Ethical Principles in Vedic Gemology


Astrological Gem offers the world’s finest Jyotish gemstones with commitment to honesty, integrity, and customer satisfaction. We’re passionate about bringing the right gems to the right people, always for the right purposes.

Doing business with “honesty and integrity” has been part of our company’s mission statement since Jay Boyle began selling Jyotish gemstones in 1989, but what exactly does that mean? It’s time to explore some of the ethical principles that come into play both as practitioners of Vedic Astrology and as wholesale gemstone dealers.

Pressure-Free Sales Tactics

We recently heard a story about a woman who had a Jyotish reading done while she was traveling in India. The astrologer looked at her chart and told her that her husband was going to die very soon and the only way to save him was by wearing a blue sapphire. The next thing she knew, she was ushered into a room with a couple of gem dealers, blue sapphires in hand, ready to sell her anything they could. She felt she had no choice but to buy something even though she couldn’t afford it.

How to Do It Ethically: I will be the first to tell you that you don’t need a Jyotish gemstone to survive. You need food, water, shelter, and loving human connection to survive! To wear a powerful Jyotish gemstone is a tremendous blessing that very few people are fortunate enough to experience, so if you have one, consider yourself extremely lucky. Gems have the ability to change lives for the better and we know this to be true, but anybody who tells you that you absolutely need to wear one is misleading you. It’s a great privilege, worn to help you manifest your highest potential in this lifetime. It’s an honor, considering how incredibly rare these stones are. It’s one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself and it will look exquisite as a ring on your finger. It is not, and will never be, a hard requirement for survival.

Also, please don’t buy a Jyotish gemstone if you can’t afford to do it right. Gems don’t work if they’re not good quality. If you have to choose between buying a good quality gemstone and covering your bills, by all means, cover your bills first. Sapphires take hundreds of millions of years to form in the earth, they will wait patiently for you to pay off last month’s doctor visit. And speaking of doctors, I’d also like to point out that Jyotish gemstones should never be purchased in place of getting proper medical help. They can be used to promote wellness but they are not a substitute for modern medicine, so please don’t let anybody tell you that either.

Selling Gemstones with Discernment

Just last week, a lady called me who had found us through a Google search. Her husband wanted a divorce and unfortunately she didn’t, so her astrologer suggested she get a very large cat’s eye (the gemstone for Ketu). Ketu is often interpreted as a malefic or inauspicious influence, responsible for separations and unexpected hardships. Many astrologers make the mistake of recommending a cat’s eye to eliminate the effects of Ketu but the opposite actually happens when its gemstone is worn. I only sell a cat’s eye if I’m certain a customer really wants to strengthen Ketu in their lives. Most people don’t. (Read more about Rahu and Ketu gemstones here.)

I offered to help this lady gain some clarity on the cat’s eye recommendation before proceeding with the sale. She replied that she’s in a hurry and would prefer to look elsewhere if that’s the case. She also wanted the biggest stone possible on a budget that wouldn’t allow for good quality, meaning we didn’t even have what she was looking for. And that’s totally OK! I wished her the best of luck on her search and we cordially got off the phone. Our primary goal is to help people and most of our callers are grateful we don’t mindlessly fulfill ineffective or even potentially dangerous prescriptions.

How to Do it Ethically: A majority of the astrologers in our network know how to prescribe gemstones that will be safe and beneficial to their clients (here’s a list of what works best in most cases) but a lot of people find our website through Google or come to us in other ways with questionable advice in hand. If there’s any chance that a Jyotish gemstone could cause harm to the wearer, I will not proceed without being very clear about the potential side effects to look out for. I’ve given safety disclaimers for improper gemstone prescriptions many times over the years, and more often than not, if a person proceeds despite those warnings, they come back a few months later asking to return the stone they bought. There are many schools of thought on how to recommend gems and if it’s done incorrectly, it almost always leads to undesirable results for the wearer.

Accurate and Honest Gemstone Disclosures

Many years ago, a visitor came to our office with a yellow sapphire they had purchased from someone else. They wanted to sell it because it didn’t work for them. Jay took a look at it and suspected it wasn’t really a yellow sapphire, so he tested it in our lab and proved it was actually a yellow beryl by reading its refractive index. Jay contacted the seller who, to our surprise, admitted to knowing it was a beryl when he sold it. He committed this act of fraud because, in his own words, he “needed the money.” (Yellow sapphire was selling for about 15 times more than yellow beryl at that time.)

How to Do it Ethically: In addition to being on the right side of karma when it comes to the spiritual side of our business, we’re also members of AGTA (American Gemological Trade Association) which has its own strict code of ethics to abide by. If we state that a gemstone is genuine, natural, and untreated, we 100% guarantee that this is the truth. If a gem has undergone any type of treatment, even something that’s acceptable for Jyotish, we disclose it. Virtually all emeralds are oiled for stability, for example, which isn’t a concern for Jyotish if the stone is super clean. (You can read more about our emerald buying process here.) If you buy an oiled emerald from us you’ll see the AGTA Treatment Code “O” on your invoice. Full disclosure is at the core of ethics for any trustworthy gemstone dealer, whether in the astrological field or not.

Fair Market Sourcing & Pricing

Many sellers of astrological gemstones play on a consumer’s vulnerable desire to get something spiritual and sentimental, selling “natural” but poor quality gemstones for a huge markup. There’s a tremendous deal of corruption in this business, more than many people realize. Time and time again we see terrible quality gemstones worn that people paid way too much for, often bought while roaming around on a spiritual quest in India. India is the motherland of Vedic Astrology of course, but unfortunately it’s also the motherland of fraudulent astrological gemstone dealers. (Read more about buying Jyotish gems in India here. We do not recommend it.)

We also happen to see many excellent gemstones on buying trips that we’d love to buy for Jyotish, but the dealers we meet are asking too much for them. We’d have to charge a premium for them (about what you’d have to pay if you were shopping for one at a high-end jewelry store on 5th Avenue) and that’s not of any interest to us. Our business model is to buy exceptional gems for highly competitive costs so we can sell them to our customers at or near wholesale prices. This means we might only have 5 blue sapphires for sale on our website, instead of 100, but this isn’t a concern for us. We want pure, powerful gems to be accessible to as many kinds of people as possible, not just the most affluent among us, and our inventory is a reflection of this.

How to Do it Ethically: Behind the scenes is another important component of gemstone buying that we don’t talk about that often. This is ensuring that our sources are Fair Trade compliant and also wonderful people to work with. It has taken decades to build our family of suppliers from all over the world, people who are honest and fair and will always come through with the high quality material we like at unusually low wholesale prices. These relationships are built on mutual respect and the exchanges we have are always uplifting. One of our gemologists recently had a baby, for example, and we were flooded with gifts from our wholesaler contacts in celebration of the new arrival. Heart-based buying promotes heart-based selling, something our customers often tell us they can pick up on.

Respectful Care and Handling

An interesting thing happens when a gemstone is officially purchased by someone. Energetically, it’s as though the gem becomes connected to their owner, even if the customer hasn’t seen the stone in person yet. We respect this relationship and are very careful to clear, bless, activate, and ship gems and jewelry with a great deal of consideration. We keep our personal interests out of the sales process. We don’t “activate” gemstones with our own words, we make sure we use the words of intention our customers provide us when they ask us to do a personalized activation. (Read more about how we clear and activate our gemstones here.) We also never casually wear jewelry that’s been custom made for someone – if I ever emailed you a photo of your new ring when it came in, you’ll know it was placed on the palm of my hand, not on my finger.

And as a silly side note, I’ve even trained myself not to gleefully shout any kind of profanity when a shockingly beautiful gem comes into the office. I used to, because I get excited easily, but one day a blue sapphire “asked” me to please keep my expressions pure while I was holding it. I’ve been mindful to exclaim wholesome things like “Holy moly!” or “Oh my goodness!” if I’ve got a gem in my hand ever since. Is this a matter of ethics? No, not really, but it is a matter of integrity.

A bonus story, because we all had to start somewhere, including me: I began working for Astrological Gem in 2007. I was 21 years old and had just left a job managing a bead and crystal shop. I was young and hadn’t cultivated my intuitive abilities with gemstones yet – in fact I didn’t even believe they worked at the time. (Please let me know if you’d like me to write my personal story with Jyotish gems, it’s been an interesting journey to say the least.) I wanted so desperately to try on all the custom jewelry that came through our office but Astrological Gem’s former manager prohibited me from doing so. Not wanting to dampen my excitement, he did allow me to try on some of the general inventory we had in our safe that Jay had collected over the years.

We had several pairs of large emerald earrings that weren’t actively for sale and I had several piercings going up my ears at the time. I was granted permission to wear all of those earrings at once if I absolutely felt the need to do it, which of course I did. I wasn’t allowed to take them home at night but I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed wearing those earrings for the first few months I was getting established around the office. During that time, I invented the gemstone photography setup that we use to this day and also created many other lasting innovations that changed the way we do business as a company. Maybe all that Mercury influence had a positive impact on my brain, we’ll never know for sure, but I share this story with you so you’re not mislead into thinking I started out perfectly educated and tuned into the virtuous principles I now employ. The divine intelligence of our gems has greatly influenced my work over the past 12 years, as has Jay’s decades of knowledge and all of the dharmic guidance I continue to receive to this very day.

You can find out our current selection of available Jyotish gemstones here.

blogheadshotTiffany April Raines is the Head of Sales at Astrological Gem International. Trained at the American College of Vedic Astrology and certified as a gemstone advisor through the Planetary Gemologists Association, she serves thousands of people every year with research-based insight and advice on Vedic Gemology. She can be contacted at tiffany@astrologicalgem.com.

Please note: In order to provide the most time and best service possible for our paying customers, we are no longer able to respond to all of the requests we receive for gemstone recommendations. We welcome you instead to try our Free Gem Report if you are still in the learning and research phase of your Jyotish gemstone journey. This can be found at AstrologicalGem.com.

2 thoughts on “Ethical Principles in Vedic Gemology

  1. Another great post Tiffany! This was such a pleasure to read. Your honesty, passion and humor shine brightly through your words. I hope you understand how grateful your customers are for your company’s ethical standards and amazing service you offer.

    Like

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