Navaratna in Indian Jewellery
Colourful, elegant, and versatile—navaratna jewellery is all this and more. Jewellery set with navratnas has been popular for centuries in South and SE Asian countries, particularly India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
What are the navratnas or nine gems?
Nava in Sanskrit means “nine”, and ratna means “gem”. So, navaratna is the Sanskrit composite term for nine precious gems that, according to Hindu astrology, are considered auspicious and believed to offer cosmic protection to the person wearing them. These nine gems are recognised in Buddhism and Jainism, besides Hinduism, which accounts for their usage in the jewellery of other Asian countries besides India.
These nine gems are diamond, ruby, emerald, blue sapphire, pearl, coral, gomed, cat’s eye, and yellow sapphire.
The earliest mention of the navaratna gems goes as far back as the 10th century. In its earliest use, the amulets set with navaratnas were worn by royalty, especially kings and emperors.
Navaratnas in Indian astrology
The navaratnas represent the Navagrahas or the nine planets according to Hindu astrology. Each of these nine stones represents a celestial deity who rules a particular planet and whose favour or disfavour is believed to astrologically impact a person’s destiny. When worn together in a specific formation, the nine planets are believed to be in cosmic harmony and, therefore, help balance the chakras and ensure positive energy and protection.
Let’s take a look at what these nine gems represent.
|Gemstone||Planet association||Planet in Indian cosmology||Also known as|
Tamil: Kempu, Sanskrit: Padmaraga/MadikyaManikya
Tamil: Muthu, Sanskrit: Mauktika
|Coral||Mars||Mangala||Tamil: Pavalam, Telugu: Pagadam, Sanskrit: Pravalam, Hindi: Moonga|
Tamil: Pachchai Telugu: Pachcha, Sanskrit: Smartikam/Martikam
Sanskrit: Kanaka Pushparagam, Hindi: Pushraj/Pukhraj
Tamil: Neelamani, Telugu: Neelam, Sanskrit: Padmarangam
|Hessonite||Ascending Lunar Node||Rahu|
|Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye||Descending Lunar Node||Ketu|
In its prescribed setting, you will see the ruby, which represents the Sun, in the centre, with the other gems surrounding it. Clockwise from right above the central ruby, the gems are set in the following order: diamond, pearl, coral, hessonite, blue sapphire, chrysoberyl cat’s eye, yellow sapphire, and emerald.
Only natural gemstones are chosen for a typical navaratna setting. So, it must be a natural pearl, a red coral, etc. Some jewellery may be set with look-alike semi-precious gems or multicoloured synthetic zirconia. These are created more for their visual appearance and budget-friendliness than their astrological value.
How do you wear navaratnas?
Navarathna jewellery is made mainly in gold, although, where the price is a factor to be considered, navaratna rings, pendants, and bracelets are also made in silver. Provided natural gems are used in the prescribed setting, the choice of metal does not, in any way, lessen the purported power of the navaratnas.
Benefits of wearing navaratna jewellery
- Wearing a navaratna ring, earrings, or pendant is believed to balance the chakras and harmonise the energies in your body.
- Navaratna jewellery is often suggested as an aid to combat or at least lessen the effects of stress and illness.
- From an astrological point of view, many people choose to wear navaratna rings as they believe that the beneficial effects of auspicious planets cancel the effects of malefic planets.
- The combination of the navaratnas and the prescribed order in which the gems are set are said to aid good health, financial stability, peace and tranquillity and prosperity in general.
We hope you found this post interesting to read. If you are interested in navaratna jewellery, please feel free to drop in for a chat or contact us.
Watch this space for forthcoming articles on each of the gorgeous navaratnas.