by Taetske | 3:50 pm
(Last Updated On: December 20, 2018)

The beautiful variation of precious stones


Precious Stones and their magical fascination to People. It is quite amazing that often a not very exciting looking piece of stone can have a shiny and beautiful inside. It all depends on the person who works this stone to be able to bring this beauty forth by carefully cutting and polishing it.

It takes many years for this person to be skilled in the trade of stone polishing and often this skill is passed on from father to son.


Semi Precious Stones

Semi Precious Stones


Important Manuscripts on Precious Stones

People nowadays and people from the distant past have been fascinated by stones, their beauty, and their properties.Pliny, in his Naturalis Historia, mentioned some 20 authors as the source of his knowledge on stones.

Most of these mentioned works do not exist anymore but one has survived until today. The treatise on stones from Theophrastus who lived from 371-287 BC.

The most detailed and complete treatise of the Middle Ages on stones is called Azhar al-Afkar fi Jawahir al-Ahjar ( The blossoms of thoughts regarding precious stones ) The writer, Al-Tifasi,( circa 1184-1253 ) gives a detailed report on 25 stones giving each of them a chapter.

He discusses where the principal mines were located, the forming of the stones, its physical properties like hardness etc. He also explains the uses each stone has, be it medical or magical. He continues with analyzing its purity, optical appearance and how much it would cost to buy these stones on the market.



Mining Moonstones


All the different civilizations have used stones as a means of beautifying through jewelry, the magical and healing properties stones were thought to have in aid for ailments and also as a form of payment.


sculpture Napoleon

Napoleon Sculpture


The tomb of Childeric

An unusual find was made in 1653 in Tournai, Belgium. It was the tomb of Childeric, king of the Salian Franks from 457 to 481 and the father of Clovis. The treasure eventually was given as a diplomatic gift in 1665 by Emperor Leopold to King Louis XIV of France. One of the items were 2 golden bees or cicadas with wings which held inset garnets. They were probably used to decorate the royal coat or the harness of the king’s horse.

Napoleon was inspired by these Merovingian bees using them instead of the fleur-de-lys as the symbol of the French Empire. In Paris, in the Louvre Museum, one can find a marble statue of Napoleon. On the photo of Napoleon’s statue, one can see these bees on his coat.



The Traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier

A jewel merchant and renowned traveler of the 17th century was Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. He lived from 1605 to 1689 and was the son of a French Protestant who had to escape from Antwerp due to religious persecution


semi precious stones with

Inlay with semi-precious stones


Between 1632 and 1668 he made six voyages to the East. He visited many countries like Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India.
In 1676 he published his two-volume Les six voyages de Jean Baptiste Tavernier. Already 200 years prior to his visit diamond mines were operated in India.

The first modern scholarly edition in English was published in 1889. A British civil servant with the Indian Geological Service, Dr. Valentine Ball, wrote a biographical sketch of Tavernier and also included a translation and notes. Ball wrote several appendices about famous diamonds ( including the historic Koh-i-Noor Diamond which now belongs to the British royal family ), also about diamond mines in India and Borneo, ruby mines in Burma and sapphires from Ceylon.

The most remarkable pages are where he tells of Tavernier’s visit to the diamond mines of India and his inspection of the jewels of the Great Mogul.


diamond mine

Diamond Mine

The Great Mogul Diamond

Akbar the Great Mogul lived from 1542-1605. He was a patron of culture and the arts and had a keen interest in religion and the possible sources of religious knowledge. There is a diamond with the name, Great Mogul Diamond, which was probably discovered around 1650 and Tavernier describes it in his book as a diamond with a rose cut and being of some 280 carats.



Beautiful Diamond



The fascination with precious stones will remain as this is one of Mother Earths beautiful gifts to us. For us to wear and enjoy.


Source: the World Digital Library

Photo Source: Pixabay and Free Great Pictures



It truly is amazing how people have always cherished rare stones.
I am guilty myself, however I had never really considered just how far back it goes. thanks for the history lesson.
Let me ask you, is the Great Mogul Diamond the largest diamond ever found? I mean 290 carats, that thing must be huge!

Jan 04.2018 | 09:29 am


    Good afternoon Brendon

    Thank you for commenting on my post. I recently saw a photo of Paris Hilton showing off her new engagement ring. It was a huge,a  more than 20 carat stone, it occupied more than 1 finger. Even if the Great Mogul Diamond might appear big there are a lot bigger stones which were found throughout history. The biggest, up till today, is a enormous diamond found in the mine at Cullinan/South Africa. It was found on Jan 26th of the year 1905, It was a spectacular 3.106.75 carats with a weight of 621.35 gram.
    Thank you for the visit, hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 04.2018 | 01:48 pm


Wow! Love your website! Have bookmarked it as it is amazing, MANY hours read to go through here lol!
Just wanted to say thank you and keep up the good work!

/Your work is much appreciated

Jan 06.2018 | 05:05 pm


    Good afternoon John,

    Thank you for your visit. Happy to hear you like my website. I just like to write about things which interest me, some are interests which I had already being a small girl. When one grows up ones horizon gets broader so my interests multiplied but remained somehow related to nature and Mother Earth. Hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 06.2018 | 05:35 pm


Now we are talking, I love all kinds of precious stones, from rubies to emeralds to diamonds, I love them all, of course I can’t have them because I can’t afford them, but if I could, I would.

I like reading and watching ancient treasury documentaries, and I love visiting castles to  see all the precious stones and gold. so your article is very interesting to me.

Dec 22.2018 | 05:44 pm


    Good Morning Rose,

    You are right visiting castles and famous old homes one often is presented with beautiful collections. I do have a small collection of precious stones but it took my whole life, I am 68 now. Most women like precious stones and that is a fact.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Dec 23.2018 | 08:31 am


This is an informative post and I learnt a lot from it. I love the way you wrote on the history of the stones, it makes me appreciate precious stones more. Thank you for putting this together. it is enlightening. I hope to one day get a bigger stone., that will be awesome…

Dec 22.2018 | 06:19 pm


    Good Morning Eohia,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    You tell me you wish to get a bigger stone? I suppose you are talking about your diamond? Precious stones are a hobby I have and I love to just look at them and also touch them. I have a small collection which I got during my life and each stone has a small story attached. Happy you found my article informative.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Dec 23.2018 | 08:31 am

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