As long as humans have existed, we've utilized the powerful healing properties of stones, crystals and herbs/plants. Amulets were banned by the Christian church in 355 AD, but gemstones continued to play an important role. Ivory beads were discovered 60,000 years ago in a grave in Russia. Amber amulets were also found as early as 30,000 years ago. The Ancient Sumarian's included Crystals in their magic formulas. Ancient Egyptians used crystals for many things, but primarily for health and protection. Chrysolite (topaz/peridot) was used to fight evil spirits and protect from negative energy. Egyptians also used crystals for cosmetics. They grounded many stones, such as malachite, into powder and used it as eye shadow. They also used green stones to signify the heart of those that passed onand included them in burials. Ancient Mexicans also used green stones in a similar way at a later period. The Ancient Greeks used amethyst as an amulet to prevent intoxication and hangovers. They also rubbed hematite all over their bodies before war in order to make themselves invulnerable. Greek sailors also wore a variety of stones to keep them safe at sea.
Crystals & Herbs were used during the renaissance for healing powers as well. They believed that if a sinner held the stones, they would lose their worth.
Jade was used to heal the kidney in South America, China, Aztec & Mayan civilizations.
Buddhist's believe the ruby can help with mental and physical health.
Native American tribes value gemstones, mainly turquoise, which provides strength.
Experiments done during the 19th century proved that many different physical and psychological changes took place when individuals came into contact with certain stones.
Some doubt the healing properties of crystals, calling them merely a placebo. One thing we know for sure, is that they're still used today for a reason and our ancestors would vouge for them!