by Taetske | 3:50 pm
(Last Updated On: August 4, 2021)


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.


A collection of Gems

A collection of Gems image by Roselie


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 to 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, their physical properties like hardness, etc. He also explains the uses each stone has, be it medical or magical. He continues by analyzing its purity, optical appearance, and how much it would cost to buy these stones on the market.


Mining for Moonstone

Mining for Moonstone image David Greenwood-Haigh


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.


Statue of Napoleon in the Louvre

Statue of Napoleon in the Louvre image by 139904


The tomb of Childeric

They made an unusual find 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 was 2 golden bees or cicadas with wings that held inset garnets. They were probably used to decorate the royal coat or the harness of the king’s horse.

These Merovingian bees inspired Napoleon, 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. In the photo of Napoleon’s statue, one can see these bees on his coat.


Nature can be full of surprises. Have a look at the following YouTube video on polishing stones. I got a rock-tumbler for my birthday some years ago. I can tell you it is fun. Searching for special stones when we go on a trip. Then the 4-week treatment and then, finally see the results.



A great book

This is a must-have. If stones are your hobby, you like to make jewelry or enjoy rock hunting. Over 1,500 full-color photos show the reader precious and semi-precious stones. Enjoy the stones in their rough natural or their polished and cut renditions.

You can also read about coral, ivory, amber, and pearls, as well as alabaster, onyx, obsidian, and fossils. This is the most complete reference book with million copies in print.


Gemstones of the World


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.


Inlay with semi precious stones

Inlay with semi-precious stones image by B. Sarangi


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.

They published the first modern scholarly edition in English 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 image by Siggy Nowak


The Great Mogul Diamond

Akbar the Great Mogul lived from 1542 to 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 some 280 carats.


Lovely diamonds

Lovely diamonds image by Moo Yuen Sheng



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

I have made this page especially for you. Before you leave, have a look at Recommendations. You might find something of your interest.


Source: The World Digital Library

Photo Source: Pixabay


Stones are special and people have known that for thousands of years. Perhaps you also like to read about healing stones? If yes, then please read the following post.

The Amazing Power of Healing Stones



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


These are beautiful stones especially the diamond, I can’t help but think they must serve a purpose more than just to look pretty, what do you think?

I didn’t know that stones were given as a form of payment years ago, very interesting.  You would of thought that back then they could of found other ways to make use of the precious stones rather than just decorating.

Mar 11.2019 | 01:27 pm


    Good afternoon Amanda,

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    The diamond has many more uses than just be pretty in a ring. Diamond dust is used in industry and also on nail files. In times of crisis or wars, precious stones just as gold have been used as payment.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 11.2019 | 03:01 pm


Nice write-up there on the beautiful variation of precious stone. This article makes me remember the stones that are used to beautify the front of my grandma house. When we talk about stones, there seems not to be any stones know this earth that seems to be a waste because directly or indirectly there will be a particular aspect of beautification it will be used for. I have seen many beautiful stones cast and I must say there is nothing like a mere stone when it comes to work of art.

Mar 11.2019 | 01:31 pm


    Good afternoon Ajibola,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    When one thinks about stones in general one discovers they have always played an important role in history. They were used for building, making roads and dams, for grinding grain or pressing olives for oil. From certain stones, arrowheads were made. Then the pretty ones were used for payment and jewelry. Throughout history, stones have been used for so many things. It is a shame that in modern times we use too much plastic instead.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Mar 11.2019 | 03:14 pm


Cool.  I didn’t know the history of the stones.  But, I’ve been learning some of it lately.  Well, I’ve been learning more about the properties of some of the stones.  The diamonds history is interesting.  I guess that even though I knew they’d been mined for centuries, it never occurred to me how they were mined or by who or anything.  I can’t say that I really enjoy diamonds or the shiny gems, but they are pretty.  Are there special properties related to the different gems?

Mar 11.2019 | 01:32 pm


    Good afternoon Kaeyoes,

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

    I am forwarding a link where you can read some more on the properties attributed to different stones.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 11.2019 | 02:49 pm


I just spent time reading this and wow, I realized how much I love natural treasures. These are fascinating.

Moreover, I’m a lover of history and this just took me back to some facts I ne’er knew.  I never realized that some of these stones existed because they were lost behind the cover of history 

This is a very comprehensive and informative article.


Mar 11.2019 | 01:35 pm


    Good afternoon Sammy,

    Nice to hear you liked my story on stones. When one digs a little deeper one will find some unusual things. That is why I like to write as because of it I also learn new things.

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

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 11.2019 | 03:19 pm


The ancient Arabians are some of the finest sculptors of precious stones. It comes as no surprise that Al-Tifasi took time to document this well-guarded trade secret. It is sad that some of these skills are no longer passed from one generation to another due to modernization. If I ever travel to Belgium, I would certainly get my hands on some of these beautiful pearls as well as visit historic sites such as The tomb of Childeric.

I always love reading your articles on some of the natural historic sites as well as environmental issues. Please keep posting great articles such as these.

Mar 11.2019 | 01:36 pm


    Good afternoon Phranell,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    That is why I like to have 2 websites as it gives me the possibility to write about things I am interested in. Thank you for your compliment. It is good to know there are people who like my posts.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 11.2019 | 03:22 pm


I cannot begin to wonder just how marvelous this earth is that it is able to contain these amazing stones that can cost quite a fortune. They can be used for several reasons and even used to make tools that are extremely hard. Some of these precious stones can even be considered priceless due to their historic symbolism.

Those that discovered these stones a long time ago would not believe the worth they currently command in our present society. Truly fascinating. 

Mar 11.2019 | 01:50 pm


    Good afternoon Jay,

    Thank you for your comment. Nice to see you again.

    I personally love stones and have quite a collection. Stones I find in nature and the ones I have bought during my life. When I was small my Mother taught me how to identify stones and also how to find fossils. 

    It is quite amazing all the treasures Mother Earth holds for us.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 11.2019 | 03:27 pm

Seun Afotanju

Thanks for this beautiful post, stones and gems are excellent tools for studying diverse aspects of the cultural history of a society. A close examination of the gems people owned, how they were used, and what people thought about them reveals those circumstances and processes. It so amazing coming across this post as I personally love precious stones. hopefully going to share this with my friends. 

Mar 11.2019 | 02:15 pm


    Good afternoon Seun,

    Thank you for your visit and comment. Nice to see you again.

    Stones have been one of my hobbies since I was small. On my expeditions in the big garden we had, I would often find unusual stones. My Mother would help with the identification of these stones. Soon we will go on a small trip to a National Reserve and I hope to find some interesting stones there.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 11.2019 | 03:32 pm


It’s amazing how fascinating nature is. The treatise on stone by Theophrastus is another amazing representation of nature’s beauty and it teaches us how best to make use of precious stone. My attention was caught by the great Mogul diamond, I can imagine how much it would cost to own that diamond. In all, the world is full of amazing destinations and even in hundred lifetime’s we can’t exhaust these treasures

Mar 11.2019 | 02:58 pm


    Good afternoon Louis,

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

    I have had the same thought as you, my life is far too short to see all the marvels Mother Earth has to offer. We should take better care of the environment as future generations would also like to enjoy these treasures.

    I think that diamond would be too big to wear so to have it only lying in a safe would be a shame.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Mar 11.2019 | 03:45 pm

Richard U.

I have come across a website that talked about Gemstones before, but none of them is like what you have done here with such details about Gemstones. I mean great work, full of fascination.

The video about how t cut and polish Gemstones is truly an eye-opener for me. During one of my trips abroad that were before Covid19, I have come across washed up Gemstones of various kinds by the beach coast. Some I took home and some I simply threw away because I have no clue. Probably threw more away than I kept.

But thanks to this post, I am never throwing them away anymore.

Jul 24.2020 | 02:43 pm


    Good Morning Richard,

    Last year, for my birthday, I got a rock tumbler. Lots of fun with that machine. The collected stones go through a 4 step process. Each step takes like a week, then you clean and start again. After one month, it is quite amazing what a humble stone can look like.

    On this website you will find a post, Cabo de Gata, the driest place in Spain. There, on the beach, I found the most unusual and beautiful stones. Stones is a hobby I have since I was small, and I still find it exciting when I find something special. Like on the trip to Portugal, also a post on this website. A great find in the form of a sand dollar fossil. 

    Thank you for your visit and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jul 25.2020 | 07:35 am

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