Hindus’ belief in Gem Stones (Post No.3356)

Compiled  by London Swaminathan


Date: 15 November 2016


Time uploaded in London: 9-12 am


Post No.3356


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Recorded by The Rev. J E Padfield B.D. year 1908 in his book The Hindu at Home.


It is an old world notion that magic properties are attached to certain gems, and this idea has been systematized by the Hindus. It is called “The Test of Precious Stones” (Ratna Pareeksha). But the testing is largely confined, to the luckiness or otherwise of the particular gem and has nothing to do with its intrinsic value, nine kinds of precious stones are enumerated and mention is made of the  deity, or planet with which each is connected.


It is stated that the wearer of a particular gem receives the blessing of the patron deity. Thus rubies are the favoured gems of the sun; diamonds of Venus; pearls the moon; emeralds of Budha, the son of the moon. sapphires of Saturn; cat’s eye of the dragon’s tail, or descending node of the moon (Rahu); topaz of Jupiter; coral of the ascending node of the moon (Ketu) and the agate of Mars.


Faulty Gems!

Six kinds of rubies with flaws are enumerated, each of which is said to bring misfortune to the wearer. A ruby, with milky layers enveloping it, is said to bring poverty to the wearer; one with a broken ray in it will cause quarrels and disputes; one chipped will make enmity between relatives; one full of cracks will plunge the wearer into sorrows for ever; one with many flaws will endanger the life of the wearer one rough and dark in colour will be sure to cause evils. It is advisable to avoid either of these six kinds. It is also said that rubies containing two or three round spots are not lucky. It is not advisable to cast one’s eyes upon such a stone on awaking in the morning. It is most lucky to wear good and pure rubies; the sun, their patron, will bless the wearer with wealth and prosperity castes.


Diamonds are divided into four classes or castes. Those that are pure white are said to be of Brahmin caste, and bestow great benefits upon of wearer. Those that are red, are of the Kshatriya caste, and bestow upon the wearer the power. Those that are yellow are of the Banya caste, and bestow prosperity generally. Those that are black, are of the Sudra caste, and mean ruin to the wearer.


When a diamond contains shining streaks, resembling the feet of a crow, it will cause death of the wearer. If a pure diamond is worn, Venus, its patron, will bless the wearer with the comforts of life.


There are said to be nine places in which pearls are found. In the clouds; this kind said to be oval in shape, and to be worn by the gods. In the of a serpent; these are said to be like small seed, and to have the quality of relieving the wearers from all troubles. In the hollow of a bamboo; these are said to be black in colour, and give the wearer certain attractions. In a fish; these are white in colour, and protect the wearer from danger by fire. In the head of an elephant ; these are yellowish green and should be worn by king. In a sugarcane, this kind is of reddish colour and is said to have the power of causing all , even and queens, to be subjected to be subjected to the will of the wearer. In a conch shell; these are said to be like a dove’s egg, but they cannot be obtained by ordinary men. it requires a knowledge of mantrams, or of magic, to get them. In the tusk of a wild boar; this kind is red in colour, and is in size like the regu fruit (ziziphus jujuba); it will bring fame to the wearer.


In the pearl oyster; of these there are said to be three kinds, of a reddish, a golden, or a white colour. The moon, the patron of pearls, will bless a wearer of pure pearls with fame and the pleasures of life.


Emeralds are said to be of eight classes according to their colour. Poisons have no power over those persons who wear a good emerald. It gives protection against the power of the evil eye and develops the mental faculties. Emeralds also have the power of protecting the wearer of one from the designs foes, from sorrows, madness, internal pains, swoon and various diseases of the liver. A sure access to heaven is promised to that one who freely gives emerald to a Brahmin.



Sapphires are divided into three classes according to the depth of their colour. There are also six kinds (with flaws) that are said to bring evil to the wearer; such evils as quarrels with relatives, loss of children, hazard to life, certain death within a year. A sapphire is purest when, if placed in milk it gives to the milk a bluish tinge. It is then a true sapphire. A sapphire is said to be electric, when a blade of grass will adhere to it though blown upon. Such a stone is said to bring lustre to the wearer. The Saturn, the patron of sapphires, will bless the wear of a true sapphire with prosperity and immunity from death.


The topaz is described as having a colour like a drop of dew on a flower, and its patron deity, Jupiter will bless the wearer with immense wealth.


Four kinds of coral (with flaws) are enumerated that will cause evil to the wearer, troubles, grief, disease, and death. There are six kinds of good coral mentioned, according to the colour, and the wearer of such is promised the pleasures of life and the accomplishment of his designs.



The blessing of Mars is promised to the wearer of an agate, which blessing ensures wealth and prosperity.


The details given in this chapter, have, I think, served to show how strong the passion for jewels amongst the Hindus.

(My comments: Being a Christian preacher, Rev. Padfield had criticized the Hindus for their beliefs at the end of each chapter; that is why he gave more information about flawed (bad) gems than good gems. I have already written about the good gems mentioned by Kalidasa and Varahamihira (Brhat Samhita). Manu also advise that gems should be worn by the kings (7-218)