March 2020


Welcome to The Arts Society Runnymede
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 10:30

Our Golden Anniversary Lecture

 Repeating our 1969 Lecture

The Indian subcontinent has been richly endowed with coloured gemstones which the ancient Hindus never failed to attribute to the blessings of the gods. The Sanskrit word for a gem, ratna, means ‘bestowed’ and these beautiful gems have played a significant role in symbolising power, rank and status for the Mughals and the Maharajahs, The Ottoman Empire, European Kings and Queens, Emperors and Empresses to the Tsars of Russia for over 2000 years. We will explore the magical world of coloured gemstones, discovering how nature’s marvels have captivated and inspired many explorers throughout history to travel the four corners of the world to seek out these precious gems. But what is it about gemstones that have captured man’s imagination and what are the qualities one looks for to recognize a prized gemstone? Our journey through time will discover how gemstones have played a pivotal role in the recognition of Royal dominance, as well as discussing the origins and popularity in giving an overview of the main gemstones, discussing their origin and popularity and how they have been used in jewellery. There will be an insightful and personal account on emerald mining in Zambia, the famous Mogok ruby mines in Burma, Cambodia, Thailand and the more recently discovered ruby mine in Mozambique. We will also visit the sapphires mines in Sri Lanka that have been mined for over 2,500 years and we will explore the art of cutting and take a virtual tour of Jaipur one of the main cutting centres for coloured stones.