2. HISTORY AND VALUE OF GEMS.
From the most remote antiquity, and previous to every historical tradition, men anxiously sought for gems, and it pleased even the most rude and savage people to use them as ornaments and signs of civil, military, or religious dignity.
Of this we are certain from the discoveries made in the most ancient tombs of Asiatic, Tyrrhenian, and Egyptian peoples, where gems were found, differing in quality, but almost all cut and wrought in the same manner. It appears that sapphires, emeralds, rubies, pearls, as well as jargoons, garnets, and agates were the gems most anciently known and used.
Before these, we find ornaments were used, of amber, glass, and enamel, together with bronze, gold, and silver ; whence we conclude that, although nature supplied man with very hard stones, which required no labour but that used in discovering and digging them out, he nevertheless applied himself first to the manufacture of glass, amber, bronze, silver, and gold before using gems, perhaps on account of the difficulty of giving these a form suitable for armlets, necklaces, buckles, diadems, and rings.
It is also remarkable that these ornaments—of amber, as well as of glass, stone, silver, and gold—have been found from the first, wrought in the same fashion in the tombs of Tyrrhenia, Etruria, Egypt, Assyria, and Mexico. Whence in all parts of the world it has been