Ancient Vedic Gem Lore

The Gemological Institute of America, which today stands as the paramount authority in the field of gemology, was founded less than 100 years ago. For thousands of years, however, a sophisticated system of gemology has been practiced in the Orient. This knowledge is recorded in the Sanskrit language in specific Vedic Texts. Most of the principles governing this ancient gemological science are still practiced today, although modern scientific instruments have replaced trained eyes and fingers in the analysis and identification of gems. The basic methods, however, remain the same.

Following are some summary translations of original Sanskrit texts appearing in the Garuda-puranam (chapters 68 thru 80), which pertain to the science of gemology. Due to its age (estimated to be about 5,000 years old), certain information may not be contemporarily relevant. But it is interesting to note the similarities between these ancient practices and modern methods of gem testing.