The Precious Stones ascribed to the twelve months of the year were those worn in the breastplate of the High Priest, and it was believed that the Divine revelations obtained by the shining or dullness of the stones in the Urim and Thummim, due to some virtue inherent in them, were indicative as to whether the atonement had been accepted or not. These twelve stones, engraved with twelve anagrams of the name of God, had a mystic power over the Zodiac, harmonising the twelve Angels and good Spirits who had affinity with the twelve tribes of Israel.
The origin of Talismans and Amulets is lost in the obscurity of the ages, but as far back as we can trace human records they are to be found; the terms Talisman and Amulet have become from indiscriminate use to be considered synonymous, but in his notes to the Archaeological Journal, the Rev. C. W. King says:-
"The meaning of these two words is entirely distinct. Talisman being the conception in the Arabic tongue of the Greek, meaning the influence of a planet, or the Zodiac, upon the person born under the same. A Talisman in olden times was, therefore, by its very nature a sigil, or symbolic figure, whether engraved in stone or metal, or drawn upon parchment or paper, and was worn both to procure love and to avert danger from its possessor. The latter purpose alone was the object of the Amulet, its Latin signification being to do away with, or baffle, its root being Amalior. Pliny cites the word as the country-folk name for the Cyclamen which ought to be planted in every human home, because where it is grown poisonous drugs have no power to harm, on which account they call it the flower, Amuletum".
The belief in them is by no means so universal as in olden times, and to the thoughtful person many of the attributes claimed for them cannot be admitted; at the same time, with the growing knowledge of finer forces opening up new powers to mankind and to which we are slowly coming into touch, many people are prepared to admit that there may be some active power in a thought made concrete in the form of a Talisman or Amulet which may be made for some specific purpose, or for particular wear, becoming to the wearer a continual reminder of its purpose and undoubtedly strengthening him in his aims and desires.