are keen to kiss and touch.
Some believe that gems have the power to cure diseases, both physical and metaphysical. The finger is a direct link to the heart, and, according to some experts in the mysticism and scientific properties of gems, it is the energy of the gems that transfers itself from the stone into the body. (10)
The hadith mentioned earlier by Anas ibn Malik confirms that the Holy Prophet indeed wore an aqeeq stone (quoted as Abyssinian stone, also known as agate) on his ring. This means it is of the sunnah to wear an aqeeq stone.