A Brief History of Stones and Magic

While I may be a scientist, I am fascinated by the mythology surrounding stones. Even nowadays, people are obsessed with the metaphysical and spiritual properties of stone. While it's easy to get bogged down in the murky waters of cultural appropriation, stones and crystals have had a place in almost every culture's mythology and/or religion. 
Why? Because stones and crystals have mystical properties. Before people had microscopes, knowledge of atomic structure, or understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum, stones represented something curious.
Stones may have been regarded as the physical connection to something celestial, since some stones had properties unseen in other materials at the time: light refraction and color flashes (as seen in these labradorites), translucence AND opaqueness, and beautiful colors/patterns that occurred naturally (even some colors unobtainable by painters at the time). Stones were used by medieval poets to describe beauty and desire. They were used to decorate religious objects. Stones are commonly used as magical items in legends and stories (like the Philosopher's Stone!). The connection between stones/mysticism in history is clear.
For example, had you not known how light works, or how white light is made up of all the colors of the rainbow, you too might think these labradorites magical. In fact, labradorites come from the Isle of Labrador (now in Canada) and their mythology is that they are Northern Lights that have dropped to Earth. It's easy to see why!