Quiz

Where are the best rubies from?

Answer

Mogok Valley, Myanmar (Burma)

Quiz

Where else do rubies occur?

Answer

Pakistani Kashmir, Afghanistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Tanzania, Vietnam

Quiz

What is the gem commonly mistaken for a ruby?

Answer

Spinel

Pendant. Padhakkam. Rubies, emeralds, pearls, blue sapphire. Riksmuseum.

Quiz

How is this antique kempu necklace different from modern ones?

Answer

It does not have a lac filling.

Instead, it is solid gold.  With rubies nested inside

Quiz

What design best displays rubies?

Answer

Minimal is best.

Like ripples in a lake– as in this pendant

Hair Ornament, jadai naagam or jadai billai. South India, 17th century. Gold, emerald and rubies. Cleveland Museum of Art.
Craftsman making a modern kempu earring.

Quiz

What does the jeweller do today with kempu?

Answer

He makes do.  Does what he can.

Best to find a trusted goldsmith and supply real rubies sourced from Burma or Thailand.

Quiz

What is unusual about this antique bangle?

Answer

It is solid gold, has nakashi (repousse) work highlighting elephants, and a line of rubies.

Valai means bangle.

19th century valai or bangle. Gold embossed with elephants and old rubies. MFA, Houston.
Necklace. Madras. 1850

Quiz

Do rubies lend themselves to modern pieces?

Answer

Yes, as you see in this chain and pendant.

“Where grow crops of pearls; garnets lie scattered amidst sandal trunks thrown inland by the waves.”

Manimekalai, Tamil epic poem.

Quiz

What were the motifs of ancient jewellery?

Answer

Typically fertility, abundance, prosperity, as in this gold necklace depicting seeds.

Gold necklace formed of two rows of long gold beads strung on red silk threads. Each bead is separated from its fellow by flexible pendent ornaments. Vellore. Made in 1880