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Gemmology tour - All you want to know about Indian Gems
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Emerald Ring Ancient Indians believed that the sun was a deity who drove across the skies each day in a chariot, ruling the existence of men on earth with his life-giving rays. As the sole source of light, he was worshipped every morning. Devotees prayed for his blessings and poured libations of water to him. Cosmologists and astrologers studied the sun's movement and its eclipses, as well as the movement of the other heavenly bodies - the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, which they could see with the unaided eye.

They envisaged a universe composed of these planets to which they added the ascending and descending nodes of the moon as two planets, all of which revolved around the sun. Many of these beliefs are still adhered to. In this heliocentric notion of the universe, the sun is the source of cosmic energy. Though sunlight is perceived to be white, it is known to be composed of seven colours. It is believed that the planets absorb cosmic energy emanating from the sun; they are viewed as concentrations of the seven colors that make up sunlight.

It is believed that each planet radiates its particular color in the form of rays of light to the earth. These colored rays of light along with heat, electricity and magnetism present in the atmosphere travel to the earth, where they are absorbed by humans. The rays then spread within the body, and emanate as a flow of energy from the body, affecting those in its proximity. The effect of these colored rays of energy vary from person to person, according to their physiology and psyche.

Diamond The planets continue to be revered as celestial beings that can influence humans and their destiny. These deities have been portrayed anthropomorphically; each with a specific color, vehicle, and related rituals for worship. With the evolution of beliefs, the nine deities came to be linked to gemstones. According to an ancient myth, the mighty demon Bala offered himself as a sacrifice to the gods in Heaven and each deity received a piece of his body that turned into a precious gemstone, which became permanently.

Rajasthan excels in wide range of precious and semi-precious jewellery. Exquisite ornaments are made in Jaipur and Jodhpur using emerald, diamond, pearl, garnet, agate and lapiz lazuli. Jaipur has been famous for artisans specializing in cutting of precious and semi-precious stones. The design and the way the stones are cut in Jaipur represents the admixture of Mughal and Rajpath styles.

As opposed to the modern equipment used by European lapidaries, Jaipur workers use simple tools, in spite of which their dexterity and skill is remarkable. A piece of jewellery very popular in Rajasthan is the navratna. This is a collection of nine gems set together in a single piece of jewellery, either a pendant or a ring. The gems were said to counteract the external and evil influences of the planets and ensure good luck for those who wear them.

Ring with Pearl Pearls were also considered extremely lucky to wear and emperors even ate ground pearls as medicine. (They are still used in some Ayurvedic medicines). Pearl veils covered the faces of brides and grooms.

A large number of the traditional designs in jewellery are still very popular. Many of them are now made in cheaper metals for the common man, and precious stones are replaced by colored glass or semiprecious stones.

The jewellery of Rajasthan has a rich tradition that has imbibed the best brought in by the Mughals without losing its own distinct character. As Birdwood comments: "In nothing do the people of India display their naturally gorgeous and costly taste, so much as in their jewellery and jeweled arms which are not only fabricated of the richest and rarest materials but wrought likewise with all elaborateness, delicacy and splendor of design within the reach of art."

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