Magical gems are engraved precious stones that bear one or more of the following constituents:
- special iconography (such as the Anguipes or the Chnoubis)
- characteres (magical signs)
- voces and logoi (magical names).
These constituents are usually complemented with two structural features:
- the stone is engraved on both obverse and reverse, at times even on the edge
- the inscription appears directly and not in mirror-writing.
For a magical gem with all the above characteristics, see CBd-609
2) Magical(?) gems
The category of magical(?) gems is based on iconography. A piece in this group shows features similar to those of magical gems, without obviously being one. Gems with a representation of mixed Greek and Egyptian iconography belong here, as well as the Horus-cynocephalus scheme or the representation of Harpocrates in a papyrus boat which is not accompanied by an inscription. For an example, see CBd-20
For our overall guidelines of selecting gems for The Campbell Bonner Magical Gems Database, click here