"…the symbols and colors used in modern-day amulets can be traced back to the dawn of human civilization, creating an unbroken chain of beliefs and fears transformed into personal adornment…"
Aspects of amulets
Early hunter-gatherer societies, colors and materials were among the first criteria that turned an otherwise normal object such as a stone into an amulet. Colors often worked by association. Red is in many cultures related to blood and the heart, and channeled passion and love. To ward off evil, red was used in many types of embroideries and decorations. One has only to remember the Kabbalah red thread of wool worn around the wrist by Madonna as an example to see its use even today. The color blue is in many cultures seen as the color of the sky and water, and green is encountered as the color of natural growth and prosperity. Materials that naturally conveyed these colors were often chosen to be used in amulets. Semi-precious or precious stones such as jade, carnelian, amber, onyx or agate are often worked into beads, pendants or ring bezels. As soon as glass-production was developed, glass inlays in various colors were used for the same purposes. These colored objects are often combined with metal, either as carrier or as inlay. In many early civilizations, writing was an art only mastered by a few. Signs, words or complete spells worked into an amulet by someone who could read and write contributed greatly to the effectiveness of the amulet. Around the world, amulets have been found in archaeological digs. Often these found items consist of perforated objects to be worn on a cord or sewn onto a garment, in other words, beads. These represented an economical value, but served as decoration as well as having ritual properties. Beads have been unearthed from the earliest periods on, and could be a simple perforated stone or shell to intricately carved precious stones or worked metal.
"…semi-precious or precious stones such as jade, carnelian, amber, onyx or agate are often worked into beads, pendants or ring bezels…"
From prehistoric beads to modern plastic evil-eye beads, amulets have played an important role in the history of personal adornment. Caught between fear and fashion, the most beautiful jeweled pieces often have strong amuletic values. The deeply human need for confirmation, for protection, is ever-present through history and around the globe. It connects us with past generations and seemingly different cultures. Specificity of the amulet still exists in present day. For example, there are police officers that wear the St. Christopher's medal, as he is the patron saint of people who help, while some may wear the St. Jude medal, since he is the patron saint of hopeless causes. Though there is little scientific evidence that an amulet actually protects the wearer from danger, many still find comfort or have great faith in the protective ability of such objects. Others wear them without really thinking of them as protective, and instead, they have simply become part of the "uniform" of a particular job. Some non-believers still believe in hedging their bets, particularly when it comes to wearing patron saints. While they are not sure the amulet will work, there seems no harm in a little divine protection.