CHAPTER XIII – SUPERINTENDENT OF GOLD IN THE GOLDSMITH’S OFFICE
1IN order to manufacture gold and silver jewellry, each being kept apart, the superintendent of gold shall have a goldsmiths office (akshasála) consisting of four rooms and one door.
2In the centre of the high road a trained, skilful goldsmith of high birth and of reliable character shall be appointed to hold his shop.
3Jámbúnada, that which is the product of the river, Jambu; Sátakumbha, that which is extracted from the mountain of Satakumba; Hátaka, that which is extracted from the mines known as Hátaka; Vainava, that which is the product of the mountain, Vénu; and Sringasúktija, that which is extracted from sringasúkti (?) are the varieties of gold.
4(Gold may be obtained) either pure or amalgamated with mercury or silver or alloyed with other impurities as mine gold (ákaródgata).
5That which is of the colour of the petals of a lotus, ductile, glossy, incapable of making any continuous sound (anádi), and glittering is the best; that which is reddish yellow (raktapíta) is of middle quality; and that which is red is of low quality.
6Impure gold is of whitish colour. It shall be fused with lead of four times the quantity of the impurity. When gold is rendered brittle owing to its contamination with lead, it shall be heated with dry cowdung (sushkapatala). When it splits into pieces owing to hardness, it shall be drenched (after heating) into oil mixed with cowdung (taila-gomaye).
7Mine gold which is brittle owing to its contamination with lead shall be heated wound round with cloth (pákapatráni kritvá); and hammered on a wooden anvil. Or it may be drenched in the mixture made of mushroom and vajrakhanda (Antiquorum).
8Tutthodgata, what which is extracted from the mountain, Tuttha; gaudika, that which is the product of the country known as Gauda; kámbuka, that which is extracted from the mountain, Kambu; and chákraválika, that which is extracted from the mountain Chakravála are the varieties of silver.
9Silver which is white, glossy, and ductile is the best; and that which is of the reverse quality is bad.
10Impure silver shall be heated with lead of one-fourth the quantity of the impurity.
11That which becomes full of globules, white, glowing, and of the colour of curd is pure.
12When the streak of pure gold (made on touch-stone) is of the colour of turmeric, it is termed suvarna. When from one to sixteen kákanis of gold in a suvarna (of sixteen máshakas) are replaced by from one to sixteen kákanis of copper, so that the copper is inseparably alloyed with the whole mass of the remaining quantity of the gold, the sixteen varieties (carats) of the standard of the purity of gold (shodasavarnakáh) will be obtained.
13Having first made a streak with suvarna on a touchstone, then (by the side of the streak) a streak with a piece of the gold (to be compared with it) shall be made.
14Whenever a uniform streak made on the even surface of a touch-stone can be wiped off or swept away or when the streak is due to the sprinkling of any glittering powder (gairika) by the nail on touch-stone, then an attempt for deception can be inferred.
15If with the edge of the palm dipped in a solution, of vermilion (játihinguláka) or of sulphate of iron (pushpakásísa) in cow’s urine, gold (suvarna) is touched, it becomes white.
16A touch-stone with soft and shining splendour is the best. The touch-stone of the Kálinga country with the colour of green beans is also the best. A touch-stone of even or uniform colour is good in sale or purchase (of gold). That which possesses the colour of an elephant, tinged with green colour and capable of reflecting light (pratirági) is good in selling gold. That which is hard, durable, and of uneven colour and not reflecting light, is good for purchasers (krayahitah). That which is grey, greasy, of uniform colour, soft, and glossy is the best.
17That (gold) which, when heated, keeps the same colour (tápo bahirantascha samah), is as glittering as tender sprouts, or of the colour of the flower of kárandaka (?) is the best.
18That which is black or blue (in gold) is the impurity (apráptaka).
19We shall deal with the balance and weights under the “Superintendent of Weights and Measures” (Chap. XIX, Book II). In accordance with the instructions given thereunder silver and gold (rúpyasuvarnam) may be given in exchange.
20No person who is not an employee shall enter the gold-smiths’ office. Any person who so enters shall be beheaded (uchchhedyah).
21Any workman who enters the office with gold or silver shall have to forfeit the same.
22Goldsmiths who are engaged to prepare various kinds of ornaments such as kánchana (pure gold), prishita (hollow ornaments), tvashtri (setting gems in gold) and tapaníya; as well as blowers and sweepers shall enter into or exit from the office after their person and dress are thoroughly examined. All of their instruments together with their unfinished work shall be left where they have been at work. That amount of gold which they have received and the ornamental work which they were doing shall be put in the centre of the office. (Finished articles) shall be examined both morning and evening and be locked up with the seal of both the manufacturer and the superintendent (kárayatri, the owner getting the articles prepared).
23Kshepana, guna, and kshudra ate three kinds of ornamental work.
24Setting jewels (kácha, glass bead) in gold is termed kshepana.
25Thread-making or string making is called guna.
26Solid work (ghana), hollow work (sushira), and the manufacture of globules furnished with a rounded orifice is what is termed kshudra, low or ordinary work.
27For setting jewels in gold, five parts of káñchana (pure gold) and ten parts of gold alloyed with four parts of copper or silver shall be the required quantity (mána). Here the pure gold shall be preserved from the impure gold.
28For setting jewels in hollow ornaments (prishitakácha karmanah), three parts of gold to hold the jewel and four parts for the bottom (shall be the required quantity).
29For the work of tvashtri, copper and gold shall be mixed in equal quantities.
30For silver article either solid or hollow, silver may be mixed with half of the amount of gold; or by making use of the powder or solution of vermilion, gold equal to one-fourth the amount of silver of the ornament may be painted (vásayet) on it.
31Pure and glittering gold is tapaníya. This combined with an equal quantity of lead and heated with rock-salt (saindhav’ika) to melting point under dry cowdung becomes the basis of gold alloys of blue, red, white, yellow (harita), parrot and pidgeon colours.
32The colouring ingredient of gold is one kákaní of tíkshna which is of the colour of the neck of a peacock, tinged with white, and which is dazzling and full of copper (pitapúrnitam).
33Pure or impure silver (tára) may be heated four times with asthituttha (copper sulphate mixed with powdered bone), again four times with an equal quantity of lead, again four times with dry copper sulphate (sushkatuttha) again three times in skull (kapála), and lastly twice in cowdung. Thus the silver acted upon seventeen times by tuttha (shodasatutthátikrántam) and lastly heated to white light with rock salt may be made to alloy with suvarna to the extent of from one kákani to two Máshas. Then the suvarna attains white colour and is called sveta-tára.
34When three parts of tapaníya (pure gold) are melted with thirty-two parts of sveta-tára, the compound becomes reddish white (svetalohitakam). When three parts of tapaníya are combined with thirty-two parts of copper, the compound becomes yellow (píta, red!). Also when three parts of the colouring ingredient (rágatribhága, i.e., tíkshna referred to above) are heated with tapaníya, the compound becomes yellowish red (píta). When two parts of sveta-tára and one part of tapaníya are heated, the whole mass becomes as green as mudga (Phraseolus Mungo). When tapaníya is drenched in a solution of half the quantity of black iron (káláyasa), it becomes black.
35When tapaníya is twice drenched in (the above) solution mixed with mercury (rasa), it acquires the colour of the feathers of a parrot.
36Before these varieties of gold are put to use, their test streak shall be taken on touch-stone. The process of assaying tíkshna and copper shall be well understood. Hence the various counterweights (avaneyimána) used in weighing diamonds, rubies, pearls, corals, and coins, (rúpa), as well as the proportional amount of gold and silver necessary for various kinds of ornaments can be well understood.
37Uniform in colour, equal in the colour of test streak to the standard gold, devoid of hollow bulbs, ductile (sthira), very smooth, free from alloys, pleasing when worn as an ornament, not dazzling though glittering, sweet in its uniformity of mass, and pleasing the mind and eyes,—these are the qualities of tapaníya, pure gold.