Ch. 6: Turquoise

Ch. 5: Emerald imitations Page of 375 Ch. 6: Turquoise Text size:minus plus Restore normal size   Mail page  Print this page
the gold that is precious, not brass and tin.
The like of emerald cannot be emerald, even though both stones
might have the same weight.
A stone was sent to Amir Yamin al-Dawlah from India. It was said
that it had the colour of the emerald but not its transparency. The Sultan gave it to one of the jewellers, commanding him to make a cup out
of it in such a way that the middle portion of the stone should remain
intact. The jewellers carried out the command of the king. However, if
the stone happened to be like emerald, it weighed more than half a rati.
A jeweller has mentioned:
A green transparent stone was found near the agate mine in Nishapur.
People took it to be an emerald. Large sections came out of it, and
a merchant who visited the place every year brought it and took it
with him. When I rubbed it against iron, the iron became reddish,
and this reddish tinge persisted for a week. From this I concluded
that it was copper.
These stones or jewels are the principal elements. We have described
them, their similars and appurtenances as far as we could. It now
appears essential that we should describe the turquoise, as prominent
people and potentates wear it and seek auguries from it.
Be it known that Jabir bin Hayyan SufT in his work, the Kitab alXakliab ft dl-1'ihimat assigns to the turquoise the names, hajar al-ghalbah,
hajar al-'ayn
and hajar al-jah. The first and the third names are by way
of bibliomancy. In Persian these words mean conquest and overwhelming. In so far as the name, hajar al-'ayn, is concerned, the word, sabaj,
appears to be more appropriate, as it is believed that, if anyone who is a
victim to the evil eye has the sabaj
stone, it bursts, and hence dispels the
effect of the evil eye. For this reason necklaces of turquoise are made
for children. People have been led to this belief because sabaj is very
soft, and its bead is likely to break at the slightest of shocks. People
began to relate this fact with the evil eye.
Nasr has to say the following about turquoise:
A bluish stone, it is harder than lapis lazuli. It is mined from the
mountain of San in Khan Ruyand (Nishapur). If rubbed on a rough
stone after dilution with water, it will readily accept moisture. It is
then oiled and filed so as to be made soft. The more humid it is, the
better would it be. In course of time it gains in sharpness and colour.
The best kind is mined from Azhari and Bu Sahaqi.
According to the jewellers, the best kind is hard, sharp, deep-coloured, lustrous and brilliant. This is followed by the labani kind which is
Ch. 5: Emerald imitations Page of 375 Ch. 6: Turquoise
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