Imitation or the Real thing.

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(Karat gold, turquoise and diamond necklace, David Webb; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

 

A matrix, unlike the film trilogy, is a mass of fine-grained rock that plays host to gems, crystals and fossils as well. The matrix often leaves marks on its guests; the turquoise in question is marked by its host rock with a spider-web pattern of inclusions in shades of brown or black. Sometimes these patterns are so finely and evenly distributed that jewellers opt to leave the natural pattern in instead of cutting them out. However, it has to be noted, that stones without the matrix inclusions are preferred.

Cabochons, beads and others forms are possibilities for natural untreated turquoise gems where they can be turned into jewellery and are in high demand because untreated turquoise stones are rare. Treated turquoise stones are those infused with some sort of binding agent to make the stone a lot harder than what it is when it arrives straight from the mine and also where the colour is enhanced. Mined stones are often too porous to cut into and must be treated with polymers before they are ready to be cut; this reduces the value of the stone.

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(Spider-web turquoise Navajo cuff; image courtesy of Pinterest.)

The intensity of the colour (a strong shade of blue, preferably sky-blue to the blue of a robin’s egg) and the hardness of the turquoise are what determine the stone’s value. Copper plays a significant role in the colouring of this stone. The gemstone is of a rather delicate nature wherein it can be tainted by perfume, cosmetics or solvents of any sort which is why certain care must be taken and too much direct exposure to sunlight should be avoided as much as possible.

Dyed stones and imitation pieces have ruined things for this gem market-wise which is why it is always best to be careful while making purchases. So be cautious and make sure your source is a reliable one.

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Turquoise history repeating itself and pleasantly so!

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TURQUOISE AND DIAMOND EARRINGS, MICHELE DELLA VALLE, sotheby's

(Turquoise and diamond earrings, Michele Della Valle; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

Turquoise has a history that goes as far back as 4000 BC and the proof is in the Egyptian pudding, so to speak; it was the Egyptian tombs that held remnants of the ancient civilisation and this precious gemstone featured among those remains. The Egyptians referred to the gem by the name “mefkat” which translates into joy, it proves to be a rather fitting description since the colour is easy on the eyes and quite pleasing. It still plays a significant role in modern society even after all these years.
The turquoise is an opaque gem and unlike diamonds and rubies, it does not possess the clarity, transparency and sparkle that one would find in a crystal gem. Having said that, it is rather porous in comparison to other gemstones; 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, which makes it easy to carve, which, in turn, is why the jewellery made of turquoise can not only be cut into a cabochon or beads but cut into a flat inlay perfect as a surface to be carved into.

Turquoise, Ruby and Diamond Necklace, Bulgari pinterest

(Turquoise, Ruby and Diamond Necklace, Bulgari; image courtesy of Pinterest.)
This porosity and texture of the turquoise are rooted in its structure; the makeup of its solid mass is formed by clusters of closely or loosely packed tiny crystals. Needless to say, the closer the crystals are packed, the harder the material, the finer the texture and all the more durable is the stone as a whole; making it less susceptible to breakage and far more marketable. Add to that the finer, shinier surface which will generate more of a sparkle making it more appealing as a gemstone.
More about this precious stone in the next post!

Turquoise; what’s in a name?

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A turquoise-set and enamelled gold necklace, North India, 19th century pinterest

(A turquoise-set and enamelled gold necklace, North India, 19th century; image courtesy of Pinterest.)

Turquoise is as exquisite a visual treat as the word itself sounds coming out of one’s mouth. It occurs in the colours ranging from gorgeous blue to hues of green and what it has in common with precious metals gold, silver and copper are that it is one of the few precious elements that are wildly popular through their colours. Hence the colour it occurs in becomes the name it is known by; Turquoise.

A FINE AND RARE LARGE TURQUOISE-GROUND 'BAJIXIANG' CLOISONNE-IMITATION VASE sotheby's

(A large turquoise-ground ‘Bajixiang’ Cloisonne-Imitation Vase; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

History suggests that light was first shown on this precious mineral when it was brought to Europe from Turkey sometime in the 17th Century and it was around then that it was christened the turquoise, French for “Turkish”. The turquoise comes from Persia which is why it is also sometimes referred to as Persian blue.

It is an opaque mineral which is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium. Rare and prized for being a fine find in nature, Turquoise has been used as an ornament for ages, other than a prized gemstone of which jewellery is made, it is used in inlay, in pottery and in sculpture as well.

More on Turquoise in the next post!

Saturn and the Lunar Nodes.

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(A Blue Sapphire ring; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

The Blue Sapphire, also known as Neelam is ruled by the planet Saturn which is the second -largest planet in our solar system. The gas giant is also one of the most beautiful planets owing to the many ringlets that are formed around it.

The blue sapphire is said to possess a mystical force that can be highly beneficial to the wearer in terms of material prosperity, personal health, and some of the resultant effects are satisfaction and joy which leads to a healthy mind-set. It is also said to return what the person has lost – material wealth. The downside to this gemstone is that it may respond to the wearer in a less than pleasing manner so it is highly recommended that the wearer give it a trial period before wearing it permanently.

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(A Hessonite Garnet ring; image courtesy of Pinterest.)

Hessonite also referred to as the cinnamon stone and comes most often from India and Sri Lanka. Its colour lies somewhere between red and yellow. It also goes by the name “Gomed”. It is associated with a rogue planet called Rahu in Vedic astrology and is quite often associated with its partner in crime Ketu. Rahu is the northern lunar node because astronomically it denotes a point of intersection where the celestial paths of the sun and moon cross.

Hessonite is said to deflect all sorts of malevolence, including petty minded ill-wishers, thus protecting the wearer. It is recommended for those individuals involved in the discipline of law and order and for those who are engaged in judicial crossfire; judges, lawyers, practitioners of justice in any shape or form.

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(Cat’s-eye Chrysoberyl and Diamond ring; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

Cat’s Eye is a gemstone that also goes by the name Lahasunya and it is associated with the celestial body called Ketu; the one paired with Rahu. Ketu is the south lunar node; the southern point of intersection on the celestial paths that the sun and moon cross.

The Cat’s Eye is also known to ward off evil and black magic or dark practice of occult of any kind. It is most suitable for those who are ambitious and aim to climb the social ladder in the field of politics particularly and positions of high authority. This gem can right the wrongs that are a result of contention born of envy; like the blots on a person’s reputation. This stone acts as a precautionary measure in cases that involve malice or spiteful acts.

It is important yet again to make mention of the fact that these gems must not be bought without a visit to a genuine Vedic astrologer; an expert in all matters concerning this age-old Indian tradition.

Jupiter & Venus; the brightest in the night sky.

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(A yellow sapphire, diamond and ruby ring by Taffin; image courtesy of Christie’s.)

The Yellow Sapphire is known as a “fancy” sapphire, as are all sapphires in colours other than blue. The yellow hue is created due to the trace amounts of iron present in the stone. It is known as Pukhraj in Vedic Astrology.

Jupiter is the planet associated with the yellow sapphire and the largest planet in our solar system and it happens to be the second brightest planet in our night sky, in fact, it has the composition of a star so had it been a bit different, it would not be a planet. This precious gem is associated with morality, the virtue of piousness and the virtue of honesty. It is also closely linked with prosperity; the economic kind, which spells success for those individuals engaged in business ventures of any sort. The stone is said to work in the favour of those inclined towards the elevated path that involves spirituality, be that of a mentor or motivator of spiritual growth or better living; yoga and meditation.

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(A diamond ring by Graff; image courtesy of Christie’s.)

The Diamond known as Heera in Vedic Astrology is associated with Venus the second planet closest to the sun. Venus is also our closest neighbour in the solar system and is the brightest planet in the sky and is always close to the sun, it tends to rise and set as well which has earned it the nickname of the Morning/Evening Star.

The Diamond is symbolic of luxury, financial prosperity and well-being. It is believed that the individual donning this jewel on their person will tend to practice a disciplined life in terms of their approach to life, every aspect of it conducted in a planned and orderly fashion, thus dealing with every hurdle in a mature and organized manner. Not just obstacles, in fact, anything the individual encounters during the course of their life will be dealt with in a clever and confident manner that is a result of the maturity and discipline and this will lead to happiness. The gem is said to keep a tab on illnesses of the venereal kind and on diabetes as well.

Yet again, it is of importance to mention that all this should be taken into consideration with advice from a trusted Vedic Astrologer.

More in the next post!

Mercury and Mars.

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(Genuine natural cabochon red coral diamond ring; image courtesy of Pinterest.)

Coral is the gemstone associated with Mars which is the fourth planet from the sun. Mars is known as the red planet and its name is a result of the red soil/ dust that covers it.

Coral grows below sea level in dark environments and it is the intensity of the red colour that determines its preciousness. Seemingly, a lot of its characteristics where Vedic astrology is concerned are derived from its colour.

It is believed that coral heals blood-related illnesses. Fevers are said to be cured through the use of coral; tropical fevers, chicken pox, jaundice, impotency, anaemia, weakness, sluggishness, body aches,  allergies, inflammation, cough and cold, bronchitis, pneumonia and certain other ailments. It is also believed that red coral instils courage in the wearer and ensures material success in a person’s life.

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(An emerald and diamond ring; image courtesy of Christie’s.)

According to Vedic astrology, the emerald is the gemstone born of the mineral; green beryl and it is associated with the smallest planet in our solar system which also happens to be the closest to the sun; Mercury.

The emerald is believed to affect metal capabilities and has a significant influence on the intelligence of an individual. It is also said to improve a person’s memory, their communication skills, their sixth sense or what we may call intuition, the intellect each one is blessed with and the ability to learn new things and imbibe them. The emerald is also said to have a substantial effect on the digestive system, the liver, the tissues, on the lungs, the throat and on the entire nervous system.

For all these reasons the above-mentioned gemstones are affiliated with Vedic astrology and should be bought or made use of only as prescribed by a trusted expert and Vedic astrologer as per one’s beliefs and needs.

More on gemstones related to Vedic Astrology in the next post!

Between the Sun and the Moon.

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(Graff Ruby Ring; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

The ruby is associated with the sun; the brightest star in the sky. The giver of life.

Also known as Manikya in Hindi, the ruby represents the sun which means it exudes warmth and vigour and provides the same to the wearer. It is believed that the individual donning the gem is blessed with the enhancement of status, prestige and with that comes a healthy increase in self-esteem. Health is also of consequence, bones are strengthened, digestion is under control; in other words, good health is bestowed upon the person thus ridding them of any sort of disease or illness.

It is advisable that the individual looks for a particularly good ruby, ideally, flawless. Preferably well cut with good symmetry in a round, oval, cushion or emerald cut with a minimum of 1.00 to 1.50 carats.

What kind of jewellery is to be made of this ruby and the part of the body that will be adorned by this gem is to be decided by the Jyotish and it is upon that expert’s advice that certain choices are to be made.

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(Wrightsman Pearl Brooch; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

The pearl is a representation of the moon, the earth’s only natural satellite.

Like NASA says, the moon is the brightest and largest object in the night sky. It is responsible for bringing stability to Earth and for causing tides that in turn cause rhythm that we have lived with since time immemorial.

It also causes us to believe that the pearl leads with its influence over the heart and matters that concern the same, as it does the blood and the mind. These govern major parts of the human body and are responsible for multiple functions, just as the moon affects the earth. The pearl is said to bring constancy to whoever wears it.

Creamy, milky white, pearls that don’t have blemishes are preferred and the lustre seems to be of prime importance.

Yet again, important to mention that one must take this up only after consultation with astrologers that you trust.

More about other gems in the next post!

Precious Remedies

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(An example of Astrology and Horoscope based knowledge and the corresponding gemstones; image courtesy of Pinterest.)

Gemstones are believed to have an effect or effects (plural) on your state of being. It is believed that the precious stones affect the energy that every individual radiates, every living being, so to speak. It is believed that every living being, human and otherwise gives forth some sort of energy field and this can be impacted by energy from the said stones. Mental, emotional and physical, which refers to our thought patterns, beliefs, etc.; which is why, in India, your elders tend to suggest booking an appointment with a Jyotish (Vedic Astrologer) who is trusted for the advice given.

This advice may, more often than not, result in the procurement of a gemstone/ gemstones (an individual can be prescribed more than one) to be kept close to/on your person at all times, for as long as is required/ prescribed by the aforementioned Jyotish. The gemstones are decided upon after careful consideration of your birth chart and your horoscope specifically. The belief that accompanies this advice is that correct usage of the specific corresponding gemstone results in the dissipation of the negative energy or whatever it is that ails the individual in need of a cure.

The specifications extend to which part of the body the gems should be worn on. Meaning they could be rings to be worn on the fingers (specific down to the particular finger as well), bracelets or armlets for the limbs, pendants to be worn around the neck, so on and so forth.

All of this depending entirely on what your horoscope, in particular, says about you and your needs.

More about the healing gemstones in the next post.

 

Jyotisa and Gemstones.

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(Examples of Vedic Astrological charts and the planetary system; images courtesy of tumblr and pinterest.)

A land full of beliefs and cultures, India holds on to the traditional belief system called Jyotisa with a rather firm and earnest grip. Jyotisa is the branch of astrology that is rooted in the Vedas; ancient Hindu scripture. As a result, horoscopes play a rather large role in the everyday lives of Indians, which also means that most of the decisions governing the living of their lives are taken after consultation with an astrologer who is well versed in Vedic Astrology. Birth charts, marriages, new ventures, new additions to the household, new property or any major decision is taken after taking proper consideration of one’s horoscope.

This revered faith exists due to the belief that the celestial bodies hold a great amount of influence over an individual’s life; the body and mind, especially the state of mind. This, in turn, brings us to one of the mediums between the cosmos and us; gemstones. Another belief that holds a lot of weight in the Indian conscience is that gemstones carry energy and respond to different energies presiding in people in many different ways.

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(A ruby is one of the gems considered in Vedic Astrology. ‘The Queen Maria-José ruby ring’; image courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

These energies can be controlled by corresponding gemstones. So, if a person’s horoscope suggests a certain kind of temperament that may need a gentle or firm nudge in the right direction, chances are, and the astrologer consulted by the individual will prescribe a certain gemstone which carries the right energy for that person in particular.

This stems from the belief that the effects can be long-lasting. More on astrology and its relationship with gemstones in the next post.