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Gemstone jewellery has its intrinsic charm. The flashes of ruby, sparkles of diamond, depth of sapphire and lushness of emeralds evoke strong emotions in sensitive minds. Poets and litterateurs are no exception. They often draw similes of gems to elements of nature or even lover’s eyes. Here are some ‘gems’ of such poetic expression.

diamond

These gems have life in them: their colours speak, say what words fail of.
~ George Eliot

Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
More than quick words do move a woman’s mind.
~ Shakespeare, As You Like It

sapphire

Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.
~ Mark Twain

If heaven would make me such another world
Of one entire and perfect chrysolite.
~ Shakespeare, Othello

emerald

My thoughts arise and fade in solitude;
The verse that would invest them melts away
Like moonlight in the heaven of spreading day.
How beautiful they were, how firm they stood,
Flecking the starry sky like woven pearl.
~ P B Shelley

There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald – all shining together in incredible union. Some by their splendour rival the colours of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil.
~ Pliny

ruby

The countless gold of a merry heart,
The rubies and pearls of a loving eye,
The indolent never can bring to the mart,
Nor the secret hoard up in his treasury.
~ William Blake

On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels.
~ Charles Dickens

Whence we see spiders, flies, or ants entombed and preserved forever in amber, a more than royal tomb.
~ Francis Bacon Sr

amber

Perhaps time’s definition of coal is the diamond.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Inspired by the theme of Shakespeare and Precious Stones by George Frederick Kunz.

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