Their rarity adds to their value and only the wealthiest and most powerful families could procure and possess them—-as an expression of this wealth and power, even men would wear gemstones on their person.
Along with gold and silver these precious stones formed part of the financial reserve of the ancient and medieval kingdoms. All great rulers adorned themselves in rubies, pearls, and diamonds set in gold crowns and silver necklaces. The gemstones made a king stand out among his subjects and clearly projected his wealth and power to them.
But there were other reasons for these precious and semi-precious stones. Each gem, due to its cut clarity and inherent color, is supposed to transform the flow of natural light, which affects the aura (inner glow) around a person. According to astrologers and gem therapists, each person’s aura depends on the planetary positions on their birth chart (janam patri), and to a lesser extent on the way his/her personality develops. Any deficiencies in the personality, problems in career or relationships, or imbalances in the make-up of the body can be corrected by wearing the correct gemstone.
The kings of the past, apart from the fields of battle and diplomacy, secretly took recourse to magic and spells against each other. These gemstones gave protection against such evil spells and rituals. Although those days are long gone people still put much faith in the power and efficacy of gemstones on a person’s destiny and personality. Since there is no harm to others or self, and no law is being broken (except common sense), wearing gemstones for spiritual or religious reasons need not be frowned upon. At different times I have been advised to wear, and have worn, pearls, sapphires, and rubies—-usually when things are not progressing at work or in relationships or there is an unusually long spell of disease.
The gemstones worn externally as ear-rings, necklaces, and crowns, affect the aura of a person. The ancient Indian astronomer-astrologer Varahamihira compiled the Hora Sara listing the various gems and their properties and uses. This information has been supplemented by works produced in other cultures and is (claimed to be) backed by modern research on the chemical/physical qualities of gemstones. The stones advised by astrologers must be worn as rings, specially hollowed out so that the skin is touched, to be really effective.
The following is a list of gemstones and their therapeutic value (with the Hindi names in italics):
1) Pearl (moti)–a white stone that improves memory, cures eye-troubles, is helpful in treating tuberculosis, and gives mental peace.
2) Emerald (panna)–a green stone said to cure heart troubles, diseases of the nervous system, blood pressure, and nose problems.
3) Hessonite (gomed)–an orange-brown stone (hence the name go-medh or cow’s urine) that cures external burns and treats acidity. It also helps is easing pains and cooling the body.
4) Ruby (mani)–a red stone that elevates a person’s status and makes him/her sociable and happy. It also cures rheumatism, stomach ache and ulcers.
5) Coral (munga)–also a red stone that is useful in treating diabetes, piles, blindness, impotency, and measles.
6) Blue Sapphire (neelam)–a blue stone that cures nervousness and mental disorders, meningitis, and treats kidney and bladder troubles.
7) Cat’s eye (lahsuniya)–a yellow/gold colored stone is useful in treating cancer at all stages.
8) Diamond (heera)–a transparent stone that prevents formation of pus and mucous, cures diabetes and STDs.
9) Yellow Sapphire (pukhraj)–a yellow stone that cures cholera and jaundice, and is useful in treating throat and teeth troubles.
These qualities are not medically proven and their use depends on the belief of an individual. However these stones should not be purchased or worn by merely reading through the list above. Gem therapists and astrologers are willing to provide gems on loan for the period that they advise. Although it’s obvious that many people are in this for the money there are some reputed astrologers who take back the stone once it has been used for no charge, while others actually return money if the stone has not taken the desired effect.