The Hidden Magic of Gems[part four]In Indian tradition, the sacred gems relating to the nine planets are called The Nine Gems, or "navratna". Each of these gems has a traditional role to play in either strengthening or counteracting the power of its ruling planet. This article by Uma Shankar Shukla concludes by examining the Nine Gems.
YELLOW SAPPHIRE or Topaz/Pushkaraj (for Jupiter).
Navratna, the Nine Gems
This is one of the most widely used gems to help achieve better financial status. The wearer may expect wealth, good health, name, honour and fame if the gem suits him or her.
It is also believed that if there are obstructions in finding a suitable match for a girl, she will marry early by wearing a Yellow Sapphire. This is normally light yellow
Topaz or Pushkaraj is a cold gem. It improves vision, gives life security, protects from poverty, removes adversity, misfortune and melancholy.
In diseases, Topaz cures diarrhea, gastritis, ulcer, rheumatism, jaundice, insomnia, heart troubles, impotency, gout, arthritis, pain in
knee joints, etc. Topaz should be worn in gold, on 1st finger of right hand on Thursday. The weight should be of 7 or 13 grams.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- Sapphires, are simply crystallized alumina (Al2O3) and in their pure form are devoid of colour.
Sapphires are found in various colours which include pink, blue, green, yellow, orange and white. In India, Yellow Sapphire is known as Pukhraj and Blue Sapphire is known as Neelam. It has a specific gravity of 3.99, mean refractive
index (RI) 1.765 and Hardness of 9 on the Moh's scale.
- Sapphires are found in India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Russia, Thailand, Australia, U.S.A, U.K., Nepal, Mexico, Zambia and Nigeria. In India, Sapphires are found in Jammu and Kashmir. These are considered to be the best in the world. Some sapphires are also found in Orissa, but they are not of very high quality.
- Natural Sapphires carry within them clear signs of slow crystallization. Some of the external elements sometimes remains preserved in the Gem which helps its identification. Like all other precious gems it should have inclusions which should be visible to the naked eye or under magnification. Otherwise, it is a piece of glass or a synthetic substance.
The inclusions are generally like 'feathers' or are like finger print impressions. Liquid inclusions looking like lace are also sometimes visible. Synthetic Sapphires are very common in the market and many traders in order to earn fast money sell them as originals. These are very clear and under magnification show bubble like inclusions. Sometimes
feather like inclusions have also seen but they shine abnormally under light.
BLUE SAPPHIRE or Neelam (for Saturn)
Neelam removes the evil effects of Saturn. It is said that this stone has the magical power to elevate its user to a higher status from all sides. Some astrologers believe that Blue Sapphire or Neelam is so powerful if used properly that it can alleviate even long-term misfortune. However, there is a caution. Sometimes this stone may react adversely. It is advisable to test it first for a
week before final wearing. It could give you everything you could desire – health, wealth, longevity, happiness. It also restores lost wealth and property.
Sapphire is normally faint or dark blue in colour. It is a very cold gem. Sapphire may also be yellow. It brings wealth, name and fame. Also gives good stamina, longevity and security in life.
Can improve fertility in a barren woman. Best suited for joy, love and happiness. It cures fainting, fits, virility, mental disorder, deafness and baldness.
It should be used on 2nd finger of right hand in gold or panch dhatu on Saturday and the weight is 5 or 7 grams.
RUBY Manik (for Sun)
Ruby is said to give name, fame, vigour, virtue, warmth and the capacity to command to its user. It can also raise the individual far above the status into which he was born. Historically, it has been symbolic of love and passion. It is normally red in colour. Ruby is a hot stone.
On the disease front: Ruby helps cure peptic ulcer, fever,
rheumatism, gout etc. However prolonged use may cause boils, itch and insomnia as well. Do consult an astrologer or a gemologist before wearing this, or any other stone. Ladies should avoid the use of Ruby as it can destroy the body lustre.
Ruby should be used in gold on third or ring finger of right hand on Sunday. Ideally it should be about 3 or 5
grams in weight.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- The name Ruby comes from Latin Rubrum, which means 'Red'. Ruby, which is corundum, is simply crystallized alumina (Al2O3) and in pure form is devoid of colour. The rich colour in Ruby is mainly due to small amounts of chronic oxide, which is able to replace part of alumina without disturbing the trigonal crystal structure. It has a specific gravity of 3.99. Mean Refractive Index is
1.765 and the hardness is 9 on the Moh's scale.
- Ruby is found in Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, East Africa, Kenya, Nepal, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. The best Rubies are from the Magok district of Burma. Thai Rubies are comparatively less attractive and the Rubies found in Sri Lanka are pink.
- Natural Rubies are never 'clean' i.e., without inclusions. They contain inclusions which look like 'silk'. Natural Ruby encloses small crystals of other minerals, in the form of pale angular grains, cavities of irregular shapes, patches of fine needle-like criss-crossing canals which give a silky effect by reflected light. If these inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, then the
eyeglass should be used to detect them. If even under high magnification no such inclusions are visible, then the gem you are checking is most probably a piece of glass. A synthetic Ruby will either not contain any inclusions or else it will have bubble-like inclusions, or cracks (as seen in a glass) will be visible. The cracks will give a milky hue and will be of an even nature.
EMERALD Panna (for Mercury)
Emerald improves faculties related to the brain such as memory, communication, intuition, the intellect and the ability to learn. It is normally petal green or dark green in colour.
Emerald is a hot gem. It increases intelligence and brainpower, removes and cures fickle-mindedness, loss of memory, stammering, fear from souls and spirits, cooling
harsh speech. One of the interesting observations about Emerald is that it is not prescribed for newly wed couples. It is said that newly married couples should not use it, as it impairs conjugal happiness due to reduction in sexual desires.
It is also useful for curing diarrhea, dysentery, gastritis, peptic ulcer, asthma, insomnia, heart troubles,
etc. Emerald should be used in gold of 3, 5, 7 or 10 grams on 4th finger of right hand on Wednesday. An Emerald wearer is likely to find sufficient wealth.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- Emerald, which is a Gem of Beryl family, is a silicate of beryllium and aluminium 3BeO.Al2O3.6SiO2. The colour of Emerald is mainly due to traces of chromium replacing aluminium ions in the hexagonal beryl crystal. It has a specific Gravity of 2.71, mean refractive index is 1.58 and hardness is 7.5 on the moh's scale.
- Emerald is found in Colombia, Brazil, Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, India, Australia, Austria, Pakistan, Kenya and Zambia. In India, Emeralds are found in Rajasthan, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
- Emeralds from various mines have different kinds of inclusions, which can be seen with the naked eye, or else under magnification. If no inclusions are seen even under magnification, the chances are that the Gem under examination is either a piece of glass or a fake.
Inclusions in Emeralds include flakes of mica, fibrous material, milky-white
spots, straw, bamboos and small cubes of rock salt are seen sometimes. Black spots are also seen in Emeralds.
Emeralds were formed when lava coming out from the volcanoes solidified on the surface of the earth. At this stage its fast solidification led to certain flaws in its crystal formation and certain foreign elements also entered the matrix.
Synthetic Emeralds contain nail-like inclusions, brush-marks or chains of bubbles.
RED CORAL Praval or Moonga (for Mars)
It is said that Red Coral instills courage in its wearer. It also helps in curing blood -related diseases. It is normally red in color. Coral ensures material happiness, recovery from diseases indicated by Mars such as fever, cough, bilious complaints, smallpox, chickenpox, headache, loss of vitality, piles, boils, measles etc. It should be worn in silver or copper, and should be of 9, 11, 12
grams, on Tuesday on 1st or 4th finger of right hand. It is a hot stone.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- Coral is a product of the sea. It is formed from the calcareous skeletons of myriads of tiny polyps (meaning "insect with many feet"), which live in vast colonies in warm waters at a moderate depth. It is composed chiefly of calcium carbonate. This is arranged as fibres radiating from the central axis of the curving coral branches. Its specific Gravity is 2.68 and hardness is less than 4 on
the Moh's scale. It is an opaque stone. Many forms of coral exist, but only high quality red, pink, blue, black and white corals are used in jewellery.
- Corals are found in India, Italy, Australia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Malaysia, South, Africa, Algeria and U.S.A.
- Coral, being an opaque gem, is very difficult to identify. A practiced eye is required to differentiate between a natural and a manmade coral. Natural corals, if seen under magnification, always tell the story of their origin. They have black marks which are actually holes.
A very careful examination is required to identify a natural coral. Real
corals are not very clear and if clear they are very costly. Manmade corals are very commonly found in the marketplaces being sold as real corals.
DIAMOND Heera (for Venus).
It is said that the one who wears a Diamond has a luxurious life . Diamond is also supposed to enhance the name, fame and artistic quality of the person. Diamond is a hot gem. It creates goodness and removes evil and fearful thoughts in the native. It improves financial conditions and blesses the native with comforts and peace of mind. It also enhances
sexual power. Also helpful in diabetes, diseases of urine, of private parts, syphillis, skin and uterine diseases. Diamond should he worn on 1st finger of right hand on Friday in gold or platinum. The weight should be 1/4 or 1/2 gram.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- The name diamond comes from the Greek 'adamas', meaning 'invincible' in recognition of its exceptional hardness which makes it resist any form of abrasion by other minerals. Diamond is carbon in its pure form. Chemically there is no difference between diamond, coal and graphite. But the unique atomic bonding makes the
It has a specific gravity of 3.52, mean Refractive Index is 2.418 and has a hardness of 10 on the Moh's scale.
Diamonds are found in South Africa, Australia, Russia, Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Tanzania, Brazil and India.
In India, Diamonds are found in Madhya Pradesh, Orrisa and Andhra Pradesh.
- For a Diamond to be real, it must possess some inclusions. These inclusions are visible by naked eye or under magnification. If no inclusions, black spots or milk patches are visible in a Diamond then either it is a zirconia or piece of glass. Diamonds which do not have any inclusions under 50x magnification are very rare and can be found with collectors
only. The small black spots visible in Diamonds are crystals of Graphite or other forms of Carbon. These black spots shine under light. Diamonds have an affinity for grease, the surface of a cut Diamond will generally have a film of grease if it has been handled.
The most important test of a diamond is that all light entering the front of the stone
is totally reflected from the back facets, which form a series of mirrors. A well-cut diamond, if viewed from the back and held up to the light, will show only a pinpoint of light from the culet.
In addition, looking down on a brilliant-cut diamond, one cannot see the wearer's finger beneath the stone, as can be seen with other stones. White light
entering a diamond is dispersed into a spectrum of colours, giving flasks of different colours from the smaller crown facets.
ZIRCON Gomedh or Hessonite (for Rahu)
The shadow planet Rahu is supposed to be responsible for all sorts of delays or very late fulfillment of ambitions. Gomedh can help in achieving speedy success in less time than expected. Gomedh also improves dealing with people and protects its wearer from sudden misfortunes. This is normally reddish-chocolate in colour. Gomedh is cold in nature. It cures diseases caused by affliction of
Rahu and Saturn. It also increases appetite, vitality, confers good health, wealth and happiness and all round prosperity. It is said to be the best gem to avert stomach ailments, disaster, insanity, and evil spirits.
It should be used in silver on Saturday on 2nd finger of right hand. The weight should be 6, 11, 13 grams.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- Its name comes from Greek 'esson' meaning 'inferior', since these gems are supposed to be less valuable. Gomedh is a Gem of the Garnet family. Magnets can pull these Gems, which is a very special phenomenon, as magnets otherwise pull only certain metals. Chemically it is known as Grossular (3CaO.Al2O3.3SiO2). It is found in number of colours like green and pink, but generally it is orange
brown. It has a hardness of 7.25 on the Moh's Scale, specific gravity is 3.65 and Refractive Index is 1.74.
- It is available in abundance. It is found in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Australia, Tanzania, South Africa, Burma, Mexico, Russia, Italy, Kenya, Canada, U.S.A, and Malaysia. In India it is found in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Bihar. Gaya mines in Bihar are the biggest source of this gem. Recently, very good quality of this Gem has been found in Orissa.
- This Gem contains inclusions which look like scattered islands or flat bubbles. The colour is like honey shining under a ray of light. The inside, when viewed under magnification looks like a thick sticky liquid and certain areas look out of shape with lesser transparency.
CAT'S EYE Lehsuniya (for Ketu)
This protects its wearer from hidden enemies, mysterious dangers and diseases. It is normally milky in colour. The gem is very hot in nature. In the event that it does not suit the wearer, the gem sometimes gives immediate signals like uneasiness, restlessness etc.
Cat's Eye is supposed to counter the evil effects of Ketu and diseases caused by
Mars. It may prevent unexpected mishaps of life, curing mania, paralysis etc. It protects the wearer from accidents and secret enemies. For businessmen, it is a miraculous result-giving stone, bestowing wealth by secret means like horse racing, gambling, stock exchange market and speculations.
It also protects from drowning, intoxication, and
Government punishment. It is said to bring fortunes to those who gamble (horseracing, casinos) and should be worn in gold on 2nd finger or 3rd finger of right hand. The weight should be 3, 5 or 7 grams.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- Cat's Eye is a gem which displays a band of light at the top which moves when the gem is tilted. The Mineral is chemically known as Chrysoberyl (BeO.Al2O3). The chemical bonding is rhombic. It is generally found in greenish, brownish, yellowish and colourless shades. It has a specific gravity of 3.71 and hardness of 8.5 on the Moh's scale. It is a fairly hard material which wears well as a
ring stone, although it is brittle.
- Cat's Eye is found in Sri Lanka, Brazil and India on a very big scale. It is also found in South Africa, Russia, Burma and U.S.A.
In India, it has been found in a very big way in Orissa. It is also found in Kerela, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
- Being an opaque gem poses certain difficulties in differentiating the natural gem from artificial material. One striking difference that one can tell after some experience of seeing natural Cat's Eye Gems is that the artificial Cat's Eye will be too clear and the Cat's Eye effect will be too marked. But a closer examination under magnification will show signs of a natural gem – like small
marks, grains of stone and the small irregularies below the polished surface. The lower part of a Cat's Eye is not polished but only ground, so one can see the roughness of the stone there.
PEARL Mukta (for Moon)
One who possesses or wears a good pearl enjoys the blessings of Laksmi, the goddess of prosperity. This blessed one will live long and become free of evil, developing vitality and intelligence. He or she will achieve much renown and come to a high position due to the wisdom endowed by the pearl.
- PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
- The best pearls are moonlike, shining white in colour, with a perfectly round, globular shape. They should be compact, with a high specific gravity, spotless and free from blemishes. The appearance should be lustrous and smooth. Pearls may be white, giving spiritual gifts, rosy, giving intelligence and power, yellow, bringing material prosperity. Black pearls are rare, but are not ideal for
development. Coppery or non-lustrous, dirty, cracked, misshapen or otherwise defective pearls should be avoided as they are inauspicious.
- Pearls are found in Sri Lanka, India, Persian Gulf, Venezuela, Mexico and Australia. Australian pearls are generally considered less desirable. Sri Lankan pearls are considered the best, though pearls from Bahrain are highly prized.
In India the best pearls come from Bay of Bengal and fom Tuticorin in South India.
- Pearls grow inside oysters and rarely elsewhere (bamboo, cobra, conch etc). Today cultured pearls are available which may be distinguished from genuine pearls by the bore, which is unifom in the genuine, but thin at the start and wide in the middle in the cultured pearl. Another difference is the structure, which is concentric in the genuine pearl, but parallel in the cultured. Natural pearls
are also available. These are created like cultured pearls by the intentional insertion of foreign matter into the oyster, but mother-of-pearl is used rather than glass bead. Natural pearls are better than cultured pearls, but both are acceptable if a genuine pearl is unavailable.
Imitation pearls made from fish scales are also sold, but these are
not suitable for our purposes. Misshapen or otherwise defective pearls are not suitable either, although very small genuine pearls (too small for jewellery) may be powdered and used for medicinal purposes.
One very important factor, which anyone trying to identify a Gem should note, is that some "faults" are always present in a genuine Gem – their absence and not their presence should be a cause for concern. However, as a rule, any Gem should be shaped in a pleasing manner, lustrous, of pure colour and fine texture. Pearls in particular should not be misshapen.
This concludes the article.
Return to the start of The Hidden Magic of Gems.
Or go on to read Uma Shankar's article on The Healing Power of Gems.