Until a fellow gem dealer whose main business was capitalizing on the trade in gems for clients of Vedic astrologers, or jyotishis, coined the terminology “jyotish quality gems”, this was not a term ever used to describe a gemstone. Sure we knew what was necessary for a gemstone to be effective for this purpose F95zone , but as gemologists and certified gem appraisers we used gemological terms that were actually descriptive of a gem’s quality. This article will give the straight unadulterated truth as to what comprises a “jyotish” quality gemstone and how easily obtainable such qualities are and will be in the future.
Let’s start with ruby and all colors of sapphire. The species of these gems is the same and the properties are identical, but the difference is in color. They are optically, physically and chemically identical otherwise. All rubies and sapphires are “corundum”. If corundum occurs in a red color then it is called a ruby and it will transmit the red cosmic ray of the Sun. Using ruby to strengthen the Sun’s potency as understood through the horoscope is extremely effective. If corundum occurs in ANY other color it is called a sapphire. If yellow sapphire it will transmit the blue cosmic ray, which is that emitted by the planet Jupiter. If blue sapphire it will transmit the violet cosmic ray, which is that emitted by the planet Saturn. If white sapphire it will emit the same cosmic color as diamond, the indigo ray, and this is the cosmic color emitted by the planet Venus.
It should be noted that NOT all ruby and sapphire is what we call “gem quality”, which is absolutely necessary for the gems to have benefic and healing effects on the wearer. The requirements for a ruby are that the gem is natural (meaning from the earth and not synthetic) and if treated at all can ONLY have been subjected to what is called by gem laboratories “standard heat treatment”. As ruby is for the source of all planetary light and heat it can take this lower temperature and lesser form of heat without damage. The clarity should be extremely clear with almost no inclusions seen within the gem.
It should be noted that NO sapphires of any color should have been subjected to any form of heat treatment as their potency becomes completely destroyed in the process. The clarity must be “eye clean”, meaning little to be seen within the gemstone but small bits of “silk”, or rutile, and color saturation will determine how potent the gem will be. The greater the saturation and depth of color the more powerful the gem, but NOTE, if the saturation becomes too much it will affect the clarity and thus start to reduce both potency and value. The gem should be a nice crystal or “glass-like” and you should easily see into it, if not easily with the naked eye certainly under magnification.
The problem that now ensues today is that newer processes of heat treatment have been discovered and perfected that make a much better looking final product. Today’s heat treatments are almost 100% diffusion heat treatments for not only ruby, but all sapphires as well. This is accomplished by coating the gem crystal with a melted crystalline substance that will “diffuse” the desired color deep into the gemstone. This makes a low quality rather washed out color become deep and vibrant when finished. As iron oxide is what is in ruby that creates the red color, the first diffusion treatments coated the gem with iron oxide and then under massive temperatures it “burned” the deeper red color into the ruby.
Now more recently temperatures hotter than ever used before are used to actually melt the species of gem “chrysoberyl” (which produces the sought after varieties of “chrysoberyl cats-eye” and “alexandrite”) and this melted chrysoberyl is used to coat the ruby or sapphire to increase its color. Such gems are useless for jyotish purposes and their energy will be “dead”. Unfortunately for us, as the trade is accepting this newer treatment (for they are in the business of selling gems for their beauty and not astrological reasons) making a prettier and less expensive product makes them more affordable for their customers. This is especially so in the depressed economic climate of today.
Even worse are the glass-filled varieties that use melted glass to actually fill serious fractures within ruby. These treatments are becoming more and more prevalent so that truly natural sapphires with no heat treatment whatsoever or even just the standard heating that was used previously for ruby are now quickly becoming scarcer and scarcer to find. There are some reputable gem dealers that deal in natural, unheated sapphire and will give certification with each sale of such, but beware of anything cheap in price. Fine gemstones cannot be “cheap” in any case, but the motto “if it sounds too good to be true it usually is” will always be a fact when talking about precious gems. Unless you have the best of contacts in the gem trade and can find someone with the odd natural ruby or a very few left from old stock, they are almost impossible to find anymore. They are already a distant memory to most jewelers and gem traders. You can pretty much be 100% sure that if the ruby OR sapphire being offered to you for purchase is from Thailand or has even been through Thailand from dealer to dealer, it will be heated. Only a few top gem dealers in Thailand have truly natural, untreated ruby or sapphire due to their experience and having the best sources world- wide. Anyone with any experience in the international gem market knows that the Thais are the “kings” of the “heat-treaters” and they are the ones that have created the acceptance for their treatments in the worldwide gem market. Demand guarantees for any sapphires or rubies you buy. No heat treatment is acceptable for sapphires in any instance. No diffusion treatments are acceptable for ruby in any instance. You might as well just forget about buying one if so, at least if for jyotish or Ayurvedic purposes.
Most pearls traded today are cultured. What this means is that man induces the mollusk to make the pearl and usually a bead is first placed into the mollusk (oysters usually) with a piece of tissue. This disturbs the mollusk and its defense is that it coats the foreign intrusion with layers of nacre and conchiolin, which it produces, and this is the pearl material. What you see is nacre. If the pearl were x-rayed you would find that the bulk of the “size” is a large bead that is in the center. It is not that cultured pearls have no potency, but have proved to have very little, so if you are wanting a pearl to strengthen the Moon’s effects as per your horoscope, it’s doubtful you will get what you are looking for in buying a cultured pearl.
Tissue nucleated pearls have a bit more effect than bead nucleated, but the ultimate best is a natural pearl never touched by man. This is produced when a grain of sand or some other tiny foreign material somehow gets into the mollusk. The mollusk then coats it with the nacre substances and the longer it is in the shell with the mollusk, the larger the pearl will be. Such pearls are becoming so rare that only a very few dealers worldwide even have access to them and prices are extremely expensive. Insist on an x-ray certificate from a gem lab if you are buying a natural pearl for thousands of dollars. Very few exist.
The next best thing is a keshi pearl, which is a pearl produced by a mollusk after being disturbed by man’s insertion of a bead, BUT it managed to eject the bead from its shell. Due to the disturbance, though, the mollusk creates the pearl, but the entire thing will be nacre and NO bead in the center. As culturing is getting more advanced and they check the pearl beds more frequently, reinserting beads into mollusks that might reject them, far fewer keshis are on the market today. Those that are available are generally very undesirable shapes, at least for our purposes, and far too small to have any effects. For the most part they are already gone from the market unless a dealer has old stock that was not sold. Color should be white, off white, silver white and in some cases golden colors are desirable. Black pearls are never used for jyotish purposes. One must also be sure that their pearls are not dyed or bleached, as this is also common in more inexpensive pearls on the market.
The best red coral comes from the Mediterranean Sea and is mostly controlled by the Italians. It is becoming rarer and rarer due to man’s devastation of the coral reefs worldwide. Most harvesting of rare corals is now banned. Some from the China and Japan seas is of good quality, but not as prevalent as the lower qualities. Most is a cheaper variety from the Seas of China and Japan, but it is not as vibrant color as the Mediterranean. Most coral is treated with a plastic or wax impregnation to make it smooth and unbroken on the surface and with it being so rare the majority of coral coming from the orient is also now dyed red. When I was a young boy my family would buy the best red coral imaginable for about $1 per carat from Italy. Today such quality is hardly to be found and when it is the pieces are smaller and cost $100 to $150 per carat. Oriental is less expensive but simply not of the same quality. Cheap “coral” is usually fake and made of plastic.
Emeralds should be a nice medium to deep green color and although we tolerate more inclusions in emerald than we do, for instance, in sapphire, as it is a far more imperfect stone generally, it must still have only a minimum of visible inclusions to be effective. (Those who are expert in this science should be consulted as to what is acceptable.) It should be a nice “glass-like” crystal and as with other crystalline gems if it becomes “oversaturated” with color that it affects the clarity of the stone, it will be less effective and far less valuable. The treatment for emeralds, which can have many fractures within them, has always been using cedar oil to fill the fractures. (Emeralds cannot be heat treated, so don’t worry about that.) The refractive index (the angle at which the light passing through a transparent substance bends) is just about identical to that of emerald. Therefore when the fractures are filled they become almost invisible to the eye, unless one is trained in examination. The emerald must have fractures reaching the surface to allow oiling so the highest quality emeralds will not have any inclusions reaching the surface. Still, a small number of small fractures that are oiled is not harmful and will not be an impediment to the gem having the potency to strengthen the cosmic rays of Mercury. However, stones with too many fractures, even if filled, will not be potent and may also be harmful. The least imperfections the better, but when it comes to emerald most people must accept some bit of insignificant imperfections to be able to afford one. Completely flawless is not necessary and such a gem will be phenomenally expensive to most buyers.