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Article: Toadstone


Beliefs about Toadstones

  • Fossils associated with jewels set inside the heads of toads
  • Toadstones believed to be antidotes for poison and used in epilepsy treatment
  • Toadstones were adorned in jewelry for their magical abilities
  • Toadstones were removed from live toads and could be done on a red cloth
  • Toadstones varied in size and color, most effective against poison when worn against the skin

Allusions in Literature

  • Toadstone alluded to in Shakespeare's 'As You Like It'
  • Toadstone mentioned in James Branch Cabell's 'Balthazar's Daughter' and its play adaptation
  • Duke Senior compares adversity to a toad with a precious jewel in its head

Toadstones in Jewelry

  • Some toadstones used in jewelry, including on a crown at Aachen Cathedral
  • Toadstone rings found in the Ashmolean Museum and the British Museum

Related Concepts

  • Bezoar
  • Biomineralization


  • 'Fossils: myths, mystery and magic' - Independent UK
  • 'A Lapidary, Or, the History of Pretious Stones' - Thomas Nicols
  • 'Naturall Philosophy: or a Description of the Vvorld, and of the Severall Creatures Therein Contained' - Adolf Wilhelm Scribonius
  • 'A Thousand Notable Things, of Sundry Sortes: Whereof Some Are Wonderfull, Some Straunge, Some Pleasant, Diuers Necessary, a Great Sort Profitable, and Many Very Precious' - Lupton Thomas
  • 'Medieval Jewellery in Europe 1100-1500' - Marian Campbell

Toadstone Data Sources

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