Navaratna is a Sanskrit word meaning “nine gems”. In Navratna jewellery, nine auspicious stones are used in a single ornament. This jewellery has important cultural significance in not just Hinduism but also other religions like Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. This combination of nine gems is recognized as sacred and royal in almost all the countries of Asia, including, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, regardless of religious and cultural differences.
Navratna jewellery has astrological significance as well. It is believed that the nine stones together ensure well being of the person who wears them as each planet watches over one of the nine gems and offer power. The concept of the 9 celestial bodies represented by 9 stones is believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia.
The Nine Stones in Navratna Jewellery are
- Ruby for Surya (Sun)
- Pearl for Chandra (Moon)
- Red Coral for Mangala (Mars)
- Emerald for Budha (Mercury)
- Yellow sapphire for Brhaspati (Jupiter)
- Diamond for Shukra (Venus)
- Blue sapphire for Shani (Saturn)
- Hessonite for Rahu (the ascending node of the Moon)
- Cat’s Eye for Ketu (the descending node of the Moon)
According to Indian tradition, the significance of these nine jewels is as follows
- Ruby is said to give name, fame, vigour, virtue, warmth and the capacity to command to its user.
- Pearls are supposed to help live long and become free of evil. They fosters vitality and intelligence and enable a luxurious life style and prosperity.
- Red Coral is said to cure diseases, help the memory and act as a powerful protection against the evil spirits.
- Emerald is supposed to aid faculties related to the brain such as memory, communication, intuition, the intellect, and the ability to learn.
- Yellow Sapphire is supposed to help achieve better financial status. The wearer can expect wealth, good health, name, honour and fame.
- Diamond is supposed to enhance the name, fame and artistic quality of the person. It creates goodness and removes evil & fearful thoughts.
- Blue Sapphire is said to have power to elevate its user to a higher status from all sides and could give everything one could desire – health, wealth, longevity, happiness.
- Hessonite can help in achieving speedy success in less time than expected. It also improves dealing with people and protects its wearer from sudden misfortunes.
- Cat’s Eye protects its wearer from hidden enemies, mysterious dangers and diseases. It is said to bring fortune to those who gamble.
Navratna jewellery can be set in rings that are mounted, so that the stones touch the skin. The weight of the stones is decided according to the individual’s astrological chart. The traditional setting and arrangement of these nine gems is shown in the illustration. A ruby (representing the Sun) is always in the center, surrounded (clockwise from the top) by a diamond, a natural pearl, red coral, hessonite, a blue sapphire, cat’s eye, a yellow sapphire, and an emerald. Traditionally, no gem other than a ruby is set in the center of a nine gems arrangement. To do so is believed to go against the flow of nature. Because the Sun is the center of the solar system, its gem is positioned in the heart of a Navaratna