twice this is four times higher. One mithqal costs a thousand dinars and
one mithqal and a half, two thousand dinars.
Jewellers claim that they have not seen a bigger ruby incorporating
these characteristics. In addition, a ruby weighing one mithqal is rare
like the excellent variety of the pearl of this weight.
One daniq of ruby exceeds the price of one daniq of pearl. The
present-day jewellers claim that the bahramanian variety which has already been described is of a lesser grade than the rummanian variety. Its
price is 800 dinars. The Arghawanian variety fetches 500 dinars, while
the najmian and the gulnarian varieties each cost 100 dinars. The rosecoloured variety also fetches approximate prices. With the exception of
the rummanian variety, all the ruby varieties have, on rare occasions,
been found in weights of 20—50 mithqals. Al-Kindi observes:
I have seen the largest piece of the red variety weigh one mithqal and
a half or a little more. As pieces of fiction, we have been told of this
variety weighing ten mithqals. Of the ward! variety, the largest piece
which I have seen weighed is 30 mithqals.
The beauty of the ruby depends upon the depth of its colour, the
perfection of its clarity and brightness, refulgence, and its purity.
Taking this as the standard, the rise in the price of a ruby is dependent upon these attributes. The baliramanian variety is the most precious,
followed by the 'nsfuri, jamri, and the wardi Everyone knows that the
wardi, mu'asfari, and the lahmi (flesh-like) varieties, because of their
varying colour, comprise different varieties. The ward! is totally white.
Another of its variety is slightly reddish, with the redness gradually increasing till it assumes the rosiness of the cheeks, increasing to an extent
that it becomes reddish like the red anemone and a little blackish.
In order to establish the value of a ruby, people coin different similes
and metaphors for it. Those keen upon comprehending the attributes of
the ruby should describe its kinds, attributes, habitat and characteristics.
I have come across a book written during the reign of 'Abd al-Malik
bin Marwan. It has described several points about the art (of jewellery),
and prices of that age have also been given. The book shows that the
price of the black variety of ruby was equal to that of two race-stallions.
I shall draw upon this source book whenever necessary.
One of the stones resembling the red ruby variety is karkind or the
yaqut-i-asamm, meaning the hard cornelian, so named because it happens
to be solid, less clear, and turbid. This stone does not fetch a higher
price than the dusty ruby variety.