Nine stones representing the planetary system is widely used in India for astrological purposes. People from all walks of life ranging from film stars, politicians to a daily wage earner have always shown believe and faith in Navagraha stones.
Superstitions and stories have been often surrounded to many gemstones. People believe that some stones made them richer or the other way it was the cause for their downfall. We have no major role or knowledge in the field of astrology and therefore we do not want to discuss on the astrological aspects of gemstones at all.
on the other hand, we can assure the general public the fact that there are various types of simulants (imitations) and also synthetic stones existing in the market, which can be mistaken for the Navagraha stones with which you wanted to try your luck. Beware of these synthetic and simulants.
These synthetics and imitations may not be of any help to you as far as the astrology goes; and similarly it will not have any commercial value also. Therefore first of all before buying a stone for the astrological purpose, you must ensure that the stone is natural.
It is, many a time, stated that the deeper the colour, the better the value of the stones especially for astrological purpose. If this is so, one has to be very careful, because today maximum of coloured stones, especially Ruby, Sapphire etc. seen in the market are subjected to some kind of treatments. In other words, the qualities of such stones are enhanced by various treatments. Therefore, a certificate from a recognized Gem Testing Laboratory plays a significant role for your Navagraha stones.
Ruby belongs to the Corundum family. The word Corundum is derived from the Sanskrit word “Kurand” or “Kuruvinda”. Ruby name is derived from the Latin word “Ruber” (red), represents the personification of the most beautiful red colour possible in the universe. “Pigeon Blood Red” is considered the finest and most precious shade in the case of ruby.
Ruby is considered to be the most powerful gems in the galaxy of gemstones; especially in the Indian context, amongst the Navgraha gemstones, Ruby occupies the center of the planetary position, representing the “Sun”. Besides spinel there are other red coloured gems which can be mistaken for ruby, they are tourmaline, pyrope garnet, red zircon, red beryl, synthetic rubies, synthetic spinels etc.
The best rubies come from Burma (Myanmar). The Burma ruby is not only bright red in colour but has transparency and characteristic inclusions. Besides Burma, rubies are also found in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal and in India.
Good quality rubies having bright red colour, transparency, clarity and well proportioned style of cut can attract very high prices. But one should also remember that it is possible to buy genuine rubies to suit one’s budget.
YELLOW SAPPHIRE (GURU/PUKHRAJ):-
Yellow sapphire is the stone that is said to represent the planet Jupiter (Guru, Pukhraaj). Surprisingly very few traders know that the yellow sapphire and the blue sapphire have the same chemical composition identical to that of ruby. All three have the same basic composition aluminium oxide and belong to the corundum family. The various colours are imparted due to certain impurities, the red colour in ruby is due to chromium, and the yellow colour is the result of iron whereas the blue colour in sapphire is caused by titanium as well as iron impurities.
Another important aspect which many people fail to understand is that there can be many yellow coloured stones of different mineral species. For example yellow beryl, yellow garnet, yellow chrysoberyl, yellow feldspar, yellow spodumene, yellow scapolite, yellow topaz all of which can look identical to yellow sapphire that even the best experienced trader is advised caution before he judges and values the stones.
The most recent fraud is yellow coloured synthetic cubic zirconia (popularly called American diamond) sold as natural yellow sapphire. Generally such type of stones are set in ring and the synthetic stone has a sparkling luster that often tempts many people to buy the stone.
BLUE SAPPHIRE (SHANI/NEELAM):-
The name sapphire comes in to being from the usages of many civilizations. In Sanskrit it is called Sauriratna which means dedicated to “Saturn”. In Chaldean, it was called Sampir, in Greek Sappheiros (blue), in Latin Saphirus and in Arabic Safir.
Sapphire is the name given to all colours of corundum other then red. When used on its own, the name implies Blue sapphire. Blue sapphire is coloured by a combination of iron and titanium.
Numerous superstitions are attached to this beautiful blue gem as it governs the planet “Saturn (Shani)” with Indian name “Neelam”. The blue sapphire is more common in the West than in the Orient. The best sapphires originate from Kashmir with their cornflower blue colour, the deep blue shade which one cannot forget if once observed.
Other blue coloured stones which could be mistaken for sapphire are Benitoite, Iolite, Spinel, Tourmaline, Tanzanite, Kyanite, Synthetic blue sapphire as well as synthetic blue spinel. Blue sapphires undergo different treatments like heat, dyeing, irradiation, diffusion, glass filling etc. Blue sapphires are made synthetically by process like vernuil and flux melt and can be separated by inclusions. The most important sapphire occurrence are Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Tanzania, Cambodia, Australia, Malaysia and the state of Montana, as well as Kashmir Sapphires in India.
Top prices for blue sapphire are paid for stones of an intense blue verging on the violet. Large saapphires are more common then large rubies. The best stones are those which are well cut, eye clean and most importantly, with intense blue colours.
According to astrology emerald guards the interests of the planet Mercury (Budh).
Emerald is a very brittle stone containing fissures and can be easily chipped. It should be washed in mild soapy water and should not be put in a ultrasonic cleaner. Natural emeralds contain inclusions like two phase, three phase, mica, pyrite, needle etc. These inclusions are very helpful in separating natural emeralds from its synthetic counterpart and other green gems.
Emeralds can be simulated with synthetic emerald, quartz, fluorspar. Massive hydrogrossular garnet, glass etc. Synthetic emeralds are produced in a large quantity and have a beautiful dark green colour.
The best emeralds come from Colombia. They have a unique shade and sparkle quality. Emeralds are also found in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Russia, Austria, Australia and India. Since emerald is a very brittle stone extra care has to be taken while setting the stone as well as while handling the stone during wearing or storing in the jewellery box.
The price of the emerald depends on the shade of green. Deeper the green colour the price increases. The origin of emeralds is still a major price factor.
CAT’S EYE (KETU/LAHSUNIYA):-
Cat’s eye effect in gemstone is a streak of light which moves when the stone is turned, opening and closing like the eye of a cat. The cat’s eye effect is seen in many types of gemstones species such as quartz, tourmaline, apatite, scapolite and diopside. The most popular and the prized one is the honey green to yellow variety of chrysoberyl (Lasuniya) showing this phenomenon.
Chrysoberyl cat’s eye can be easily simulated by apatite cat’s eye, quartz cat’s eye, sillimantie cat’s eye etc. Chrysoberyl cats eye is one of the Navgraha stone representing Ketu. Mythologically chrysoberyl cat’s eye wards off the evil effects of the “Ketu”. Main occurrence of Chrysoberyl cats eye are India (Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh), Brazil, Sri Lanka, Burma and Madagascar.
HESSONITE GARNET (RAHU/GOMED):-
The honey coloured or the orange-brown stone in the Nine Gems is the Hessonite Garnet representing “Rahu”, popularly known in local markets as Gomed. This stone is said to guard the interests of the “Rahu”.
Hessonite is sometime known as “Cinnamon stones”. Hessonite garnet is common in the gem gravels of Sri Lanka. Individually the Hessonite garnet is a very durable stone. Main occurrances of Hessonite are India, Sri Lanka, South AFtrica, Pakistan, USA, Brazil, Tanzania and Kenya.
The word “diamond” actually refers to its hardness (Greek – Adamas, unconquerable). There is nothing comparable to diamond in hardness; it is therefore nearly imperishable. Diamonds have the best quality of luster known as adamantine.
The diamond is the traditional birthstone for the month of April, and a non-traditional birthstone for February, July, and October. People who were born under the sign of either Cancer or Libra sometimes claim the diamond as their astral stone, and astrologers have linked it to the planet Venus (Shukra). The diamond is your stone of celebration for the tenth and sixtieth anniversaries. Diamond stands for purity, peace of mind and tranquility. It inspires romance and creates confidence in the wearer.
Synthetic Cubic Zirconia, Synthetic Moissanite are common diamond simmulants.
There are diamond deposits in many parts of the world, most occurring in Africa and Siberia. Up to the 18th century a few diamonds came from Borneo but most from India, where some large stones of historical value were found. The most famous mines were at Kollur near river Krishna in Golconda, Hyderabad in South of India where famous and historical diamonds including the Kohinoor, the Regent, the Great Mogul and the Tavenier Blue were found.
Throughout history, Hindus and Arabs have been the greatest of admirer of pearls. Among the Hindus there is a belief that the pearls were dewdrops fallen at night into the sea and collected in the body of the oyster. They also attributed the pearl, the power of bringing good luck.
Astrologically pearl is considered to be representative for Moon (Chandra). Pearl is an organic substance and is the result of the biological process.
The chemical composition of pearl can vary according to its place of origin. In certain cases the quantity of organic material or of water is different. The beautiful luster of pearls is known as the Orient of pearls.
Like any other gemstones, each pearl is different. Pearls are first sorted according to whether they can be used for industrial purpose or as a gem. In industry they are used mainly as cosmetic or medicine base. The gem group is then further categorized into various sections. Each section is then further sorted from the highest quality and price to the lowest quality and price.
Due to the softness of pearls, it requires to be handled carefully, worn carefully, regularly cleaned and examined. It should not be exposed to head, acids, solvents or detergents.
Coral is one of the Naagraha stone representing planet “Mars” (Mangal). Coral scientifically known as Corallium nobile or Corallium rubram.
Coral is formed by coral polyp, a primitive type of plant like animal called a zoophyte. They grow as branching structures which look something like a leafless tree.
The hardness of coral is about 3.5 on Moh’s scale and had a hackly type of fracture. Although soft in hardness they are reasonably tough and take a high polish. A spot of acid placed on the surface of coral will cause effervesces, which is a useful test for coral against its imitations.