Quotations on Gemstones

I’m starting a list of quotable quotes on the subject of gemstones. Let’s see how far I get before I get bored with this.


“Look, here it is, the prophetic Russian stone! O crafty Siberian. It was always green as hope and only toward evening was it suffused with blood.”
Nikolai Leskov, Translated by Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova as “Alexandrite” in collection of short stories Everyday Magic (2016)


“Because of its beauty the very best grade is called the Gem of Venus.”
Georgius Agricola (1494 – 1555), De Natura Fossilium


“The aquamarine was much employed by the ancients for engraving; there is one by Quintillius, of Poseidon mounted on marine horses.”
Dr. L. Feuchtwanger, A Popular Tretise on Gems (1867)


“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.”
Mae West (1892 – 1980)


“Indeed there is no stone, the colour of which is more delightful to the eye… there being no green in existence of a more intense colour than this.”
Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD), Natural History

Lapis Lazuli

“I will have harnessed for you a chariot of lapis lazuli and gold, with wheels of gold and ‘horns’ of amber.”
Epic of Gilgamesh (2650 BC)


“Of all precious stones, it is opal that presents the greatest difficulties of description, it displaying at once the piercing fire of ruby, the purple brilliancy of amethyst, and the sea-green of emerald, the whole blended together and refulgent with a brightness that is quite incredible.”
Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD), Natural History


“All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.”
Federico Fellini (1920 – 1993)


“The ruby not only stands in the very foremost class of coloured gems, but it occupies among precious stones in general a position which is unquestionably supreme.”
Edwin Streeter, Precious Stones and Gems (1898)


“She is more precious than Rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”
Proverbs 3:15

Qualities of Gemstones

“Beauty, durability and rarity; such are the three cardinal virtues of a perfect gemstone. Stones lacking any of them cannot aspire to high place in the ranks of the precious stones.”
Dr. G.F. Herbert Smith (1872 – 1953), Gemstones and their Distinctive Characters

“The sheen and colouration of precious stones are the same today as they were thousands of years ago and will be for thousands of years to come. In a world of change, this permanence has a charm of its own that was early appreciated.”
George Frederick Kunz (1856 – 1932), The Curious Lore of Precious Stones

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