Gems have been used from times immemorial for luck and as good omens.Kings and queens are reported to be craving for the possession and pursuit of beautiful gems and stones. Our fore-fathers have used them to ward off evil spirits, to bring luck and favor as well as to prolong their longevity. Some astrologers prescribe wearing of appropriate gemstones or birthstones as they are commonly called as remedial measures for mitigating the malefic effects of some planets. This is akin to a doctor prescribing medicines to a patient.
The venerated Indian astrologer Varahamihira, in his magnum opus "Brihat amhita" (chapters 80 to 83), refers to gems and their examination. Gems are said to be born of the bones of the demon Bala while some opine they were born of sage Dadheechi and have characteristic qualities of the earth. The list given by him includes diamond, sapphire, emerald, agate, ruby, bloodstone, beryl, amethyst, vimalaka, quartz, pearl, sughandika, opal, conch, azure, topaz, brahma gem, jyoteerasa, sasyaka, coral, moonstone etc. Diamonds that show scratches like crow-feet (kaakapadam), bees or hair, are mixed with colored minerals substances or gravel, have double facets, are burnt, discolored, lusterless or perforated, are inauspicious. So are those that are covered with bubbles, split at the points, flattened, or oblong. Diamonds that are triangular, trigonal and like the coriander seed or the buttocks are productive of good results to ladies desiring male offspring. Best pearls are those that are got from pearl-oysters.
Everyone who went to school is aware of the word SPECTRUM. When white light passes through a prism, the emergent beam is composed of seven (7) different colors, commonly known as the acronym VIBGYOR ie, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet in the reverse order. The same effect is observed in a rainbow. It is believed that our body contains these seven colors in different proportions. If the colors are balanced, the owner is lucky – healthy and wealthy. Any deficiency or excess of one or more rays causes mental or physical (or a combination) problems. The principal gems represent or signify planets and luminaries (sun and moon). The astrologer examines the horoscope and determines which planet (or planets) is antagonistic to the native and prescribes the birthstone to be worn with details of what to wear, when to wear and how to wear.
Ruby, Pearl, Coral, Emerald, Topaz, Sapphire, Diamond, Agate, and Cat's eye respectively refer to Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Caput (Rahu), and Cauda (Ketu). AGATE is said to be good for the heart, Amethyst cures sterility, Beryl enhances love and affection, Coral protects from epidemics, metorrhagia etc., Diamond cures plague, insomnia, charms, ensures safe delivery, Emerald is said to be good for the brain , increases memory power, ensures chastity, cures dropsy, epilepsy, hysteria, dysentery, Pearl is recommended for chastity, Ruby protects one from poison, plague, banishes melancholy, Sapphire assures good fortune, peace, comfort while Topaz denotes sympathy, re-possession of lost things.
Proper selection of a gemstone is done after a minute consideration of:
o Sun sign
o Ruling ascendant
o Lord of the ruling ascendant
o Debilitated or afflicted planets
The fundamental principle followed is the determination of the ray or rays causing abnormalities. The celestial bodies are known to emit different colors in the spectrographic analyzes. One of the important uses to which this knowledge can be applied is medical science. The curative powers of gemstones have been studied by some who have opined that a proper and restrictive use of some gems can bring upon significant changes in the health of patients and even cure them altogether. Thus, the twelve houses of the native's horoscope are said to signify different parts of the body. The first house denotes the head and the brain while the fifth house points towards the stomach and the intestines. Similarly, the zodiacal signs refer to the various human organs. The fingers are significators of various ailments and body parts. The birth star and the Drik (6th, 8th and 12th) houses are also to be taken into account while recommending a birthstone for healthy living. The birth star is the constellation in which the moon resides at the moment of one's birth. There are 27 (twenty-seven) constellations in Indian astrology each sub-divided into four parts or "padas". At times, Abhijit is also considered as a constellation occurring in Capricorn. In electional astrology, Abhijit muhurta is said to alleviate any affliction and hence if no appropriate or auspicious moment is possible immediately, recourse is taken to this.
Not only do birthstones help in health problems, they are worn to increase one's wealth as well. Thus, Emerald denoting Mercury is beneficial for one dealing with liquid cash, shares and stocks, Jupiter for those dealing with properties, buildings and jewelery etc. The moon in the male horoscope and the sun in the female horoscope are important for prognosticating wealth matters. Jupiter is considered for success and Venus for pleasures in one's life. Jupiter's placement in eastern side ie, aries to virgo assures early success in life. The 2nd house denotes movable assets, 4th fixed assets, 9th general prosperity, fate and the 11th recurring income.
At times, people know only the date of birth and the preparation of an accurate horoscope becomes difficult, if not impossible. They can be told to wear the birthstone pertinent to the date of birth. Thus, those born on the 1st, 10th, 19th or the 28th of any month can wear ruby or red coral to begin with. By trial and error and after consultations the correct gemstone can be worn. Some people are found wearing a "nava ratna" ie, a ring with all the nine main stones embedded on the ring. While this may do wonders for some, it is not recommended as a general solution to appease all the planets at a time! The factors to be considered when wearing a birthstone are:
1. The correct gem
2. Weight of the gem
3. Metal of the ring
4. Day and time of first wearing
5. Pre-treatment of the stone before wearing.
Pre-treatment refers to the purification or the sanctification process of the embedded ring. The big question remains which school of opinion to follow – sympathy or antipathy? Whether one should appease the afflicted planet or counter-act it?