Tests of Pearls ||69||
1-2Suta said: -Pearls are found in the temples of elephants and wild boars, in conch-shells in oysters, in the hoods of cobras and in the hollow stems of bamboos. The origin of a species of pearls is ascribed to the effect of thunder, Pearls found in Oyster shells, abound in numbers and are usually included within the category of gems. An oyster pearl is capable of being pierced with a hole in the middle (running through its entire length) while the remaining species do not admit of being similarly bored.
3Pearls found in the stems of bamboos or in the temples of elephants and wild boars or in the mouths of whales or in the entrails of conch shells, are devoid of lustre, though possessed of other auspicious virtues.
4Of the eight species of pearls described by the connoisseurs of gems, those obtained from conch-shell and the temples of elephants should be deemed as standing in the bottom of the list as regards colour and brilliancy.
5A conch shell pearl is usually as big as a large Kona (point of a rapier) and assumes a colour similar to that of the moll use it is found in.
6A pearl found in the temple of an elephant, is marked by the absence of any definite colour and is lusterless like a pearl found in the stem of a bamboo.
7-8aA pearl found in the mouth of a fish, is a perfect sphere in shape and is marked by a yellowish hue, like the back of a pathname fish as is occasionally found inside the mouth of a whale that frequents the unfathomable depths of ocean beds.
8b-10A boar-pearl resembles the tip of its tusk in colour and is obtained in certain quarters of the globe and is blissful like the boar incarnation of the divine Vishnu. A pearl obtained from inside the hollow stem of a bamboo, resembles a hailstone in colour, and is found only in a bamboo that grows in the land of the honest and the pious, and not in every top of that grass. A pearl found in the hood of a cobra is round in shape like th’e one obtained from the mouth of a fish and emits a dazzling effulgence from its own natural seat. After copious washing such a pearl assumes the lustre of a well-polished sword. The possessor of a cobra or serpent pearl meets with a rare good fortune, and becomes a pious and illustrious king in time, with a treasury full of other species of precious gems.
11-15aDark clouds, hung down and heavily charged with rain and roaring with the voice of the eternal trumpets blown upon at the time of universal dissolution and spangled with flashes of lightning, closely envelop the sky, at the time, well versed in the religious and ceremonial proceedings, after enquiring about the acquisition of such a pearl, and having done the necessary rite of protection unto it, formally takes it into the interior of the house of its possessor. Neither the serpents, nor the Rakshasas, nor diseases, nor disturbances of any kind would assail the man amidst whose treasure such a snake-peart would lie.
15b-17aA cloud-grown pearl rarely reaches this mortal globe, and usually falls to the Jot of the celestials. By illumining the four quarters of the sky with is native lustre, a cloud begotten pearl, like the sun, dispels the gloom of a cloudy day. Outshining the combined effulgence of the fire, the moon, and the mynahs of scintillating stars, such a pearl, like the dawn of day, can dispel the gloom of even the darkest night on earth.
17b-18Tahe whole earth, girdled by the four oceans containing innumerable gems in their fathomless depths, cannot be deemed as the adequate price of such a pearl, even if she be covered over with layers of pure gold.
18b-19aA man born in indigence and of humble parents but happening to be the possessor of such a pearl, only through the transformation of a good deed done in a previous existence is sure to be the paramount sovereign of the entire surface of the Earth.
19b-20aNot to the good deeds of the king alone, but to the better fortune of the whole humanity should be ascribed the advent of such a man on earth, and no evil would ever strike the land to the extent of a thousand Yojanas round the place of his birth.
20b-22The teeth of that great Vala lay scattered and perched up over the wide expanse of heaven like the galaxy of stars, and dropped down one by one into the wonderfully coloured waters of the oceans, and originated the seeds of gems viewing with the beams of the full moon, and the rainbow tint of a peacock’s feadlers, in colour. Some of these seeds entered into the inner organisms of oysters that lay in the deep beds of oceans and gave rise to pearls.
23Pearls are divided into eight different species according of the places of their origin, such as the Samhalika (off the coast of Ceylon), the Paratoukika (heavenly) the Paralokika (born in the country of Sourastra), the Tamraparna (off the coast of modern Tamluk), the Parasava (Persian), the Kouvera, the Pandyahataka and the Hemaka.
24Pearls obtained from oysters fished off the coast of Ceylon. Vardhana and Persia or the coast of any other foreign or southern islands (Patala) do not lose much in comparison with the other species as regards shape, size, colour and other properties.
25The place of origin, should not be taken into account in determining the price of a pearl. A learned gem-expert shall only notice its shape and size. Nor can it be sid that defects or excellencies are restricted to any particular species, since pearls of all shape and size can be obtained from oysters of the several fisheries described above.
26An oyster-pearl, grounded into a well round shape, should be appraised at a price of thirteen hundred and five silver coins.
27A pearl, weighing half a mashaka less in weight than the former, should be valued at a sum of money equal to a two-fifth part of that of the former. A pearl weighing three Mashakas, should be valued at two thousand silver coins. According to a similar computation, the price. of a pearl weighing two Mashakas and a half, should be fixed at two thousand and three hundred shyer coins.
28A pearl, weighing two Mashakas only, but otherwise belonging to the commendable type, should be valued at eight hundred silver coins.
29A pearl weighing Masaka and a half, should be valued at three hundred and twenty-five silver coins. The price of a pearl weighing six Gunjas, should be laid at two hundred silver coins, while a pearl, weighing half as much as the former, should be valued at a hundred silver coins only.
30A pearl, weighing less than the preceding one by sixteen Dharnas, is called a Darvikam as regards it weight, and can fetch a price of hundred and ten silver coins only from the hends of the ignorant.
31A pearl, weighing less than the forgoing one by twenty Dharanas, is called a Bhavakam by the experts and should not be valued at a higher sum than seventy-nine silver coins.
32A string of thirty pearls, each weighing a Dharanam, should be valued at forty-four coins.
33A string of forty-four pearls of Syiktha class, should be valued at thirty sliver coins. A string of sixty pearls, each weighing a Nikasha, should be valued at fourteen silver coins.
34-35A string of eighty or ninety petals; of the Kupya class, should be respectively valued at eleven and nine silver coins. The process of cleansing and perforating the pearl, seeds, is as follows: -First, all the pearls should be collected and kept in a bowl of boiled rice, preciously saturated with the expressed juice of the Jambira fruits (lime). Then the whole contents of the bowl, should be kept simmering for a while, after which the pearls should be taken out and rubbed with the liquid extract of boiled rice.
36-37Thus softened they, should be pierced through as desired. The process of cleansing consists in gently heating the pearl seeds placed in a covered crucible, known as the Matsaputa and covered over with a plaster of clay, after which they should be boiled in milk, water or wine, according to the process known as the Vitanapati. Then the pearls should be gently rubbed with a piece of clean line, until they would begin to shine with their characters tic lustre, which would indicate the completion of the process of cleansing. This is what the mighty Vyadhi laid down as regards the cleansing of pearls out of his compassion towards the good and the erudite.
38-39Pearls used for the personal decorations of kings and noblemen, should be kept immersed in mercury contained in a glass receptacle saturated with a solution of gold. This is what is done by experts in the island of Sri Lanka. A pearl of suspected genuineness should be kept immersed, for a night, in warm oil saturated with a quantity of common salt. Its genuineness should be pronounced in the event of its successfully stood the preceding test.
40-41aIn the alternative, a pearl of questionable appearance, should be covered with a piece of dry linen and rubbed with a seed of Vrihi grass, and its genuineness should be presumed from the fact of its colour having not been any way affected by the friction.
41b-44A pearl, which is white, of good size, heavy, transparent, round and possessed of cool and effulgent lustre, should be regarded as the best of its kind. A pearl, which is possessed of a pretty large size, is white, and round, emits rays of effulgent lustre, is pierced with a hole of uniform girth throughout its length and evokes even the pleasure of a person riot disposed to purchase less the same, should be looked upon as a pearl of rare virtues. Not even a single evil can befall the possessor of a pearl which is possessed of all the commendable features and qualities enumerated in the present chapter.