THE HISTORY OF Jewels, And of the Principal Riches of the EAST and WEST. Taken from The Relation of Divers of the Most Famous Travellers of OƲR AGE. Attended with FAIR DISCOVERIES Conducing to the knowledge of the ƲNIVERSE and TRADE.

LONDON, Printed by T. N. for Hobart Kemp [...] Sign of the Ship in the [...] the New Exchange. [...]


THere is nothing more admira­ble in this low­er World then Precious Stones, seeing they are the Starres of the Earth, and shine in in competition with those of the Firmament, dispu­ting [Page] with them for splen­dor, beauty, and glory. Nature produceth no­thing more rich, and suf­ficiently confesseth it, in her most careful laying them up and hiding them in her private Cabinets and Repositories in the inner parts of the Earth, so that they are not easie to be come by; but their value and price make them worth the searching for, even through the [Page] bowels of the World. Amongst these the Dia­mond very well deserveth the first place, and surpas­seth all in brightness and hardness, and cannot be wrought upon but by it self; the Blood of a Goat, contrary to the Opinion of the Ancients, having no power at all over it. The Ruby, whose lively Colour, and whose Fire, pierceth the Darkness of the Night, comes next [Page] the Diamond, and there be divers sorts of them. The Emerald with its lovely green delights our sight: After these come the Amethyst, the Saphyr, the Turcois, Sardonix, Chrysolite, Hyacinth, O­pale, and others which deserve a particular e­steem▪ The Sea hath likewise her riches as well as the Earth, she gives us Pearl, Coral, Amber­gris, and Yellow, all which [Page] serve for Ornament, and are of considerable use in Physick. The Beast also do enclose riches in their bowels, and the Bezoar for its great commendati­on it receiveth, may ve­ry well be ranked with Precious Stones. Indico, Silks, Sal Armoniac, Gum Lacca, Salpeter, and o­ther such like things, are not the least Causes of Admiration, Metals, and chiefly Gold and Sil­ver, [Page] currant now-a­dayes in most parts of the World, the repose and torment of Mortals, their evil and welfare do hold likewise a considerable place amongst the Won­ders of Nature, and should make us so much the more admire our Creator.

We have divers Au­thors both Ancient and Modern, who have writ­ten of the nature of all [Page] these things, of their pro­perties and use. But I have known none who have taken the care to ob­serve exactly either the places whence they draw them, or how they are discovered, or their pri­ces, or how they are prepared by any infalli­ble Rule; of Diamonds, Pearls, and Rubies, in proportion to their qua­lity and weight, which I find in my Opinion ve­ry [Page] worthy the inquiry of the Curious: for if we take delight to observe the situation of the Stars, and seek out the source of a River, I find no less pleasure to discover a Mine, to trace its Veins, and to know precisely those places of the Earth where the Diamonds are found, and where they fish for Pearl; and this is that which this History doth discover: For in­deed [Page] the Diamond is only produced in Asia, and that but in a little corner of it; the Ruby in a King­dom on the other side Ganges, little frequented by Europoeans; the Eme­rald in Peru a Region of America; the Turcois in Persia; the Pearl only in a few Seas of the East and VVest; the Coral in the Streights; Yellow Am­ber upon the Coasts of Prussia; the true Bezoar [Page] only in the Indies, and so of the rest. In all these Inquiries I have laboured upon very good Obser­vations and the nearest Relations of the most Fa­mous Travellers of our Time; and this Work ought so much the rather to be received, by how much it seems to be sea­sonable, and shews the ways to those precious Mines of Asia, which hitherto have not been [Page] well known, and of those fertil Regions into which our most Powerful King hath a desire to establish Commerce, for the be­nefit and glory of his Subjects.

A Table of the Chapters contained in this Treatise.

  • CHAP. I.Of Diamonds, where mention is made
    • 1. Of the Places from which they are brought.
    • 2. Of the Manner how they seek for them.
    • 3. Of the Knowledge of them and their price by a certain Rule.
    • 4. Of the wayes to come to the Mines.
    • 5. Of the Kinds of Gold and Silver in the Indies.
  • CHAP. II.Of Coloured Stones, where men­tion is made
    • 1. Of the Places whence they are fetched.
    • 2. Of the Price of Rubies.
    • 3. Of Emeralds and the ancient Error touching their Bigness
  • [Page]CHAP. III.Of Pearls, where mention is made
    • 1. Of the Places where they are fished.
    • 2. Of the manner how they fish for them.
    • 3. Of their different Qualities.
  • CHAP. IV.Of Coral, where mention is made
    • 1. Of the Places where it is found.
    • 2. Of the manner and time of fishing for it.
  • CHAP. V.Of Yellow Amber, where mention is made
    • 1. Of the Place where the Sea casts it out.
    • 2. Of the manner how it is collected.
    • 3. Of the Places where the greatest Traffick is for Coral and Am­ber.
  • CHAP. VI.Of Metals, Ambergris, Bezoar Indico, and other rich Productions of the East and West.

[Page 1]THE HISTORY OF Jewels.


AS the Diamond is the most rich production of Nature, and most prcous of all Jew­els, [Page 2] so is it likewise the most Noble of all Com­modities. Yet men do not enough admire it, because they know not the diffi­culties which must be in­countred with in digging it out of those places where it is formed, and freeing it from the gross matter that covers it. No man hitherto has exactly discoursed of this matter, or ventured to treat of it, but onely upon relations, uncertain and of slender credit. But I have drawn this History from the most curious Observa­tions [Page 3] of the most famous Travellers of our Age, whom I have discoursed with in divers places, and who have particularly bu­sied themselves in the re­search of the Mines that afford the Diamonds and other Stones of colour; in which to speak true, they have omitted no­thing, but have added remarks worthy to be transmitted to Posterity.

1. Let me therefore tell you, That none has been yet able in all the World to discover more [Page 4] than five places, from whence the Diamond is brought, viz. two Rivers and three Mines.

The First of the two Rivers is in the Isle Bor­neo, under the Aequator, on the East of the Cherso­nesus of Gold, and is call'd Succadan. The Stones fetched from thence are usually clear and of a good Water, and almost all bright and brisk, where­of no other reason can be given, but that they are found at the bottom of a River amongst Sand which [Page 5] is pure, and hath no mixture or tincture of other Earth, as in other places.

These Stones are not dis­covered till after the Waters which fall like huge Tor­rents from the Mountains, are all passed, and men have much to do to attain them, since few persons go to tra­fick in this Isle; and foras­much as the Inhabitants do fall upon Strangers who come ashore, unless it be by a particular favour. Be­sides that, the Queen does rarely permit any to tran­sport them; and so soon as [Page 6] ever any one hath found one of them they are obliged to bring it to her. Yet for all that they pass up and down, and now and then the Hollanders buy them in Ba­tavia. Some few are found there, but the largest do not exceed five Carats, al­though in the year 1648, there was one to be sold in Batavia of 22 Carats.

I have made mention of the Queen of Borneo, and not of the King, because that the Isle is alwayes com­manded by a Woman, for that People, who will [Page 7] have no Prince but what is legitimate, would not be o­therwise assured of the birth of Males, but can not doubt of those of the Females, who are necessarily of the Blood Royal on their Mothers side, she never marrying, yet having alwayes the Command.

The second River is in the Kingdom of Bengala, and is called Nage, by the Name of a great Town, the Seat of a Prince, equally di­stant from Ougoulin, Pepeli, and Balacor, fifteen dayes journey from all three. This [Page 8] Province hath a Raja, or a Duke in our Language, who is an Idolater, as are all his Subjects. This Raja, as also the Kings of Visapour and Golconda, are Tributaries to the Great Mogol, and have been his Subjects, but took occasion to revolt from him, whil'st they saw him busied against the Tartars. 'Tis from hence that the three Mines of Diamonds where­of I shall speak being found in the Countries of these Princes, are ordinarily said to be found in the Territo­ries of the Great Mogol.

[Page 9]These Diamonds then are discovered in the Sand of a River, at the bottom and upon the Banks, after that the great Floods are passed, just as in the River of Bor­neo. They are fair, for the most part pointed, brisk, high, bright and large, and what we call now-a­days of the Old Rock. But they are hard to come by, because the River affords but very few, and the Iuha­bitants hold them at an high rate; and that which ren­ders them still more rare, is the perfidiousness of those [Page 10] who sell them, who lay wait in the Woods for the Merchants who buy them, and fall upon them. Besides that, the Prince doth cruelly tyrannize over the poor people who come to search for them. In the year 1657 L'Escot of Orleans ventured to go thither, by reason that he had learned that the Raja had a Diamond of 42 Carats, he was courteously received by the Prince, who shewed it to him and had a mind to sell it him, upon condition that L'Escot would pay for it in ready money: but the [Page 11] other having bargained be­ [...]re-hand and desiring they [...]ould deliver him the [...]one, and receive the mo­ [...]ey for it in any City of the [...]ealm of Bengala, which [...]e Prince should like best, [...]here the Hollanders had Bank, the Raja would [...]ot consent thereto, and [...]e other went his way with­out buying of it. An Hol­ [...]nder hath since got it from [...]n unknown hand.

The first of the three Mines from whence they [...]etch the Diamond, is in the Land of the King of Visa­pour [Page 12] in the Province of Ca [...] natica, eight dayes journe [...] from Visapour and five from Golconda. 'Tis but 20 [...] years since it was discove [...] ed, and the City roun [...] about which it lieth is called Raolconda. Th [...] Stones are found in th [...] ground and on the Roc [...] Those which are taken fro [...] the Rock or the plac [...] thereabouts, are commo [...] ly of a good water. B [...] for those which are take [...] from the Earth, their wat [...] is somewhat of the Colo [...] of that Earth where they a [...] [Page 13] found, so that if the Earth [...]e clear and a little gravel­ [...]y, the Diamonds will be of [...] good water; and if it be [...]at and black, or of an o­ [...]her Colour, they will like­wise have some of the tin­cture of the same.

But if there be any Black or Red Sand amongst the Earth, the Diamond also will have some of it. The Stones which are got from thence are for the most part Lasques, it is not because they are taken out so from the Earth, but it is because being stounded by the blow [Page 14] of the Lever that hits again [...] the Rock, to dig out th [...] Gravel that is in the Vei [...] where the Stone is found they assume an Ice just as Glass that is crackt; now t [...] remove it and make it clea [...] they cleave it, and the [...] are the Stones they ca [...] Lasque Stones, or Fl [...] Stones; the which the In­dians know better how t [...] perform than we, especial­ly as to the business of cut­ting or cleaving, and finding the thread of the Stone Now if there remain any small point, they get it made [Page 15] with little fossets, to the end that the standing out of the fossets may cover the bruise or flaw; the truth is, if the Stone be clear, they do no more but polish it a­bove and below, and shape [...]t not, for fear of diminishing any thing from its weight. There are alwayes more than an hundred and fifty Mills that work, and they put not above one Stone upon each wheel, till such [...]ime they have found the way of the Stone, they water it incessantly, and when it begins to run, they [Page 16] take oil; their Wheels are of the bigness of our ordinary Plates, and each Wheel hath its Woman to turn it. The Trafick for Stones is free in paying two per Cent. to the King of whatsoever is sold, and no body dares do the least wrong to Strangers You may there see Children of ten or twelve years o [...]d in the Streets with thei [...] Weights at their Girdle, expecting the Miners, in hope to buy of them what Stone they have by stealth conveyed away. In the Evening [...] these Children meet to [...] ther,[Page 17] and setting the currant price upon each Stone they have bought, do divide the profit of it amongst them, and sell it all again to the great Merchants, who by little and little make large Collections. They match the Waters, and mix therewith alwayes some Stone that has a point or flaw, which they cannot remove. They put their whole confi­dence in Strangers, especially the Francks, whereof very few come thither, and place such confidence in their faith, that they leave them some­times great quantities of Dia­monds [Page 18] of great value fifteen dayes together, without come­ing to see them, and by that means affording them all the leasure they can wish to consi­der well their marchandise, so that it is their own fault if they be cheated in it.

The second Mine is called Coullour in the Persian Lan­guage, and the Idolaters of the Countrey call it Gany. This is a large Town, near a great River, and they dig from the River to a Moun­tain about two Leagues from thence, and in the Moun­tain it self. This Mine hath [Page 19] been discovered but within 50 or 60 years, and is the place where they find the most part of the great Stones, where­as before that time they rarely met with any above twelve Carrats; but that at this day some are to be seen of three­score, an hundred, and of two hundred Carrats, Mirgi­mola Chief Minister of State, and General of the Armies of the King of Golconda, a man of great parts, much believed of his Master, who gave him the Title of Prince of Princes, though at length he proved a Traitor, presented the Great [Page 20] Mogol, to whose side he turn­ed, with a vast Stone of Nine hundred Carrats in weight: yet being full of flaws, it was re­duc'd to 300 by Hortensius a Venetian Lapidary, who cut it, but could not do it so well, but there remained a flaw in it, which makes it something unhandsom. 'Tis also to be observed, that just as at the Mine of Visapour, the Stones in this also do partake of the quality of the Earth from whence they are brought; so that if the Earth be marshy and moist, the Stone inclines to black; if it be reddish, the [Page 21] Stone inclines to be red; for from the Town to the Moun­tain there is great difference of Mould: and upon the greatest part of these Stones, after they are cut, there ap­pears alwayes as it were a piece of grease, which makes you ever and anon put your hand to your Handkerchief to▪ wipe it off. We will observe by the way that whereas we make use of the day to examine rough Stones, and to judge well of their water, and of the points that may be found therein, the Inhabitants of the Countrey make use of the [Page 22] night, and in an hole which they make in the Wall a foot square, where they put a Lamp with a great Match, holding the Stone in their Fingers be­tween their Eyes and the Lamp, they make an estimate of the water and clearness of the Diamond. We must not forget that the Celestial water (as they call it) is of all waters for a Diamond most unplea­sing, and that it is impossible to know it so long as the Stone is rough; but after that it is a little discovered upon the Wheel, the infallible secret to judge well of its water, is to [Page 23] carry it under a Shady Tree, for under its green shade you may easily discover if it be blew. Formerly there have been reckoned at this Mine Sixty thousand Miners and up­wards, but in the year 1660 there was not a Stone scarce worth looking upon, and not above Three thousand Labo­rers in the Mines, all the rest being dead with hunger and misery; for each Miner has but Five Crowns a year, and they are certainly the most misera­ble people upon Earth. The Land is also very barren, and if it could but produce Pulse, the [Page 24] people would not trouble themselves to gather Dia­monds. Those who pay the Miners, make them work as much as they please, and take as much as they please of the Earth▪ without searching it; but after they have begun to search into it, they owe to the King a Pagode, which is worth two Crowns of our Money, for the whole time till they cease to work.

The Third and last Mine was discovered in the year 1448, two days journey from Raolconda, and the place is called Gazerpoli; the Stones [Page 25] there are very clear and of a good water, but cannot be ground but with the Stones of the same Mine: Otherwise, if they should make use of Stones of another Mine, these last would be bruised: They are likewise apt to break upon the Wheel, and they who are not vers'd in the knowledge of Stones, may easily be decei­ved in them. A Portuguefe retiring to Venice, was desired, passing by Legorn, to sell one of those Stones which he had, for which they offered him Twelve thousand Crowns; he would not part with it at [Page 26] that rate, and bringing it to Venice to get it cut, it broke upon the Wheel into fifteen or twenty pieces.

Besides these two Rivers and three Mines, there be also some other Mines towards the Cape of Comorin, of which I will make mention in a few words. In the year 1652 the Nababe, who is as the Grand Visier in Turkey, the Etmal­doulet in Persia, and Constable in France, and the same Mir­gimola of whom I spoke even now, was at the Siege of In­decote, a very strong place in the Province of Carnatica, by [Page 27] reason of its situation; which he took notwithstanding in two Moneths time. There were some French in his ser­vice, yet more English and Hollanders, who had deserted their Colours and come over to him, all able Gunners; the poor wretches of the Countrey having never heard the noise of these Engins, were quite surpris'd at it, and ren­dered themselves forthwith to their discretion. Indecote is 35 days journey from Masse­lipatan, inclining towards the Cape of Comorine, and 16 from Golconda. This is one [Page 28] of the fairest and best Coun­treys of all the Indies, and e­very where all the Countrey is green, full of Rivers and Lakes, to water the Land where need requires. It was during this Siege that they brought to Nababe a great number of Diamonds of the six Mines he had caused to be digged towards the Cape of Comorin: yet there was ne're a Stone of a good water, they were either yellow or black: and after that Nababe had viewed them, he forbad them to dig any more, and gave order that these people [Page 29] should return to their labour, by which they brought more profit to the King then by working in the Mines; being they found not one good Stone there.

2. I come now to the man­ner of finding the Diamond, and especially how it is per­formed in the Mine of Coul­lour. The Miners sink a Pit of about fifteen or twenty foot square, and throw the Earth about it upon a clean place, almost of the same largeness, raising a little wall of a foot and half, to keep [Page 30] up the earth and water which they cast in there; after this they wash and stamp and tread the earth with their feet in two or three waters, to the end that all the fat and muddy earth may run through the holes made in the wall, and that there remain nothing but sand. The sand being dry, they beat it with Pestles of Wood, that they may better perceive and discover the Dia­monds; heretofore they made use of Instruments of Stone, but they left them so soon as ever they were perceived to cause flaws in the Diamonds. [Page 31] At length they sit them down all on a row upon the earth in the posture of Taylors, and seek out with all acurateness the Stones amongst the sand. Whil'st they be at this exer­cise, several Commissioners stand up with their eyes fixed upon the Workmen, for fear least when they find a Stone, they should swallow it cun­ningly down. When a Miner has found a big one, he run­neth to the Master, who set him on work, to receive his re­ward for it, which is ordinari­ly a piece of Linnen of a Crown value.

[Page 32]3. We are now to touch upon the price of Diamonds in proportion to their weight, which is not the least conside­rable article of this Chapter; and although some have writ copiously of this Subject, and set down what Rules ought to be observed, yet here I also present a very easie and most certain one in favour of the curious.

Some imagine that the Indi­ans and Merchants who em­ploy Workmen in the Dia­mond Mines, are ignorant o [...] these Rules, as also of all A­rithmetick, but without rea­son; [Page 33] for on the contrary they are so experienced therein, that having the Rules alwayes in their head, there is not the least young boy of fifteen years of age who is not able to give an account on the sudden, without Pen or Paper, of the most difficult question that can be put to him.

Besides, as it is more diffi­cult to judge of the water of a Stone, and of the points and flaws that may be found there­in, when it is rough than when it is wrought, these Indians shew themselves much more knowing than we, to know [Page 34] the price of any Stone what­soever, which they are able to tell presently, by calculating with themselves without Pen or Chalk, which is enough to make their sagacity to be ad­mired; this is then the Rule they make use of as well as we, They take a Stone of 10 Carats, which they multi­ply by the number of 10, the Product whereof is 100. Af­terwards they consider the Stone, whether it be clean and perfect, or if there be a­ny defect in it; if it be per­fect, say they, if we had one Stone perfect of one Carat [Page 35] onely in weight, it would be worth for example according to its perfection, from 40 to 60 Crowns: If the water of it be not good, or if there be any flaw or ice, in a Stone of one Carat of the same nature, it would not be worth for ex­ample above from 10 to 30 Crowns; then they multiply again the aforesaid product of 100, by so much as they judge the Carat worth, and that which is the product of this, is the price of the Stone proposed. Let this then be the example of a perfect Stone of 10 Carats▪ at the rate of 60 Crowns the Carat.

[Page 36] [...]

This an example of a Stone of 15, which may have some imperfection, at 20 Crowns the Carat.


[Page 37]The Indians have the same Rule, onely they transpose the multiplication; for they mul­tiply first of all the price of a Carat of the Stone propound­ed by the number of Carats it weighs, and the product a­gain by the number of the a­foresaid Carats. Let this be the Example following.


[Page 38]Another Example.


4. For the satisfaction of such as would go to the Mines, we must speak also something of the ways that lead to them; which modern relations, some­what fabulous, make so dan­gerous [Page 39] and difficult, and re­present them to us pestered with Tygers, Lyons, and Cru­el Men, but Travellers have found the contrary, except­ing onely some Wild Beasts, the Inhabitants being courte­ous to Strangers. As for Gol­conda, he must be very little acquainted with the Map, who knows not the situation of it; but from Golconda to the Mines, the way is less known, they measure the ways there by the Gos, one Gos making four French Leagues.

They reckon from Golconda to Canapour,
Gos 1.
[Page 40]From Canapour to Parquel,
Gos 2 ½.
From Parquel to Caquenol,
Gos 1.
From Caquenol to Canol-Con­donor,
Gos 3.
From Canol-Condonor to Jet­tapour,
Gos 1
From Jettapour to the River,
Gos 2.

This River is upon the Frontiers of the Kingdoms of Golconda and Visapour.

From the River to Alpour,
Gos 2 ¾.
From Alpour to Canol,
Gos ¾.
From Canol to Raolconda, where the Mine is,
Gos 2 ½.

[Page 41]So that in all from Golcon­da to the Mine, it is about 15 Gos, which comes to 60 French Leagues.

From Golconda to the Mine of Coullour or Gani, by the same Gos, they count Gos 13 ¾, which is 55 French Leagues; this is the way,

From Golconda to Almaspinde,
Gos 3.
From Almaspinde to Kaper,
Gos 2.
From Kaper to Montecour,
Gos 2 ½.
From Montecour to Naglepar,
Gos 2.
[Page 42]From Naglepar to Eligada,
Gos 1 ½.
From Eligada to Sarvaron,
Gos 1.
From Sarvaron to Mellazerou,
Gos 1.
From Mellazeron to Ponocour,
Gos 1 ¼.
From Ponocour to Coullour or Gany,
there is onely the Ri­ver to pass.

5. It remains to speak of the Pieces which are currant in India, with which the Dia­monds are bought, viz. Rou­pies and Pagodes; a Roupie is worth twenty eight pence of [Page 43] our Money; as for the Pa­godes there be two sorts of them, the new and the old; the new are worth three Rou­pies and an half, and the old a Roupie more. In the Realm of Bengala, in the Countrey of the Raja, being they are Tributaties to the Grand Mo­gol, Payments are made in Rou­pies. At the two Mines that are upon the Lands of the King of Visapour, about Ra­olconda, payment is made in new Pagodes, which the King gets stamped, because although he be tributary to the Great Mogol, he causeth his own mo­ney [Page 44] to be coyned, a Priviledge which he hath above the King of Golconda, of which I shall speak hereafter. These Pa­godes rise and fall according to the course of Trade, and ac­cording as the Merchants do bargain with the Princes and Governors. At the Mine of Coullour or Gani, which be­longs to the King of Golconda, payment is made after the same manner in new Pagodes, which are valued as those of the King of Visapour; but they must sometimes be bought from 1 to 4 per Cent. more, the reason is because they are of [Page 45] the best Gold, and they will have none but such. These Pagodes are coyn'd by the En­glish and Hollanders, who have had the Priviledge from the King by grant or by force, I know not; now those of the Hollanders being fairer than those of the English, the Mi­ners love them better than the others; which is the reason why they are bought for more by 1 or 2 per Cent. yet being the Merchants are aware of this false opinion they are im­posed upon by, and because these people at the Mines are rude and savage, and that at [Page 46] the best the ways are some­what dangerous from Golconda to the Mine, they stay com­monly at Golconda, where the Merchants who cause them to dig, have their Correspon­dence, and whither they usu­ally send the Diamonds, which are to be paid for at such time in old Pagodes stampt long since with the Coyn of divers Princes who reigned in the Indies before the Mahumetans took footing there. Now these old Pa­godes are worth as (I said) four Roupies and an half, a Roupie more than the new; which [Page 47] comes to six pence of our mo­ney more than a Ducat, though there be no more Gold in them than in the new ones, and weigh no more: the which might administer cause of wonder, if we did not know the reason, which is this, that the Cherafs or Money-Changers, to oblige the King not to get them coyned over again, give him a great sum yearly, be­cause they draw from thence a considerable benefit; for the Merchants do not receive any of these Pagodes, without ha­ving one of these Money-Changers to examine them, [Page 48] some of them being defaced, others of low rate, others which are not weight; and there ought to be allowed a quarter per cent. for what they want. When you pay the Miners, they receive not your Pagodes, but in presence also of the Changer, who certifies them of what is good or bad, and he again allows his quarter per cent. But to dispatch the sooner, when they would make any payment that is con­siderable, as a thousand o [...] two thousand Pagodes, the Changer in allowing him hi [...] right, puts them up in a little [Page 49] Bag, with a Bill of its mark, and when you would pay the Miner, you carry them to the Cheraf, together with the Bag, and finding its mark entire, he assures the Miner that he hath examined the whole, and that he will be responsible for what is not good. Now as for Roupies, they take indif­ferently those of the Great Mo­gol, and those of the King of Golconda, because those which the King causes to be stamped, are to be acccording to the Great Mogol's Coyn, as is a­greed upon between them. And to shew you that these [Page 50] Indians have more wit and more subtilty than any one would think, the Pagodes be­ing little pieces of thick Gold, of the bigness onely of the nail of the little finger, and it being upon that account im­possible to clip them, they have the art to make little holes in them round about, from whence they may get two or three pence of the powder of Gold, after which they beat them down again handsomely, that it may not appear that any one has touch­ed them. Moreover, when you buy any thing in a Village, [Page 51] or when you pass a River, if you give them a Roupy, they presently kindle a fire, and having cast it into it, if it cometh out white, they take it, if it cometh out black, they restore it to you again; for all the Coyn in the Indies is without Allay, and if any of it be brought thither out of Europe, it must be carried to the Mint to be new coyn­ed. We must adde, that those people are deceived, who do imagine that it sufficeth to car­ry Looking-Glasses to the Mines, or Tobacco and such like Toyes, to truck them [Page 52] for Diamonds; our Travel­lers find the quite contrary, and they desire there the best and fairest Gold.

Besides, it is a thing unde­niable, that as Gold is the most heavy and richest of all Metals, so is the Diamond the most hard and most precious of all Stones; and it is a Vulgar Error of Ancient Authors, to believe that the Diamond may be softened by the Blood of a Bull; which is contrary to the experience of Lapi­daries.

To conclude, and to for­get nothing in this Chapter, [Page 53] 'tis to be observed, That the Diamond in the Miners Lan­guage is called Iri, and in Turkish, Persian, and Arabi­an, 'tis called Almas, but in all the Languages of Europe there is no other Name besides Diamond. I come to Co­loured Stones, and particu­larly to the Ruby and the Emerauld, which hold amongst Jewels a very considerable place.

CHAP. II. Of Coloured Stones.

THere are discovered but two places in the In­dies from whence they bring Coloured Stones, viz. in the Realm of Pegu and in the Island of Ceylan. The first is from a Mountain about 12 dayes journey from Ava, incli­ning to the N. East, which they call Capelan, and it is the Mine from whence they bring the greatest quantities of Rubies and Espinelles, other­wise [Page 55] Mother of Rubies, Yel­low Topazes, Blew and White Saphires, and other Stones of different Colours, amongst which they find also some of divers Colours, yet very ten­der, which they call Bacan in that Countrey Language, Si­ren is the City where the King of Pegu hath his Residence, and Ava is the Port to his Countrey; from Ava to Siren they go up the River in great Flat-bottomed Boats, in which Voyage they spend at least thirty dayes. They cannot go thither by Land, because of the thick Woods full of [Page 56] Lions, Tygers, and Elephants, and in a word it is one of the poorest Countreys in the World. Nothing comes thence but Rubies, and not in so great quantities as is believed, see­ing that every year there comes not out to the value of an hundred thousand Crowns, and amongst them you'll very rarely find a Stone of four or five Carrats that is fair, consi­dering the Prohibition against exporting any parcels which the King hath not seen, who keepeth the good ones, if he findeth any; so that there is a considerable profit in bring­ing [Page 57] one of them out of Europe into Asia: from whence we may judge whither the relati­on of Vincent le Blane be true, wherein he boasts to have seen some as he entered into the Countrey of the bigness of Eggs.

2. The price of Rubies, which cometh next the Dia­mond in dignity, goes thus:

They weigh them by the Rati, and one Rati maketh 7 / 8 of our Carrát.

A Ruby at the Mine of the weight of one Rati, hath been bought for old Pagodes
[Page 58]Of 2 Rati
Pagod 100.
Of 3 Rati
Pagod 250.
Of 4 Rati
Pagod 500.
Of 5 Rati
Pagod 900.
Of 6 Rati
Pagod 1500.
Of 7 Rati
Pagod 2300.
Of 12 Rati
Pagod 1200.

The second place of the Indies from whence they bring Stones of Colour, is in a great River of the Isle Ceylon; they are found in the sand at low water, three or four moneths after the rains have past, and the poor people are employed in seeking for them. The Stones which they ordinarily [Page 59] find there are clear, more lively than those of Pegu, and of a very high colour, especi­ally the Topaz. As for Gra­nats and Chrystal they▪ find a great quantity of them. At such time as Don Philippo Mas­carini was Governour of those places which the King of Portu­gal had in the Isle of Ceylon, the Chief of which was Columbo, he who since was Vice-Roy of Goa, he caused all the Move­ables of a Chamber to be made of Chrystal, viz. Bed, Chairs, Table▪ Cabinet, &c.

'Tis true that in Europe there are also two other places [Page 60] from which they bring Stones of Colour, that is to say, from Bohemia and Hungaria; from this they bring Opales, and in the other there be Ru­bies, which they take out of the middle of certain Flints after they be broken; these Flints are like to the Stones of Fire-locks inclining towards red, some as big as the fist, some less; but many of them may be broken before you find one Rubie. When the Son of the Emperour Ferdi­nand 2. was crowned King of Bohemia, General Wallestein presented the Governour of [Page 61] Raab at Prague with a great Basket full of these Flints, to the number of above two hundred: This Lord caused some of these to be broken, but not finding more than one small Ruby of the weight of half a Carrat, he made them leave the others unbro­ken.

The curious Reader will not find it tedious, to know fur­ther from whence they fetch the Lapis and Granate, I can­not tell the reason why they have given the Name of Syrien to this, seeing it was never found in Syria, but far from [Page 62] thence thirty days journey from Labor to the North East, in the Countrey of a Raja, who depends neither of the Great Mogol nor of the Tartar, in a Mountain, the Southern part whereof produceth Gold; that which respects the North, produces the Granat, and the East part affordeth the Lapis Lazuli, for the Turkoise eve­ry one knoweth that it is found in Persia in the Pro­vince of Chamaquay, the chief place whereof is Maschec, to the North of Hispaham, to­wards Candahar. There are there two Mines, one they call [Page 63] the Old Rock, the other the New; those of the New are but of a bad blew, inclining to white, and little esteemed, and it is free for any man to take as many of them as he pleaseth. But the King of Persia some years since forbad the digging in the Old for any besides himself, because ha­ving no Goldsmiths but such who work in thread, and are wholly ignorant how to ena­mel upon Gold, as people who know neither the design nor manner of it, they make use for the garnishing of their Swords and Ponyards and [Page 64] other Works of these Turkoi­ses, instead of enamel, and cause them to be cut and set in the Bearit of Rings, according to the Flowers and other Fi­gures that do best please him. This sheweth well enough and is elaborate, but without any curious Design.

'Tis an ancient error of ma­ny to believe that the Eme­rauld is found in the East, and because before the discovery of the West Indies none could guess otherwise of it, still to this day the greatest part of Jewellers and Goldsmiths, so soon as ever they spy an Eme­rauld [Page 65] of an high colour incli­ning to black, are wont to say it is an Oriental Emerald; wherein they are altogether mistaken, since that the East never produced any such. I grant that before the disco­very of America, the Eme­ralds were brought from the East, but they came from the source of the West-Indies, from the Realm of Peru. For these people before we knew them, did traffick in all the Molucco Islands, whither they brought Gold and Silver, yet more Silver than Gold, being that there is more profit in the [Page 66] one than in the other, by rea­son of the Gold Mines that are found in the Eastern Parts. Still to this day the same Trade continues, and those of Peru pass yearly to the Phi­lippine Isles with two or three Vessels, whither they bring nothing but Gold and a small quantity of Emeralds; and as for the Emeralds, within this few years they have left carrying any thither, but send them all into Europe. In the year 1660 they afforded them in the East for more than twenty per Cent. cheaper than they were valued at in France. [Page 67] These Americans being come ashore in the Philippines, those of Bengala, Arachan, Pegu, Goa, and other places, bring thither all sorts of Linnen and a number of Cut Stones, as Diamonds and Rubies, toge­ther with divers Works of Gold, Stuffs of Silk and Per­sian Tapestry.

But 'tis to be observed, that they can sell nothing directly to those of Peru, but to such who reside in Manilla they can, and these again retail them to the Americans; nay if any one obtain permission to return from Goa to Spain, by [Page 68] the way of the South Sea, he will be forc'd to put out his money to interest at fourscore or an hundred per Cent. to the Philippines, without being able to buy any thing, and to do with it after the same man­ner from the Philippines to New Spain. Now this was the way of trafficking for Eme­ralds before the West Indies were found out, they came into Europe onely by this way and vast compass. Whatso­ever was not good remained in that Countrey, and what was fair passed into Asia.

[Page 69]The Holy Scripture makes mention of the Emerald, as of a precious Jewel, and placeth it amongst the rich Stones that the High-Priest wore in his Ephod, and those which a­dorned the Walls of the New Hierusalem. Heretofore the Emerald has been had in great esteem, and came after the Pearl: Now-a-dayes none makes so much account of it, in regard of the great quanti­ties are brought every year from the Indies. The truth is men so much account of rare things, that they quite under­value such as they perceive [Page 68] [...] [Page 69] [...] [Page 70] common; and I will relate to you a Story upon this ac­count.

At the beginning of the dis­covery of the Indies, a Spa­niard was in Italy, and de­manding of a Lapidary the price of an Emerald, which he shewed him, he considering it very well, and finding it a goodly one, told him it was worth a hundred Ducats: Whereupon the Spaniard be­ing very glad, carried him to his Lodgings, and shewed him a Cabinet full of them. The Ita­lian, who saw so great a number of these Emeralds, told him that [Page 71] as for those they were well worth Crowns apiece. Thus it fares with all things which the abundance makes cheap, and whereto rarity adds a price. Pliny amongst divers excellen­cies of the Emerald, says, that there is nothing more delightful nor recreative to the sight; and reporteth that Laelia a Roman Dame had Head-Cloaths and a Gown embroidered with Pearls and Emeralds, in which she laid out to the value of Four hundred thousand Du­cats. But she might have had as many now-a-dayes for less than half the Money. Many [Page 72] are found in several places of America, and the Kings of Mexico, who esteemed them very much, were usually wont to pierce their Nostrils, and there to hang an excellent Emerald; they put them also upon the Faces of their Idols. The places where they have found them, and where still to this day they find the great. abundance, is the New King­dom of Granada and Peru, near to Manta and Portviel, there is towards that place a Territory called, The Land of Emeralds, by reason of the great number known to be [Page 73] found there; but hitherto this Region has not been fully con­quered.

The Emerald is bred in Quarries, just as the Chrystal, and runs along, as it were ma­king a Vein, and grows finer and finer, or thicker and thick­er, by degrees.

We see some half white and half green, some all white, some quite green and most perfect; some we may see of the bigness of a Nut and big­ger, yet none come near the bigness and figure of the Plate or Jewel which is at Genoua, unless we believe Theophrastus, [Page 74] who allows four Ells in length and three in breadth to the Emerald, which the King of Babylon presented to the King of Aegypt: And who doth fur­ther report that there was in the Temple of Jupiter an A­guglia Needle or Pyramid, made of four Stones of E­merald, forty Cubits long, and in some places four Cu­bits broad; and that at his time there was at Tyre in the Tem­ple of Hercules a great Pillar of Emerald, perhaps it was nothing else but a Green Stone that was a Bastard Emerald, to which they gave this Name [Page 75] falsly: As some say that cer­tain Pillars of the Cathedral Church of Cordoua are of E­merald Stones, and were put there since the time it served instead of a Mosk to the Kings of the Moors, who reigned in those places. In the Fleet which came from the the Indies in the year 1587, there were two great Chests of Emeralds, from whence we may judge of the great quan­tity which is found in America. In a word, as there is nothing but the rarity that gives value to things, so the price of the Emerald would be much en­hanced, [Page 76] if it were as rare as the Diamond.


THe Pearl hath been at all times so much e­steemed, that the Go­spel does not disdain by this to represent to us the Excel­lency of the Kingdome of Heaven, and it belonged for­merly onely to Royal Persons to wear them; without di­spute 'tis one of the richest [Page 77] productions of Nature, and if we believe the Natura­lists, Pearl is ingendred of the dew of heaven in those parts of the Earth where it is most pure and serene: And the Cockle opening at the first Rayes of the Sun to re­ceive those precious drops, plungeth into the Sea with its booty, and conceives in its Shell the Pearl which resem­bles the heavens, and imita­teth its clearness; this admira­ble Pearl, which men seek with so much industry: so that heaven does visibly contribute to its generation, and impresses [Page 78] the most Celestial Vertues and Qualities which Physick was ever able to boast of, and whereof she makes use for a Sovereign Remedy: yet for all that all the World does not agree as to this with the Ancient Naturalists, and the sequel of this Discourse will make appear that they are de­ceived in some things.

But before we speak of the manner how they fish for Pearl and of their different Qualities, we must make re­port of the divers places of the World where they are found.

[Page 79]First of all then they have discovered four Fishing Places for Pearl in the East, the most considerable is performed in the Isle of Bahren in the Per­sian Golph; the which apper­tains to the Sophy of Persia, who receives thence a great Revenue. While the Portu­gals were Masters of Ormus and Mascati, every Vessel which went to fish was obliged to take a Passport from them at a dear rate; and they main­tained alwayes five or six small Galleys in the Gulph, to sink those Barks which took no Pasports; but at present they [Page 80] have no farther power upon those Coasts, and each Fisher payeth to the King of Persia not above one third of what they gave to the Portugals.

The second Fishing is o­ver against Bahren upon the Coast of Arabia Foelix, near to the City of Catif, which belongeth to an Arabian Prince who commandeth that Province. The most part of the Pearls which are fished in these two places, are carried into India, because that the Indians are not so hard, but give a better price for them than we; they are therefore [Page 81] carried thither, the unequal▪ as well as the round, the yel­low as well as the white; eve­ry one according to its rate▪ some of them also are sold at Balsora, and those which are transported into Persia and Moscovy, are sold at Bandar­congue two dayes journey from Ormus. They fish twice in a year in the Moneths of March and April, and in the Moneths of August and September; the depth where they fish is from four to twelve fathoms, and the deeper the Oister is found, the Pearls are the whiter, be­cause the water is not so hot [Page 82] there, the Sun not being able to penetrate so deep.

The third fishing is by the Isle of Ceylon, at a place which is called Manar; the Pearls which are found there, are of a good water but small, and the greatest do not surpass two Carrats, and it is seldom that they are found of that weight, but in recompence of this there is great quantity of Seed Pearl fit to powder.

The fourth and last Fishing in the East is at Japan; the Pearls▪ there are of a water white enough and heavy, but unequal: those of Japan sell [Page 83] them all to the Holland Com­pany, for they make no ac­count, as I shall let you know in order, of any Jewel.

In the West are discovered five Pearl Fishings, the first is in the Island Margarita two and twenty leagues from the firm land; this Isle is thirty five leagues about and hath a good Haven towards the North; at the East point it is all encom­passed with rocks: it is fruit­ful enough, but there is want of water: and the inhabitants go up into the Countrey to fur­nish themselves with it, yet there are great store of Cattel, [Page 84] and it beareth Maize and other things necessary for those who live there.

The second Fishing was dis­covered in the year 1496, by the Isle of Cubagua, a league from the former, in the Gulph of Mexico; it is in ten degrees and an half of Northern Lati­tude, an hundred and three­score Leagues from St. Do­mingo in Hispaniola, and an hundred from Santa Cruz, one of the Careeby Islands, and four Leagues from the Pro­vince of Aria, which is part of the Continent; it is much less than Margarita, without [Page 85] Cattel or any other thing which may serve for the suste­nance of man; particularly it wanteth water, but the inhabi­tants are furnished from the Continent, from a River cal­led Comana, seven Leagues from New Cadis. This Island Cubagua was discovered by that famous Genouese Christo­pher Columbus, who having perceived a small Boat with some Fishers in it, and a Wo­man who had three rows of fair Pearl about her Neck, said to his Companions, That he thanked God he had now discovered the most rich [Page 86] Countrey in the World. He broke an Earthen Plate of di­vers Colours, and for a piece or two of it this Woman gave him very willingly a row of these Pearls, and for another Plate he received many others, and I darned of the Indians the place and manner of their Fishing for Pearls.

The third is at Comana, near the Continent.

The fourth is called Coma­nagote, twelve Leagues from the former.

The fifth and last is at the Isle of St. Martha, threescore Leagues from the River La Hache▪

[Page 87]All the Pearls of these five Fishings are of a white wa­ter, weak, dry, faint, milky, or leady; not but that they find some fair ones, but they have not so live a water as those of the East; in recom­pence they are great ones, in weight from eighteen to forty two Carrats, and are almost all of the shape of a Pear.

These Five Fishings of which I have spoken, are all in the North Sea, but they find also great quantities in the South Sea near to Panama, they are long rather than round, but not so fair as the [Page 88] other, and ordinarily are somewhat black; for the In­dians opened the Oyster by Fire, till Vasques Nugnez taught the Cacique to open them without it; and since they find the Pearls whiter. Experience teacheth us that Oysters change their places as well as other Fish, and that they pass sometimes to one side of the Island and some­times to the other.

It is is a considerable curio­sity to know how they fish for Pearls, seven, eight, or nine men at most go in one Bark, two of which descend to the [Page 89] bottom of the Sea, six, nine, or twelve fathoms doep. A­bout the Isles of Margarita and Cubagua, the water is very cold, but the greatest difficul­ty in fishing, is holding the breath under water, sometimes a quarter of an hour or long­er; and that these poor Slaves may the better endure it, they feed them with dry meats and in a little quantity, avarice putting them upon these absti­nences; but besides this, they use other expedients, they put upon their Nose little Pin­cers made of Buffalo's Horn, which stoppeth their Nostrils: [Page 90] they stuffe their Ears with Cotton Wool. Others hold Oil in their Mouths, especial­ly those who cannot hold their breath long. Others hold their Mouth under their Arm­pits, and after that manner breath two or three times un­der water. There is a Sack of Stones or Sand tied to each of their Feet, to make them sink strait to the bottom, and another Bag tied about their Waste, to put their Oysters in; there is a Cord fastened under their Arm-pits, held by them who remain in the Boat, and they under water hold an­other [Page 91] Cord in their hands, which they draw, to give no­tice to those in the Boat, that they can now hold their breath no longer, and that they must draw them up quickly.

When they have found a thousand or two of these Oy­sters, they sell them at ad­venture, without knowing what is within them, the Meat of the Oyster is without relish, and of very ill digestion; and is so far from being so good to eat as the meat of our Oy­sters of Spain, or those of England, that the very Fisher­men disdain them, and seldom [Page 92] eat any of them. Acosta in the Fourth Book of his Histo­ry, glorieth that he had eat of thes [...] Oysters; and found Pearls in the middle of them. When the night cometh, the Fishermen retire to the Island, and carry the Oysters home to him who employeth them. Upon the opening they find in some none, in others from one to six Pearls more or less, and in some great number of grains, which we call Seed­pearl. These Oyster-shels are within of a lively colour to­wards an Azure, they make Spoons of them and other [Page 93] Toys, such as we call Mother of Pearl.

The Pearls are of very dif­ferent forms, bigness, figure, colour, and polish, and differ also much in their price.

It was an error of the Anci­ents, as of Isidorus and Al­bertus Magnus, to believe that the Pearl was bred by the dew of heaven, seeing that they are fished out of the Sea so deep, as twelve fathoms; as also to think that there is but one found in an Oyster, see­ing that in some there are five or six, in which Pliny also dis­agreeth with them, while he [Page 94] relateth what Aelius Stilo wri­teth; how that in the war of Jugurtha they gave the Name of Ʋniones to all great Pearls; and that he had seen four or five in one Oyster. It is true, that seldom two of the same form, greatness, and colour, are found in the same Oyster; and for this reason, as the same Pliny writeth, the Romans called them Ʋniones. When it happeneth that two are found which resemble one an­other perfectly, it encreaseth their price very much; and it may be those two famous ones of the Queen Cleopatra were [Page 95] of this sort; each of which were valued at an hundred thousand Ducats: with one of these that prodigal Princesse won the wager she laid with Mark Anthony, that she would spend above an hundred thou­sand Ducats at one Supper; she dissolved it in Vinegar and drank it off at the latter end of Supper; the other was cut into two pieces and carried to Rome to the Pantheon, to a­dorn the Statua of Venus.

The Pearls of those Oysters which stick to the Rocks, are greater than those which are in the Sand or Mudde; and [Page 96] those which are found in the Mudde incline somewhat to a dark colour; for the rest, as the Pearl seemeth to depend on the air as well as the water, if in that time when the Oy­ster breedeth the Pearl, the air be cloudy, it inclineth to be black; if the sky be clear, it is the whiter. The Pearls grow by little and little in an Oyster, as the Eggs in a Pul­let, so that the greatest come forward towards the orifice or opening, while the small ones remain at the bottom, until they are brought to perfecti­on. And lastly, the Pearls [Page 97] grow old and wrinkled, and by consequence become less beautiful, by losing of their lustre.

Scotland also produceth some Pearls, but such as are not of the value and beauty of the Oriental Pearls.

One curious and intelligent in these matters, furnished me with the following Rule for the price of Pearls according to their weight.

A Pearl weighing
1 Grain, is worth1 Crown.

[Page 98]

A Pearl weighing
1 Carrat, is worth16 Crowns.
1 ¼25
1 ½36
1 ¾49
2 Carats,64
2 ¼81
2 ½100
2 ¾121
3 Carats,144
3 ¼169
3 ½196
3 ¾225
4 Carats,256
4 ¼289
4 ½324
4 ¾361
[Page 99]5 Carrats,400
5 ¼441
5 ½484
5 ¾529
6 Carrats,576
6 ¼625
6 ½675
6 ¾729
7 Carrats,784
7 ¼841
7 ½900
7 ¾960
8 Carrats,1024


ALthough that Corall and Yellow Amber are not ranked amongst Jew­els, yet they very well deserve a place in this History, because both of them have something admirable in them, and serve for Ornament, nay some Na­tions have the same esteem for these as we have for Pearls and Diamonds. There will then be three things to consi­der in this Chapter, the Places [Page 101] where they fish for the Coral, the manner how they fish, and the Countreys where it is sold at the best rates.

First, There are three Fish­ings for Coral upon the Coasts of Corsica and Sardinia, one called Argueil, which is the best and fairest; the second called Baza, the third is near to the Island of St. Peter. That which groweth upon the Coast of Corsica is of the fairest co­lour and longest. Upon the Coast of Africa there are two other Fishings, that near to the Bastion of France and that of Tabarca. The Coral of this is [Page 102] big enough and long, but of a pale colour. There is another Fishing upon the Coast of Si­cily, near to Drepanum, the Coral of which is small, but of a very good colour. An­other on the Coast of Catania, by Cape Quiers, where the Coral is thick and of an excel­lent colour, but the Branches are very short. There is also another Fishing in the Isle of Majorca, where the Coral is of the same nature with that of Corsica, so that the Coral, if not onely, is chiefly found in the Mediterranean Sea.

[Page 103]Let us now come to the manner of Fishing for it: The Coral groweth under hollow Rocks, at the foot of which the Sea is deep, so that the Fishers proceed thus: They fasten cross-wise two great Pieces of Timber, and place a great Piece of Lead in the middle, to make them sink; afterwards they tie Hemp a­bout the Timber, and wreath it about negligently to the thickness of an Inch; they tie to the Wood two Ropes, one hangeth at the Prow and the other at the Poop of the Ves­sel; and so as they run along [Page 104] by the Rocks, they let go the Wood, and the Hemp wind­eth it self about the Coral. There is need many times of fifteen or twenty Boats to draw up the Pieces of Tim­ber, but by plucking up the Coral thus by force, there falleth as much into the Sea as can be drawn out; and the bottom being ordinarily of Ouse or Mudde, the Coral is corroded continually, as if it were worm-eaten; so that the sooner it is drawn up, the less waste is made of it: some think Coral to be soft under water, though it be really [Page 105] hard; yet true it is that at cer­tain moneths of the year there is drawn from the end of the branch by pressing it, a kind of Milk, like that out of a Womans Breast, which may very well be the seed of the Coral, the which falling upon something or other in the Sea, accidentally produceth ano­ther branch of Coral, as it hath been really found upon a Skull and upon the Blade of a Sword.

The Fishing of Coral is per­formed from the beginning of April to the end of July, and commonly two hundred Barks [Page 106] and upwards are employed to that effect, seven men and a boy in each. They are built all along the Coast of Genoa, are very light, and bear so great sail, that no Men of War can bear up with them; and it is by this means they e­scape the Corsairs. The Fish­ing is performed forty miles a­long the Shore, over against certain Capes that jet out; where they presume there is Rocks under water. There was lately to be seen at Mar­seilles, in a Shop where they deal in Coral, a piece of the bigness of ones Fist, which [Page 107] they cut in two, because it was somewhat worm-eaten, and there was found within it a Worm which stirred, and lived some moneths, being put again into its hole. 'Tis observable that round about some branches of Coral there is bred as it were a Sponge re­sembling Cells, wherein there lie small Worms like Bees, so much Nature pleases her self in the diversity of her producti­ons.

We must finish this Chap­ter by a pretty curious Obser­vation: Those of Japan contra­ry to all the rest of the World, [Page 108] make no account of Pearls or Precious Stones, and all their Jewels consist in a grain of Co­ral. Now as they carry by their sides a great Bag, such as our Mechanicks wear, so is he the best man, that hath the biggest grain of Coral to slip in his Purse String of Silk; and to him who can bring them one of the bigness of an Egge, they will not onely give a thousand Crowns, but fifteen or twenty thousand, or whatsoever he shall de­mand. Moreover, through­out all Asia, and especially to­wards the North in the Great [Page 109] Mogol's Dominions, and be­yond the Mountains of Tarta­ria, part of which hath late­ly conquered China; the bra­very of the Common sort of People is of Coral, and they wear it as well about their Necks as upon their Arms and and Leggs; and so much for Coral.

CHAP. V. Of Yellow Amber.

YEllow and White Amber are found no where in abundance, but only upon [Page 110] the Banks of Prussia, the Sea throwing it up time after time at certain Winds. The Ele­ctor of Brandenbourgh lets out all these Coasts, and the Far­mers do there maintain Guards, who lie all along the Coast, to the end none may take it away, which is very Criminal; the Sea casts up the Amber sometimes on one side sometimes on the other.

As I have made an Obser­vation of Coral, in respect of Japan, so I must make ano­ther of Amber in respect of China. When any great Lord makes a considerable Feast, [Page 111] to shew his magnificence and splendour, at the close of the Feast they bring into the Hall three or four Perfuming Pots, upon which they throw a large quantity of Amber, sometimes to the value of a thousand Crowns and upwards; seeing the more there is burnt of it, so much the greater splendor it adds to him who treats. Besides they make use of it after this manner, because Amber thrown into the Fire, giveth a certain Smell which is not unpleasant, and because the Flame excels all other Flames. Hence it is that Amber [Page 112] is one of the best Merchandi­ces that one can bring into China, and whereof the Hol­land Company does reserve to themselves the particular Commerce, the Chineses co­ming to buy of them in Ba­tavia.

I leave to Naturalists to treat of the Proprieties of Yel­low Amber, which is not the Subject of our Discourse.

CHAP. VI. Of Metals, Amber-gris, Bezoar, Indico, and other rich Productions of the East and West.

ALthough nothing that appears in this Title may come into the List of Jewels, any more than Yellow Amber or Coral; yet I may touch upon them as things the most precious which we receive from the East and West.

Metals are like Plants hid­den in the Bowels of the Earth, [Page 114] and there is some resemblance between them in the manner of their production. Minerals. have branches and a trunck from whence they grow, and great and small Veins, which are bound together, and do seem to imitate Vegetables. These Minerals are produced by the vertue and force of the Sun and the other Planets, and in a long space of time are increased and multiplied in these obscure Caverns; but there is this difference in the Earth which brings forth Plants, and that which produ­ceth Minerals, that this is fat [Page 115] and fertile, for the nourish­ment of that which it sendeth forth; but on the contrary the other is rude and barren, like the matter which it generates within. Metals were created for the use of Physick, for A­griculture, and for the Defence and Ornament of Man, not to speak of the Species of Gold and Silver, so necessary to the entertaining of Society and Commerce: Upon which one understanding enough said, That as a Father giveth a great Portion to his Daughter, by that means to provide her a more ad­vantageous Match, so God hath [Page 116] given to the Earth great riches in Mines, to the end that Men might enquire into her with the greater care. Iron, Lead, Cop­per, and Tinne▪ are found in so many places of the Earth, that the Americans, who have divers Mines of them, neglect to dig them; I will not give these therefore any place in this discourse, and will content my self to say onely this, that there is great quantity of Cop­per in Sweden, that the best Tinne is brought out of Cornwal in the West of England; and that the Peruvians make use of no other Lead, Iron, or Cop­per, [Page 117] but what is brought them out of Europe, although they have Mines of their own. I will speak therefore onely of Gold and Silver which are the most pretious of all Metals, and of Quicksilver, which serveth to refine them both. Gold is the richest of all Metals, the heaviest and most malleable, that is to say, that suffers it self to be extended the most un­der the Hammer, and from all time Men have sought and loved the enjoyment of it. It is found in Asia in the Sand of divers Rivers, and for this Gan­ges and Pactolus have been [Page 118] rendred famous in History; and not to speak of Tagus and other Rivers of Europe, which carry Gold; the Arva, which falleth from the Mountains of Savoy, and joyneth with the Rhone near Geneva, furnisheth Gold enough to recompence the pains of those who search for it; but the abundance of Gold is found in Mines, and these Mines are not every­where, we have discovered but few in Europe; Scotland hath some, and Silesia and Hun­garia, but they do not very much enrich their Masters: let us consider therefore the Mines [Page 119] of Aethiopia and India, and particularly of the Isle of Su­matra, which the Ancients cal­led the Chersonesus of Gold. We may mention also the fa­mous Mines of Potosi, which celebrate Peru above all the Regions of the Earth, and where so many Slaves are em­ployed; for the Mines of Sil­ver there are divers of them in Europe, and particularly in Saxony; there are of them also in Asia, but the Mines which are the most famous of all are in a Mountain of Peru, un­known to the Ynca's before the arrival of the Spaniards. This [Page 120] Mine is so rich, that the Mine which Hannibal found in the Pyrenaean Hills, out of which, as Pliny reports, every day was drawn three hundred pounds of Silver, cannot be compared to it; the description of this at large is to be seen in Josephus Acosta his Natural History of the Indies; and for the manner of refining Metals, so many have written, that I may be ex­cused from describing it: there resteth therefore no more but Quicksilver, which is found in a certain Vermillion Stone, great quantity of it cometh from the Mountain of Guan­gavilca, [Page 121] near to the City of Guamagua in Peru; out of which they draw every year eight thousand Quintals of Quicksilver; there are also di­vers Mines of Gold and Silver in Spain, but the Inhabitants neglect to work them, con­tenting themselves with those which they have in the Indies.

Amber-gris is a Medicinal Liquor, full as odoriferous as the true Balme, but thicker na­turally, and is brought into a Paste of a hot and good Per­fume, which may be applied to wounds; it cometh not onely out of the East-Indies [Page 122] but New Spain doth also pro­duce it, and the Sea casteth it up upon the Coast of England and Ireland.

Bezoar that famous Stone so well known in Physick, is found five dayes journey from Gol­conda, towards the East of Summer in the Province of Renquery, and is ingendred in the Paunch of Goats, some of which have twelve Stones in them. The Inhabitants of the Countrey easily know how many Stones the Goat hath in his body by this means, they stroak the belly of the Goat with their hands and rub it, till [Page 123] the Bezoars come all to the bot­tom of the Paunch, and then they may be felt and counted like little Stones in a Bag. They sell them by weight, the bigger the Stone the dearer. In the year 1660 there were sold of them to the value of an hun­dred thousand Francks, and the greatest part fell to the En­glish; there come also Bezoar Stones from the Kingdom of Macassar in the Isle of Celebes, at five degrees of Southern La­titude, near the Molucka's, but they are found in the bodies of Apes, and are not so large as those of Golconda.

[Page 124] Indico, which is made use of for the most rich Colours, co­meth from a Tree which is planted every year after the rains are passed, and when it is grown to the height of be­tween two and three foot, they cut it at half a foot from the ground, and then take that which is cut and put it into great Pits with Lime, which becometh so hard, that the Pits seem to be but one piece of Marble. These Pits are ordinarily about fourscore Pa­ces about, they fill them half or a little more with water, and then continue to fill them with [Page 125] the green of this Tree, and every day stir the whole till it settleth and be­cometh like to mudde or clay, or clay mixed with water; afterwards they let the whole stand for some dayes, and then let out the water of the Pits. When all the water is out, they take the mudde or settlement in their hands, and having steeped it in Oil, they form great or small pie­ces, according to their fancy, and drie them in the Sun. To deceive the Merchant, they set them some­times to dry upon the sand, that so the sand sticking to them, they may weigh the heavier; but they pay well for it, when this deceit cometh to the knowledge of the Governour. This Tree is cut three times, but the oftner it is cut the Indico becom­eth of less value, and there is more than twenty in the hundred diffe­rence in the price, the latter giving [Page 126] not so much colour as the first. The best Indico cometh from Biana, from Indoua, and from Corsa, three Vil­lages at a day or a day and halfs jour­ney from Agra, and it is that which is made up into Balls. Eight dayes journey from Surat and two leagues from Amadabat, there is a Village cal­led Sarquesse, from whence the flat dico cometh; there groweth also In­dico of the same nature with the last, and near the same price, in the King­dom of Golconda: it is also brought out of the West, from the Isles of Antilles, where they make it ve­ry much after the same manner as in the East.

Saltpeter cometh in great quantity from Agra and Patena, from whence it is brought twenty dayes journey down the Ganges, to a place where the English and Holland Merchants come to lade.

[Page 127]Great quantity of Silk cometh from Bengala and thereabouts, which is the best Countrey of India, there cometh also great abundance from the Province of Gillon or ancient Hircania in Persia, and from Sicily.

Gumme Lacca is brought from the Kingdom of Bengala, but the best cometh out of Pegu. A sort of Ants carry this Gumme and fasten it about wild Shrubs, from whence is made great quantity of Wax.

Sal Armoniac cometh from Ama­dabat, one of the greatest places of Traffick in the Indies, for Stuffs of Gold and Silk, as also Tapistry and other Works as beautiful as in Per­sia, but their Colours hold not so long. There cometh also from thence great quantity of Linnen, of Painted Cottons, which are carried into Persia, Arabia, to the Abis­sines, to the Red Sea, to the Isles [Page 128] [...] Madagascar, Sumatra, Java, [...]assar, to the Molucka's, and into Europe, and it would be the greatest [...]ading Town of all the Indies, if [...]at Surate did not equal it.

As for Spices, viz. Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, and Ginger, the greatest quantity of them is brought from the Molucka Islands, about the Ae­q [...]at [...]r.

Cinnamon cometh from the Island of Ceylon, not to speak of the Isles of Antilles, which do also furnish us with Ginger.

This is all I have at present col­lected of what is remarkable in the modern and faithful Relations of our Travellers upon the Subject of Jew­ [...] and other rich Productions of which I have given a short Account, [...] a Plat-form for a greater Work.


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