Gem Appraisal System in Indian Lapidaries

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The idea of gem trade is one of the real essences of Indian lapidaries.  The purpose of this research is to investigate the historical background and characteristics of gem appraisal system established in Indian lapidaries.  The study was focused on the origin, characteristics, and relative values of weight and currency standards, as well as the appraisal model in which the diamond tariffs were exemplified.  The research data were substantially collected from three Sanskrit encyclopædic works, i.e. Varāhamihira’s Bṛhatsaṃhitā, Bhoja’s Yuktikalpataru and Śukrācārya’s Śukranītisāra, including collaborative sources – Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra and Manusmṛti.  The findings revealed that the gem tariffs systematically varied, from one time to another, with either rate pricing model or weight and currency standard changed.  The findings also suggested the continuity and change in the traditional system of weight and currency during Indian antiquity until the universal standard of gem appraisal was adopted.


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