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See also   Mani,    Rattee  Nava Ratna;    Panch Dhaatu

(1) The best of every thing, such as Bhaarat Ratna, means that this thing is the most valuable for India.
(2) Gems. Jewels. Precious stones. Mani - The word "gem" is used for any fine quality stones, such as pearl or coral that is rare, attractive, portable, durable, valuable, and powerful;

Devtaa also wear Mani - Krishn wore Syaamantak Mani, now Brahmaa wears it; Vishnu wears Kaustubh Mani of lotus flower color; and Shiv wears Rudra Mani of gold color. The whole Paataal Lok gets light from gems only. The ocean is called Ratnaaakar, only because it has many gems. Varaah Mihir, a well-known astrologer's book "Brihat Sanhitaa" contains a chapter on gems. Vaidyanaath's "Jaatak Paarijaat" also deals with gems. In all there are about 84 gems of different types and colors. The first five Ratna - ruby, diamond, emerald, sapphire and topaz are called "Panch-Ratna". The other four - pearl, coral, Cat's eye and heysinth, were later added to make up "Nava Ratna".

There are some other Ratna also - Gaj Muktaa or Gaj Motee or Gaj Mani; Naag Mani etc.

Origin of Ratnaa
Read also   Diamond   Individual Ratna

Garud Puraan gives an interesting story of the origin of these Ratna. There was a Daitya named Balaasur. He had got a Var (boon) to be invincible from Brahmaa Jee after a severe penance. So he attacked Indra's city and captured it. Devtaa did a Yagya to take their city back from him. When the time came for oblation, they went to him assuming the form of a priest and asked for his body. The Asur was religious, so he decided to give his body for oblation. Devtaa got very happy so they took him on the Vimaan very swiftly, so much so that they dropped him. As his body dropped from the Vimaan, it hit the ground and broke into pieces. these body parts, owing to the commitment to the Devtaa, when  scattered on Prithvi, turned into various jewels - (1) Heeraa, (Heerak, or Vajra diamond); (2) Muktaa (pearl); (3) Mani (Laal, or Chunnee, or ruby); (4) Pannaa (Marakat, or emerald); (5) Pushparaag (Topaz); (6) Neelam (Indraneel, or blue sapphire); (7) Pukharaaj (Yellow Sapphire), (8) Praval (coral or Moongaa), and (9) Vaidoorya Mani (beryl or Cat's Eye). Some others are Sphatic (crystal or Moonstone).

Pearl can be obtained from eight sources, including the elephant's head, boar, conch shell, fishes, oysters, and bamboos. However oysters are the most common source. To check if the pearl is genuine, sink it in saline water for overnight, in the morning wipe it and if its color is not faded, it is genuine. About the origin of Vaidoorya Mani (beryl or Cat's Eye), the Puraan says, that when Balaasur fell, he roared and his roar fragmented a part of the hill called Vidur, that is why it is called Vaidoorya Mani.

Nav Ratnaa (Nine gems)

(1) Laal - Red Spinel, Ruby, Chunnee, Lalree, Maanik or Maanikya, Padmaraag
It is one of the nine gems or precious stones. The ruby is found in a variety of crimson and scarlet red colors ranging from pink to a deep ruddy violet color. The gemstone is solid and possesses high specific gravity. The red tint in ruby comes from a light combination of iron and chromium. The finest quality ruby has a delicate red color. Some qualities of a Good Ruby are - 1. smoothness, 2. uniform Color, 3. brilliance, 4. hardness.

(2) Heeraa - Diamond, White Quartz, Heerak, Sphatik, Vajra
It is one of the nine gems or precious stones. It is the most attractive gem to the eyes, because of emitting a very delicate bluish, reddish, or a mixture of blue and red radiance of glittering luster when exposed to light. Diamond is famous for its play of colors. A fine diamond is radiant, and delightful. It is as soothing to the eyes as the Moon; is magnificent and has the self-luminous quality of a clear crystal.

Ancient Hindu scriptures mention eight types of diamonds:--
1. Hanspati: transparent white color like a conch,
2. Kamlaapati: transparent pinkish white, like lotus petal.
3. Vajraneel: transparent blue-white, like the color of the neck of a blue jay,
4. Vanaspati: transparent greenish-white, like fresh blade of grass,
5. Shyaamvajra: transparent smoky-gray color
6. Telia: oily, and dark color.
7. Sanloyee: yellowish-green or pale green color.

(3) Pannaa - Budh Ratna, Emerald, Gaarutmat, Marakat, Tsavorite,

(4) Neelam - Indicolite, Sapphire, Indraneel, Naram-Neelmani, Neelmani
One of the nine gems or precious stones. Sometimes white sapphires, rubies and blue sapphires are found in the same mine and that is why there is a mixture of colors in the crystals of these gems. Ruby is harder than white sapphire and blue sapphire is harder than ruby. What distinguishes them from each other is their hardness. Blue sapphire is the hardest. Blue sapphire crystals are found as twelve-sided prisms.

(5) Pukharaaj - Yellow Sapphire, Yellow Topaz, Pushp-raag
Yellow sapphire is found in yellow, golden, and orange colors, as well as in a colorless variety known as white sapphire. The best gem is said to be of lemon-yellow color. The color in yellow sapphire is due to the presence of iron and titanium. The best yellow sapphires, famous for their luster, smoothness, brilliance, and transparence, come from Mogok, situated in the upper region of Burma. Sri Lanka produces sapphires in yellow, light green, and color-less varieties in sufficient quantities. These sapphires are of some-what inferior quality to the Burmese Pukharaaj. Good quality sapphires in shades of yellow, green, pink, red, blue, violet, and white (colorless) are found in abundance in Brazil.

(6) Motee - Moonstone, Pearl, Chandramani, Muktaa, Muktaaphal
For more information   see

Before the pearls used to be natural, because cultured pearls were not known until recently. But at the present time practically everyone (except a learned gemologist) now thinks that the hollow "cultured pearl" or pearl-imitations are the real thing. This is mass ignorance. Natural pearls are 100% "pearl" or nacre. It is believed that natural pearls form under a set of accidental conditions when a microscopic intruder or grain of sand enters an oyster (mollusk) and settles inside the shell. The oyster, being irritated by the intruder, secretes the pearl substance called nacre to cover the irritant. This process is repeated for many years, thus producing a real pearl which may (or may not) be found by man. For a natural pearl to form with a nice round or oval shape, and be free of any flaws, is actually a real-life "miracle." The odds of a perfect natural pearl are 1 in a million.

There is a common belief among Taantrik that when  rain comes in Swaati Nakshatra to earth it produces pearl in pearl oysters. The mollusk is then said to open its mouth to receive the first raindrops. When the same raindrops fall into the mouth of a cobra, they produce venom. The same raindrops also produce camphor when fallen in the banana plant; produce go-lochan (go-rochan or calcium) when they fall in the horn of a cow, and Bans-lochan or Bans-muktaa (or bamboo pearl) when they fall inside a bamboo shoot. Bans-lochan is known as Calcium bamboana and is mostly used in Aayur Vedic medicines.

Nine Types of Pearls
(1) Chandra Mani - is the natural oyster pearl. Beside Chandra Mani, seven other types of pearls are found in conch shells -
(2) Naag Mani Pearls are studded in cobra's hood. They are very rare and can have a shine like a polished sword blade. They glow in dark also.
(3) Varaah Mani - related to Varaah Avataar
(4) Gaj Mani which are found inside of the tusk of white elephants.
(5) Matsya Mani - related to Matsya (fish) Avataar.
(6) Venu Mani - Bamboo stem pearl, formed in bamboo stems
(7) Vriksh Mani - Or Mauchaa Mani, comes from banana plant
(8) Megh Mani - Cloud Pearl, come from clouds, so rare to find as they are collected by Devtaa
(9) Shankh Mani - Conch Shell Pearl, brings good luck especially if it is from Vallampuree Dakshinaavartee Lakshmee conch which is open on its right side, opposite of the normal shell
[Garud Puraan]

(7) Moongaa - Carnelian, Coral, Praval, Rat-Ratuvaa
It is one of the nine gems or precious stone. Coral of the finest quality is obtained in bulk from the coasts of Algeria and Tunisia. Other profitable sites for coral deposits are the coasts of Spain, France, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. Corals are also processed in India. It is believed that wearing coral is good for health. It may be cleaned by wiping it by sandalwood oil or olive oil once a year. To buy it in top gem quality Ms Neetaa in Mumbai sells red coral talismans. For Maalaa quality one should try  - Ms Neeta Y/s, Richard

(8) Vaidoorya Mani - Beryl, Cat's Eye, Fibrolite, Lapis Lazuli, Ketu Ratna, Ketu's Gem, Lahasuniyaa, Sootra Mani

(9) Gomed - Hessonite, Heysinth
Apart from mention of 14 gems in Garud Puraan and single mention in Agni Puraan, and few othrs, there is no ancient list of 9 Planetary gems. This came later in such books as Brihat Jaatak and also Jaatak Paarijaat (compiled at an unknown time) by Vaidyanath Dikshitar (Son of Venkata-dhaaree) as verse 2/21. The same verse is repeated in Mani Maalaa, but under a wrong heading. That is Mani Maalaa: page 575. Both state (translation - "Use pure and high-born (Sujati + Aamalaa) ruby for Sun, (natural-real) Pearl for Moon, red coral for Mars, emerald for Mercury, Yellow Sapphire for Jupiter, diamond for Venus, blue sapphire for Saturn (Shani), and Gomed and cat's eye for the pair, Raahu and Ketu. How Sapphire of Shani affects people depends on if he is favorable or unfavorable in he chart of the native. If Shani is unfavorable then the Sapphire can be donated in "Ratna Daan" to improve Shani, but use of Blue Sapphire is contraindicated only if Shani is favorable.

Ratna and Planets
There is great relationship between gems and planets. Indian astrologers can suggest gem according to the bad or good effect of a planet on one's life. Planet gemology is based on ancient "Sidereal" system of astrology that has prevailed in the oriental for thousands of years. Unlike the Western system, which is based upon the relative positions of the Sun and the Earth, Sidereal astrology is calculated according to the fixed positions of Nakshatra (stellar constellations) beyond the solar system. Experience has proven the Sidereal system to be far more accurate and incisive than the Western method in determining the astral forces at work in an individual, horoscope.

The practice of "birthstone" in current use throughout the Western world today has no basis in any system of astrology, Originally attributed to the Judaic Breastplate of the High Priest, which contained a gem for each of the twelve tribes of Israel, the list was arbitrarily rearranged for commercial purposes at a meeting of the American National Retail Jeweler's Association on August 12, 1912. Therefore it is clear that only the Eastern "9 Gems" system of Birthstones is bona fide and reasonable.

Ratna Ruling Planet Zodiac Moon Sign
Heeraa (Diamond) Venus Vrish (Taurus), Tulaa (Libra)
Pannaa (Emerald Mercury Mithun (Gemini), Kanyaa (Virgo)
Laal (Ruby) Sun Sinh (Leo)
Motee (Pearl) Moon Kark (Cancer)
Moongaa (Coral) Mars Mesh (Aries), Vrishchk  (Scorpio)
Neelam (Blue Sapphire) Saturn Makar (Capricorn), Kumbh (Aquarius)
Pukharaaj (Yellow Sapphire) Jupiter Dhanu (Sagittarius), Meen (Pisces)
Vaidoorya (Cat's Eye) Ketu Not Applicable
Gomed (Hessonite) Raahu Not Applicable

Sun-Ruby- 3 carats-in gold-right hand ring finger-Sunday
Moon-Pearl-3 carats-in silver-right hand ring finger-Monday
Mars-Red Coral-3 carats-in gold-right hand ring or index finger-Tuesday
Mercury-Green Emerald-3 carats-in gold-right hand little finger-Wednesday
Jupiter-Yellow Sapphire/Topaz-3 carats-in gold-right hand index finger-Thursday
Venus-Diamond-3 carats (or affordable since very costly)-in silver-right hand middle finger-Friday
Saturn-Blue Sappire-3 carats-in silver-right hand middle finger-Saturday
Raahu (Dragon's Head)-Gomed-3 carats-in silver-right hand middle finger-Saturday
Ketu (Dragon's Tail)-Cat's Eye-3 carats-in gold-right hand ring or index finger-Tuesday

More information about Planetary Gemology and a free Gem Prescription Report can be had from

Semi-precious Quality Gems in Place of Real gems
Using semi precious GOOD QUALITY gems, one can make a cheaper Nava Ratna like:

SUN: red garnet
MOON: Moon stone
JUPITER: Citrine
RAHU: orange zircon
MERCURY: Peridot
VENUS: White zircon
KETU: Fibrolite cats eye
SATURN: Iolite
MARS: Carnelian

These above in small Nava Ratnaa sizes like 4-5mm cost peanuts in comparison to the primary gems' price.

Bapalal & Co.,      at 37 Cathedral Road,       Chennai 600 086 sells quality gems
Ms Neeta also sells in Mumbai at  for Rudraaksh


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 07/01/13