Charmstone, owned by the Mackenzies of Ardloch, Ross-shire

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Postcard of Charmstone, owned by the Mackenzies of Ardloch, Ross-shire.
© National Museums Scotland

Charmstone, owned by the Mackenzies of Ardloch, Ross-shire

This crystal charmstone was belonged to the Highland family, the MacKenzies of Ardloch in Ross-shire. It is set in a silver mount that dates from the 17th or 18th century, although the crystal itself may be derived from an earlier reliquary.

The charmstone is of a flattened oval shape. Its silver mount has suspension loops at the top and bottom, to which a chain could be attached.

The chain may have allowed the charmstone to be worn around the neck. It is more likely however that it was used to dip the charm in water which could be given to people or animals as a drink to cure disease or prevent illness.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-002-755-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.NO 80
Date: 17th or 18th century
Material: Rock crystal; silver
Dimensions: 71 mm L x 46 mm W x 22 mm D
What: Charmstone
Subject: Jewellery: charms, amulets (NMAS Classification)
Who: Mackenzie of Ardloch (Owner)
Where: Ardloch
Description: Rock crystal charmstone of a flattened oval shape, in a silver setting with loops at each end, long preserved in the family of Mackenzie of Ardloch
  • Black, G.F. 'Scottish Charms and Amulets' Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities of Scotland XXVII (1892-3), pp 433-526 
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