Gemology Lesson 1:
Land of Gems -Rayalaseema
Gemology is the branch of study that deals with various Gems, also known as the precious stones. In Sanskrit, these stones are known as Ratnas for which India is famous since time immemorial.
India was so famous that a part of the Andhra Pradesh state in the country – Rayalaseema region, was once known as the Ratnala Seema (land of gems). Most of the street markets in many of the towns of this region used to deal with these precious stones on a massive scale where traders from all over the country participated in big numbers. It is a fact that still in this region some peasants on and off find and come across these stones when they plough their fields. It is no doubt an exaggeration that India was once called the Ratna Garbha (treasure of gems). The world famous Kohinoor diamond was found in the Andhra Pradesh region of the country and the great Moghul diamond was found at the Golconda fort near Hyderabad.
India honors great achievers in different fields with Bharat Ratna title and most of the ancient scholars were honorably called Panditha Ratna. From this, the importance of Ratna or Gem can be easily known. In India, deities in almost all the temples in the country would have decoration with gems on festival times and Lord Venkateswara of the Seven Hills at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh is the richest Lord as He has the highest number of gems than any other deity in the country. In the good olden days, kings not only in India but all over the world used to wear costly gems in their crowns and swords. In the present times, the powders of certain gems are used as medicines too and some gems are also found in wrist watches.
Gems and astrology:
Gems have special relationship with astrology. Not only in India but all over the world, people recognized the astrological importance and value of gems and have been recommending from time immemorial to wear different gems for different purposes. Mostly these gems are recommended to achieve prosperity, marital harmony, peace, progress, pleasure, power, success and relief from suffering and difficulties.
In India, there are a good number of books on gems and they deal with their colours, qualities, uses, medicinal values and of course their astrological importance. The greatest astrologer of all times Varahamihira’s book Brihat Samhita has a special chapter on gems. Famous astrologer Vaidya Natha’s book Jatak Parijatha also abundantly deals with gems and their utilities.
There are totally 84 gems with different names and colors but astrology gives importance to 9 gems only. When we generally refer to gems in astrological parlance, we refer to these 9 gems only. These are known as gems or precious stones and the other 75 stones are known as semi precious stones. Among the semi precious stones, very few of them are in use and many of them are not discussed in general.
The following are the nine gems.
5. Yellow Sapphire
7. Blue Sapphire
9. Cat’s eye
All the nine of them are known as the Navaratnas ( the nine gems) and five of them – Ruby, Diamond, Yellow Sapphire, Blue Sapphire and Emerald – are known as the Pancharatnas ( five gems).
The following are the nine gems and their representation for colors, weekdays and planets in general for astrological purposes.