These gems were mainly required to manufacture different types of necklaces. The royal treasury included nine types of necklaces each differing with the other on the basis of the number of strings it had. Sirshaka, Upasirshaka, Prakandaka, Avaghataka, and Taralapratibandha are several varieties of pearl necklaces.
Examination of gems for the treasury had identified the following types of necklaces.
* One thousand and eight strings of pearls form the Indrachchhanda.
* Half of the above is Vijayachchhanda
* Fifty-four strings make up Rasmikalapa
* Thirty-two strings make up Guchchha
* Twenty-seven strings make up Nakshatramala
* Twenty-four strings make up Ardhaguchchha
* Twenty strings make up Manavaka
* Half of the above is Ardhamanavaka
Superintendent of treasury then makes the selection of gems on the basis of colours. The one which possess such pleasant colour as that of the red lotus flower, or that of the flower of parijata (Erithrina Indica), or that of the rising sun is the Saugandhika gem. The one which is of the colour of blue lotus flower, or of sirisha (Acacia Sirisa), or of water, or of fresh bamboo, or of the colour of the feathers of a parrot is the Vaidurya gem; Pushyaraga, Gomutraka, and Gomedika are other varieties of the same. In the same manner gems are further differentiated on the basis of shapes with quadrangle, square, round shapes which again is verified by the experts.
Examination of gems for treasury further identifies the same necklaces with a gem at the centre are called by the same names with the word "Manavaka" suffixed to their respective names, when all the strings making up a necklace are of sirshaka pattern, it is called pure necklace (suddhahara); likewise the necklace which contains a gem in the Centre is also called Ardhamanavaka; the necklace which contains three slab-like gems (triphalaka) or live slab-like gems (pafichaphalaka) in the centre is termed phalakahara; and an only string of pearls is called pure Ekavali; the same with a gem in the centre is called Yashti; the same variegated with gold globules is termed Ratnavall. A string made of pearls and gold globules alternately put is called Apavartaka; strings of pearls with a gold wire between two strings are called Sopanaka.
Superintendent of gems for the treasury then selects the same with a gem in the centre is called Manisapanaka. These metals with gems were further used to manufacture head-strings, bracelets, anklets, waist-bands, and other varieties. Kauta, that which is obtained in the Kuta; Mauleyaka, that which is found in the Muleya; and Parasamudraka, that which is found beyond the ocean are several varieties of gems. Superintendent of treasury further includes other materials in the royal treasury which are mainly metallic like metallic beads. Gems are further differentiated on the basis of fragrances, colour, places of sources which mark their quality and strength which further includes the porous ness of the stone. Arthashastra makes a differentiation of other variety of gems with fragrance which it calls as Sugandhika gem. They bear the fragrance of fresh lotus or even red soil and look either reddish or yellowish red. Further there are gems known as metallic breeds. They are mainly found in central provinces; there are other gems as well which are large in size and rough in looks, these are treated as inauspicious. The Superintendent will further classify and denote the size of gems to be included as superior qualities in the treasury while some to be rejected as inferior.
Thus, examination of gems had been considered as one of the serious activities of the state as they with their genuineness carry the reputation of the kingdom that they represent. During ancient days exchange of gems on barter system had remained as a mode of payment. Thus, the superior qualities of gems with perfect verification are required.
(Last Updated on : 25-11-2010)
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