The detailed version of this article is featured in the book ‘Gemstones – Magic or Science? (Revised Edition).
Identifying the Quality of Gemstones
In order for a gemstone to produce significant results, it should possess good quality. The quality of a gemstone is a measure of its efficiency to transfer the energy of its corresponding planet into the body of the wearer. Though various gemstones for navagraha receive energy from their corresponding planets, not all the energy is transferred by them.
When a gemstone receives energy from its corresponding planet, a part of such energy may be blocked and a part may be transferred into the body of the wearer. The percentage of energy which is transferred to the body of the wearer by a particular gemstone is called its efficiency. Suppose a gemstone receives 100 rays of energy per second from its corresponding planet. If it is capable of transferring 50 out of these 100 rays into the body of the wearer, its efficiency is 50%.
Likewise, if a gemstone is capable of transferring 80 rays per 100 rays of energy received by it, into the body of the wearer, its efficiency is 80%. Similarly, different gemstones may have different percentages of efficiency. For example, a Ruby may have 20% efficiency, another one may have 50% and yet another one may have 80% or 90%. Hence efficiency is an important factor to look for, when buying a gemstone.
Based on their natural formations; Ruby, Yellow Sapphire, White Sapphire, Emerald, Blue Sapphire, Hessonite and Cat’s Eye fall into the category of transparent gemstones whereas Pearl and Red Coral fall into the category of Opaque gemstones. Let’s start with transparent gemstones.
A gemstone may have various types of inclusions in it; commonly called impurities. These inclusions may block parts of energy received by the gemstone and that reduces the efficiency. In general, there are three major types of inclusions that a transparent gemstones may have. They may include dots, lines or clouds. In general, the dots are black, the lines are white or kind of white, and the clouds are greyish white.
Since dots may be the smaller ones among these three, they may have minimum negative effect on the efficiency of a gemstone; unless they are high or very high in number. Hence a gemstone may contain 10 or 20 very small dots in it but they may not have much negative impact on its efficiency. However if the dots are higher in number or they are bigger in size or both; the efficiency of gemstone may be compromised. Hence this factor should be paid due attention.
Looking at lines; 1, 2 or 3 lines within a gemstone may not do much damage to its efficiency. However as the number of these lines as well as their lengths increase, they may become cause of concern. Some lines may cover only a part of a gemstone whereas some others may run across a gemstone. Bigger the lines are, more the efficiency may be compromised.
Looking at the worst type of inclusions, they are clouds. They may be present in a gemstone in many variations. A gemstone may have a cloud which may cover a small part of it, say about 5%. In this case, this part of the gemstone may perform poorly. To have an idea, if this part receives 100 rays of energy; only 10, 20 or 30 may pass through it; depending on the density of cloud.
In some cases, a gemstone may have more than one small cloud in different parts of it. Based on their number, sections of the gemstone they cover and their densities; such clouds may cause significant or serious reduction in the efficiency of the gemstone. Taking an example, if 4 clouds are present in a gemstone, each one of them covers 5% of the gemstone and all of them are dense; 20% of the gemstone is almost dead.
Looking at the worst case, a gemstone may have a single cloud spread throughout it. Depending on the density of such cloud; it may block 50%, 70% or even 90% of the energy falling on the surface of such gemstone. Hence the gemstone may have an efficiency of 50%, 30% or even 10%. As the efficiency of a gemstone drops, it becomes less useful and hence, less worthy of buying. Therefore, due attention should be paid to cloud inclusions within a gemstone as they may spoil the results of such gemstone.
This is not all and there’s more to the concept of efficiency. The next and more important factor is the number of rays captured per second by a gemstone. In general, this factor changes on the basis of the origin of a gemstone. Hence different varieties of the same gemstone may capture different number of rays per second.
Taking an example, a particular variety of Ruby (say A) may capture 1000 rays of energy per second in its purest form; another one (say B) may capture 500 and yet another one (say C) may capture 100 rays per second even when performing at its best; without any inclusions. It means that even if Ruby A loses 30% efficiency due to inclusions or impurities and Ruby C is absolutely free from inclusions; A may still be able to capture 700 rays per second whereas C may capture 100 rays per second. Therefore, Ruby A with 70% efficiency is still 7 times more efficient than Ruby C with 100% efficiency.
Since there are more than one factor involved in deciding the efficiency of a gemstone; let’s use a different scale. Let’s say that when all varieties of Ruby are absolutely free from inclusions; specimen A carries an efficiency score of 100, specimen B carries 50 and specimen C carries 10. Likewise, other varieties of Ruby may carry different scores of efficiency.
In this case, that the net efficiency of a piece of Ruby may be defined as the total efficiency score assigned to this particular variety of Ruby, minus the efficiency lost due to inclusions or impurities contained by this piece of Ruby. The same theory holds for other gemstones.
On this scale, Rubies from Burma are considered to have the highest overall efficiency; like that of specimen A. However, they may be so expensive that most people may not be able to afford them. Hence it may be a good choice to settle for Rubies from Thailand or some other likewise origin. The overall efficiency is good and the prices are affordable.
Looking at other gemstones; the most recommended variety of Pearl is South Sea Pearl. They are very good at producing results and they are not expensive at the same time. When it comes to Yellow Sapphire, Blue Sapphire, White Sapphire, Hessonite and Cat’s Eye; Sri Lanka is among the best producers. Hence these gemstones from Sri Lankan origin are recommended. They are good in terms of efficiency and they are affordable though not easily in some cases. Red Corals from Japan or Italy and Emeralds from Columbia, Brazil or Zambia are recommended.
The next factor which affects the efficiency of a gemstone is its colour. Though the colour may not significantly affect the efficiency of a gemstone; it may affect some other aspects of the gemstone. A planet may emit energy-rays at many wavelengths, like Sun does. Depending on its colour, Ruby may capture some wavelengths more than the others. The same holds true for other gemstones.
Hence the colour of a gemstone may change some finer aspects of its working. Therefore, if Ruby is suitable for a native; light, medium or dark Ruby may be more suitable for him; depending on his overall horoscope. In general, medium dark colours of most gemstones are suitable for most people. When it comes to very dark, light or very light colour; they may suit some natives more than the others.
Hence if you choose to wear a gemstone on your own; it is good to go with the one which is medium dark in colour. If an astrologer recommends such gemstone for you, he may mention which colour patterns of such gemstones may be more suitable for you. It should be noted that if a gemstone is suitable for you; different colours of this gemstone may still be suitable for you and they may not cause harm or side effects in most cases. It is only in some cases that light or very dark colour of a gemstone may be required. Even in these cases, medium dark may do the job without causing problems; though the specific effects required or to be avoided may be somewhat more or less.
There is one anomaly related to this factor and that comes in case of White Sapphire. Since this gemstone is colourless; the colour criterion may not help in this regard. The choice in this case is not made between different colours of White Sapphire and it is made between White Sapphire and Diamond. Based on its quality; White Sapphire may promote relaxed and balanced sides of Venus, more than the intense side. On the other hand, Diamond may promote intense side of Venus, more than the relaxed side. Most people may not be able to properly handle the energy of the intense side of Venus. Hence White Sapphire is a better option in most cases.
In case of Red Coral, clarity is not a criterion since this gemstone is opaque. Hence the origin and different shades of colour become important in this case. In general, medium dark Red Coral is suitable for most people.
In case of Pearl, clarity again is not a criterion since this gemstone is also opaque. The variety of Pearl becomes the most important criteria in this case. After that, the colour of Pearl is worthy of paying attention to. Significantly Bluish, Yellowish and Blackish Pearls may not be suitable for most natives. Hence the safer options for most natives are pure white and off-white with some added Yellow or Blue in it. Between these colours also, there may be fine variations in results produced by Pearl. However, they may not make significant differences in most cases.
The next important factor is the genuineness of the gemstone. For this, simply get a lab test performed or ask the seller to provide a lab test report for the gemstone you are willing to buy. If the test report mentions that the gemstone is natural, it is a genuine one. For example, lab test report for a Ruby may mention ‘Natural Ruby’. The only exception is that in case of Pearl. Since most of the good quality Pearls are cultured; the report may mention ‘Pearl’ or ‘Cultured Pearl’ instead of mentioning ‘Natural Pearl’. This is fine.
When it comes to check the origin of gemstones, many labs may not be equipped to do this job though some of them may have the equipment to do so. If the origin can be obtained through the report, it is an advantage. If not, you simply need to buy your gemstone from a trustworthy source.
The next factor is treatment of gemstones. A well-equipped lab may tell you whether or not a gemstone has been treated. It is common practice to subject gemstones to heat treatment; especially the ones like Rubies and Sapphires. In its natural form; a Ruby may have so many inclusions in it that you may never think of buying it.
Hence some gemstones like Rubies and Sapphires are heated beyond their melting points. The gemstones melt and reform. In the process; the impurities, inclusions, colour and some other aspects may rearrange in a way that the gemstones may become much better than before. In most cases, heat treatment alone may not cause problems and such gemstones may produce good astrological results without producing side effects.
The next type of treatment is oil treatment. This is used especially in case of Emerald. This gemstone has a significant tendency to go dry. It may keep going drier and drier till it ultimately cracks. Hence it is treated with oil in order to take care of this issue. Cedarwood oil is most commonly used for this purpose, because it is colorless and has a refractive index close to that of Emerald. However, other types of oils may also be used. This treatment is fine and it shouldn’t create problems in most cases.
Some gemstones are treated with glass filling; especially Ruby. This practice is carried out to fill cavities and fractures in Rubies. It makes them look good and clean. Lead glass filling is commonly used to treat
Rubies. This type of treatment has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. Much depends on the percentage of glass filling in a piece of Ruby. Looking at advantages; such Rubies may look beautiful, they may cost less and they may also produce sufficient astrological effects (personally tested on a number of people). The last factor is dependent on the percentage of glass filled in Ruby. If percentage filling is below 10%; the Ruby may look very good, it may cost much less and it may be duly effective. On the other hand, if percentage filling is as high as 50% or more; effects may be compromised.
Despite glass filling, such Rubies are becoming more and more popular. This is because of the disadvantages associated with natural Rubies. Majority of them may look bad and/or they may have significant or serious amounts of inclusions. If they include dots; such dots may be presents in dozens or hundreds. Even worse, many of them include clouds; and them too throughout the gemstones. The ones which are better looking and which are clean; may cost so much that it may be difficult to afford them for most people. Hence buying Ruby is a difficult task.
Over years of practice in this field, I have found that filling is better than cloud inclusions; as long as the percentage of filling is not high. A 10% glass filled Ruby may still perform much better than a 70% cloud-blocked Ruby which may be natural, untreated and more expensive. Hence the choice to buy this gemstone largely depends on how much you can spend and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re going to buy a Ruby but you don’t know whether or not it will actually suit you; it is better to go with a treated Ruby; even if you can afford a natural and expensive one. Try it out for some time and if it suits you; you can switch to a natural one.
To have an idea, a good looking, natural and astrologically efficient Ruby may cost between USD 500 and 2000 per carat. It means if you wish to buy a 5 carat piece; you may need to spend USD 2500 to 10,000 for it. Imagine if it doesn’t suit you after spending so much amount?
Compared to this, a beautiful looking, treated and astrologically efficient (low percentage of glass filling) Ruby may cost you between USD 20 to 50 per carat. It means a 5 carat piece may cost between USD 100 and 250.
Hence it is up to you to make a wise choice; based on your financial situation and circumstances. If your primary objective is to get astrological effects; a treated Ruby may do this job well, provided the percentage of glass filling is low. On the other hand, if money is not an issue for you and you love quality as well as brand value; a natural untreated Burmese Ruby is what you may be looking for.
Moving on to the next type of treatment, some gemstones are treated with colours; especially the Sapphires. It means a light coloured Yellow Sapphire may be turned into a dark one; by adding artificial Yellow Colour to it. Though it may look good; the colour may fade gradually, with the action of Sun light. Depending on how often and how much such gemstone is exposed to Sun light; you may end up having a very light Yellow Sapphire in a period of 1 to 5 years; though you bought a dark one. Hence you should keep this factor in mind while purchasing gemstones.
As far as the astrological part goes, you may not benefit much from such added colour. Suppose a Yellow Sapphire originally scores 3 out of 10 on the scale of colour. This means it is a light Yellow Sapphire. Suppose artificial colour is added to it so that it now scores 9 on the same scale. If you wear this gemstone, you may get effects equivalent to that given by a Yellow Sapphire with a score of 3.5 or 4; even when such gemstone is new. As the colour fades, the effects may reduce and they may come back to those given by a Yellow Sapphire scoring 3 on the scale of colour. Hence you should be careful about this aspect, when buying gemstones.
Moving on, some gemstones may have cracks in them though some may only seem to have them and they may be fine. Some gemstones may have inclusions in form of lines and they may give the impressions that the gemstones are cracked. If one such crack is actual, you should be able to feel it if you slide your finger, slowly across the doubtful area. If you can’t feel anything even by repeatedly engaging in the same practice, it may be an inclusion and not a crack. However, if you can feel it through touch; it is very likely a crack.
When buying a White Sapphire, be extra cautious about the fact that it should be colourless. A lab test report stating ‘Colourless’ should be sufficient in most cases. However, you should also check it thoroughly if you have the chance. A small section of a White Sapphire having blue or yellow tinge in it may pass as White Sapphire and it should be fine to wear also. However, if such colour spreads throughout the gemstone; it may become a cause of concern.
Paying attention to these factors when buying your gemstones may help you get better gemstones for the price you pay.