Precious or Semi-Precious?
It was sometime in the mid 1800s that the classification of gemstones as ‘precious’ and ‘semi-precious’ came into being. It was more or less cast in stone that there were only 4 ‘precious’ gemstones, the REDS - ruby, emerald, diamond and sapphire. They were the most expensive because they were the most sought after. All the other gemstones that didn’t fall into these categories were labeled ‘semi-precious’ with a broad brush. This classification remains in vogue even today in websites, catalogs and printed material.
It is terribly misleading and confusing - especially for someone who isn’t immersed in the gemstones industry. For those who know their gems, the classification is irreverent.
You see, many of the ‘semi-precious’ gemstones - agate, alexandrite, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, garnet, lapis lazuli, moonstone, opal, peridot, pearl, rose quartz, spinel, tourmaline, tanzanite, turquoise, zircon - are valuable and, in some cases, can be more expensive than some among the precious four! From a material perspective, some of these gemstones are rarer to find and harder to mine compared to the precious gemstones. There is also the non-material perspective based on the vibrations of these gemstones which make them invaluable for a person who is in need of them.
Long story short, it is very difficult to put a precise value for gemstones that bring benefits on the physical, psychological and spiritual planes.
Physical Brilliance of Gems
On the physical plane, there isn’t a universally accepted method to determine the value of a gemstone. Gems are characterized by their refractive index, specific gravity, hardness, dispersion, cleavage, fracture and luster. They might also exhibit luminescence and a distinctive absorption spectrum. Gemstones that are clean and without inclusions (flaws or impurities within) are naturally more prized.
In modern times gemologists describe gemstones and their characteristics using specific technical terminology. Two most important characteristics are:
- Chemical Composition - This shows the elements that make up the gemstone. For instance, diamonds are made of Carbon while rubies are made of aluminum oxide.
- Crystal System - This is the internal structure of the gemstone. For instance, diamonds possess a cubic crystal system and have an octahedral structure.
- Hardness - This can be understood as the scratch resistance of various gems. The harder material is able to scratch softer material. It is measured on the Mohs scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest.
Practically, the mnemonic of 4Cs will help the consumer understand a method to grade the gems. These are:
- Cut - This refers to the gemstone’s proportions, symmetry and polish. It determines how much light a stone reflects.
- Color - As the term suggests, this is the beauty and purity of the stone’s color. A stone with a single shade of the color is most valued.
- Clarity - This refers to the degree to which there are imperfections and inclusions in the gems.
- Carat - Carat is the unit of measurement for the gross physical weight of the gemstones. It is the most quantifiable measure among the 4Cs.
Depending on the gemstone, the priority order of the 4 criteria varies. For instance, a diamond is valued most by its cut followed by the clarity and color. But when it comes to colored gemstones, the order starts with purity and beauty of the color followed by clarity and cut.
Psychological and Spiritual Worth of Gems
For millennia people have treasured and cherished gemstones not only for ornamental purposes but also because they experienced the healing and metaphysical properties that the gemstones possessed. The person would seek the assistance of particular gemstones to fill the lacunae in his/her being. At Aranyani, we make use of different precious gemstones for different healings that they bring about. Their names and properties of some of them are listed below.
- Citrine energizes every aspect of life, cleansing the Chakras and opening up intuition. It raises one’s self-esteem and boosts self-confidence even as it stimulates the brain and strengthens the intellect.
- Known as the crystal of unconditional love, Rose Quartz boosts feelings of self-love and also fosters loving relationships with others.
- Smoky quartz is considered a grounding stone and may help you feel rooted to planet earth. It's believed to be mood lifting and is used for protection.
- Yellow quartz brings clarity in decision-making and relief from ‘burnout’, panic, nervousness or exhaustion. It sharpens memory and concentration and prevents lethargy and depression.
- Azurite aids you in meditation - to let go of thoughts and still your mind. It awakens your awareness to spiritual insights and past-life experiences and can help you to connect to the higher realms.
- Banded Jasper is known to alleviate stress and induce tranquility. It also helps in eliminating negative energy and stabilizing the aura that lends an emotional support.
- The energy of the Dendrite Opal offers an approachable outlook to its carrier’s life. It illuminates the darkness, brightens up the right direction for life, and improves mental strength.
- Hematite focuses on balancing the energy and emotions in the body, mind, and spirit. It prevents you from absorbing negativity from others. It enhances survivability by imparting confidence and boosting self-esteem and willpower.
- Golden Quartz infuses the body with divine light. This can help to boost clear thinking and stimulate the alignment of mind and body, and is well known for enhancing spiritual growth.
- Black Sunstone encourages independence and originality. It tends to attract fame and prosperity.
- Feldspar Quartz helps in finding unconventional and exciting ways to reach our goals. It supports self-awareness and self-love.
- Sodalite brings order and calmness to the mind. It encourages rational thought, objectivity, truth, and intuition. Sodalite brings emotional balance and calms panic attack while also helping with the verbalization of feelings.
- White Opal enkindles optimism, enthusiasm, and creativity, and allows for the release of inhibitions inspiring love and passion. This stimulates flashes of intuition and insight, yet is a protective stone for deep inner work, meditations, and lower world shamanic journeys.
Aranyani’s Stone Drops Collection
During his travels to the royal state of Rajasthan, Aranyani founder, Mr. Haresh Mirpuri was spellbound seeing nature in all her splendor during the sunrise. The prismatic dew drops reflecting and refracting light in myriad hues appeared like the jewels of the Goddess of the Forests - Aranyani. Moving through India’s city of lakes, Udaipur, he was mesmerized by the reflections he saw in them of the sun by the day and the moon by the night. Rubbing shoulders with the royalty there, he also witnessed their love affair with precious gemstones which they used to accentuate the beauty of their persona and to enhance their well being.
The cumulative result of all these experiences was the idea for the ‘Stone Drops’ collection of luxury handbags. So, Aranyani’s use of gemstones is inspired on one hand by the dainty dew drops that transform into nature’s jewels and on the other by the myriad reflections of the sun and the moon in the waters of a lake.
Deep Thought Behind the Rim
Every aspect of the Stone Drops collection has been thoughtfully crafted. Even the number of gemstones set in the Stone Drops’ rims is aligned with the ‘Hemachandra Numbers’ which is popularly known in the world as the Fibonacci Series. The fact of the matter is that Hemachandra discovered this golden sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 … ) about 50 years before Fibbonaci, in the year 1202. This sequence is ubiquitous in the number of petals in a daisy, the members in a species population, the elegant compositions of Sanskrit poetry and the dynamic rhythms of the tango. The Hemachandra-inspired designs of the Aranyani rims connect the Stone Drops collection to the exquisite rhythms of nature.
Even as the gemstones of the highest quality are sourced and selected for the rims, the rims themselves are set meticulously by highly skilled and trained artisans. The rim is then readied for charging. They are placed out in the open under the energizing beams of the sun and the full moon so that they are pulsating with vibrations as they are fixed on the handbags.
The Ultimate Personalization
Though each gemstone has the same general properties, it has its individuality as well! To make it clear, take the case of cocker spaniels. Temperamentally, that dog breed is sweet, affectionate, playful and participative. But each cocker spaniel has its own personality right? And that personality is shaped in part by its owner(s). The same is true for gemstones.
Each gemstone is shaped by the owner’s or wearers personality just as it shapes the owner’s or wearer’s personality. That is the reason why people are possessive and very attached to their gemstones which they also consider as their lucky charms. One citrine-set handbag is not the same as another identical citrine-set handbag! This is what makes the handbags from Aranyani’s Stone Drops collection unique and meaningful to you. It grows on you with use and becomes your complementary twin almost.