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Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I spend on my gems?

I explain to people repeatedly that gemstones don't have to be as expensive as some people make out. I've seen many gems worn in India, and they are often of extremely low quality, yet the people who wear them swear by them. I definitely don't advise low quality stones, but there is an unfortunate tendency among some astrologers to instill a fear in people that the stone has to be absolutely perfect. The potency of gemstones is not derived solely from their appearance but from their weight, matrix and source. For example, I advise wearing a red coral even if it's not symmetrical, even if it has a color blemish on it. I definitely advise wearing a tumbled-polished hessonite garnet, even if it's not symmetrical even if there's a tiny inclusion upon it, rather than not wearing one at all. Part of this purist attitude has developed from the increasing greed in the gem industry. Absolutely perfect gems are often many times more expensive than those of average quality and hence are much more profitable to sell. This situation creates the impression that gems are always extremely expensive, which is not true. And I do not approve of people being coerced by financial considerations into acquiring "substitute" stones. This commonly occurs and seems to throw logic to the wind that the similar colored stone is so dramatically different in all its scientifically measurable properties and hence must have a very different rate of electromagnetic frequency. Wearing stones as ornaments requires a much different rationale than purchasing them for astrological or karmic mitigation.

The cost of recommended gems will of course vary from person to person. Gems may be bought singly to strengthen the weakest placement in a chart, or augment an already strong position. More advisable is to obtain a combination of gems, ideally the nine stones which constitute the navaratna, a gem bangle designed to provide optimum support and mitigation. Gems are appraised according to purity, carat weight, and symmetry. Cost does not always mean that the added expense translates into a noticeably better effect. The decision providing the gem acquired is still of excellent quality should be the discriminative responsibilities of the individual's budget.

Additionally, I offer a service where people can always upgrade their gemstones and sell the lesser quality or smaller stones back at full price, providing that it's that stone type that they wish to trade in to upgrade. Upgrading means buying a better stone which is more expensive and by logic, more effective. This is an exceptional service, and it is done by keeping the detailed invoice of the gem's cost and weight.

An often quoted statement is that it is inadvisable to wear gemstones of poor quality. This is a definite consideration. However, I would like to stress, I have traveled in India eight times in my life, and I have seen an enormous number of astrological gemstones being worn. It's a very poor country, and the people have a very low price threshold in regards to affording precious stones. Yet they they seem to swear by even eye visible included gems. I do not agree that included gems can hurt individuals as much as some gem dealers or authors (or both!) have expressed. Wearing the wrong stone can do harm. And this is very minimal with some stones and noticeable with others, this subject will be gone into at some length later. Astrologers can often disagree about which stone a person should wear first. This is another reason why I am so fond of the holistic approach to wearing the full nine gem bangle and getting the whole rainbow of desired frequencies enhanced.

India's semiprecious gem market is alive and well and prolific in amethyst, citrine, lapis lazuli, iolite, etc. However, I do not buy precious stones in India except chrysoberyl catseye, simply because they are less expensive to acquire in other countries. Unless you are an experienced gem buyer, I do not recommend buying the more expensive gems in India. I have witnessed many disappointed individuals who have brought me material for appraisal. and identifications.

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