Gemmology and Gupta Period: Context of Precious Stones Industry in Ancient India

B. S. Farida
2022 Scholars Journal of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences  
India has always been rich in its natural resources and its products. All these rich resources offered scope for a large number of industries, handicrafts and many other professions [I]. Likewise, industrial works and other economic professions were encouraged during the Gupta period also since raw materials were abundant for industries. Gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal that in cut and polished form is used to make jewellery or other adornments. One of the most ancient Industries of India
more » ... was the precious stone Industry which includes diamonds, pearls, ruby and emerald among many others. The Guptas were also skilled in craftsmanship. They got the credit for organizing the technical skill of the craftsmen under royal supervision and inducing them to be enterprising in their trade. They inherited the fine craftsmanship of the Indians from an earlier period [II]. The science of testing gems was so perfected in India in this period as to arouse the admiration of the later European travellers of the 16th century. In the Kamasutra ruparatnapariksha (testing and valuing of precious stones etc.) are included in the list of sixty-four arts [III]. The jewellers [IV] used scales and touchstones for weighing and testing the quality and quantity of stones and metals. Such a high level of culture and the enhanced standard of living of the rich were impossible without a well developed urbanization and trade network. It is a fact from the Gupta period, trade had started falling on bad days but localized economic formations started taking place. By the time of this period, the trade become luxury oriented, a fact attested by the frequency of references to such items in the Brihatsamhita and many other ancient Sanskrit literature [V].
doi:10.36347/sjahss.2022.v10i02.004 fatcat:47xnm6wvgbcahbiopj6jwazym4