Ch. 1: The Badakhshanian Ruby

Ch. 1: Stories about Rubies and jewels Page of 375 Ch. 1: The Badakhshanian Ruby Text size:minus plus Restore normal size   Mail page  Print this page
last, having been formerly yellowish.
When transformed to another state, the ruby becomes more clarified and
is generally yellowish, ultimately becoming red. People subscribe to this
belief because they have heard from the scholars of physics that the
ruby, when it reaches the state of perfection, becomes red, as gold when
it is at the maximum of its equable state, is inclined towards a little redness. They also believe that the ruby progressively shifts towards different colours till it finally becomes red and remains red permanently, as
this is the state of its perfection; and beyond this there is no other stage.
Likewise, they also tend to believe that gold, moving out of the hold of
its parents, that is, mercury and sulphur, becomes transformed into
different liquids, that is, it passes through tin, brass, lead and silver, and,
assuming a specific gravity and colour, stays put in one state, since after
the state of perfection is attained, there is no further limit. They also
think that its weight in earth gets heavier and heavier and it does not
assume any other state. But students of physics draw an analogy between gold and man. Man, as compared to gold, is at his utmost limits of
perfection and this perfection he has acquired because of his temperament and the essence of his own nature. It is not that he has progressed
from having been other animals. That is to say, it is not that he has been
a dog, a bear, a monkey, and finally man.
Poet Abu Bakr Ali bin Husayn Quhistani says:
The rubies, as I have heard, (are formed) by prolonged action of the
sun (light) on (some particular type of) stone.
The poet is entitled to his own personal opinion if he believes that
through the prolonged effect of the sun every stone becomes converted
to the ruby. But in actuality this is not so. But, if he, on the other
hand, means to say that stone that has the capacity of becoming transformed into the ruby does become a ruby, he is right. And we have already stated this before. Mansur Mawrid says:
The dust of her abode is gold and is like the clod of clay that becomes
the ruby.
A thing, through the passage of time, keeps on getting converted into
some other thing. But the poet's vision that clay becomes transformed
into ruby is an expression of his exaggeration. When poets heap encomia, they resort to this exaggeration and hyperbole.
There are, in fact, three major jewels: ruby, emerald and pearl. Logic
demanded that we should have discussed, after the ruby, the emerald and
the pearl, in that order. But, since after the description of the ruby, the
narration of ruby-like stones cropped up, we thought it necessary to describe the cornelian since it is the major stone most allied to the ruby.
Ch. 1: Stories about Rubies and jewels Page of 375 Ch. 1: The Badakhshanian Ruby
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