It was a small back alley that my indian colleague brought us to, and we were also in a smaller city, not a major one like Delhi or Mumbai, so the shop was tiny with about 3 artisans in the back. I did ask him if it was normal pricing, and he shared that these are the prices so locals can afford them. The stones were locally sourced from within India, in Agra and Jaipur, some of the more exotic ones came from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It was not expensive at all, which became an equaliser as I had no plans at all to buy gems or jewellery on a work trip! Each ring was about $40, there were some raw ones, but these were precut to save time, and they are set in silver. No 925 stamped, which does make me doubt it - as also pure silver tends to turn my skin green. I guess it is a happy compromise that it has not discoloured my finger at least - even my engagement band is stainless steel. Next to my engagement band above, it has the slightest warm tinge - not as "blue" as stainless steel.
The workmanship is not perfect, but I quite like the quality of the hand and some imperfections. I did stick around to see one of the rings being mounted, set and incorporated by a young apprentice of the master jeweller. Most guys and ladies there have a ring or two with a stone - it seems to be local culture, so it was just another run of the mill ring for the young apprentice. All the rings (3 others were bought by another colleague) were ready in about 4 hours.
I wished we had more time in the shop, but I went with the ones I had the best feeling about, and my mom was pleased to receive it! She said she did want something that was darker for a while now, as her other purple stones have paled or lightened slightly over time - so it was good synchronicity. Even the ring size was a perfect match, that was the part I was worried about the most.
We did end up visiting a higher end jeweller in Delhi, and saw the same stones there, but they were more refined in their cuts. There was one which was hard enough to receive the full number of cuts which was 64. It almost carried its own light, really beautiful and amazing. These four below were pale but very refined compared to the one I got, haha.
Clockwise from top: Pale Amethyst, Yellow Sapphire, Aquamarine, Imperial Topaz.
I am still building the connection with it, I sleep with it on, along with my usual combination of sleep affirmations or binaural beats. I am unsure about "charging" it as it can supposedly fade the colour when exposed to the sun - but another source also mentioned the yellow, orange, imperial topazes are of the Solar/Sun energy, so information has been contradictory.
One characteristic I do keep seeing being repeated many times is that it is a manifesting stone.
Thanks for sharing, Firebird - and may a beautiful yellow topaz find its way to you too! <3 <3 <3