Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page 169
AND MALABAR COASTS.
as much esteemed amongst the Indians as rubies. And all these stones are all gathered in by the king, and sold by himself. And he has men who go and dig for them in the mountains and shores of the rivers, who are great lapidaries and who are good judges in those matters : so much so that if they have a few handfuls of earth brought them from the mountain, at once on seeing it they know if it is of rubies or of any other stones, and where it comes from. And the king sends them to look there, and after they have brought them he orders to set aside each kind, and pick out the good ones, and he has them worked to have them sold when cut, which he does himself to foreigners; and the other inferior ones he sells at once to the country merchants. These rubies which grow here, for the most part, are not of so brilliant a colour as those which grow in Ava and Capelam, of which mention will be made further on ; and some which come out perfect in colour are much more highly prized by the Indians than those of Paygu, because they say that they are stronger. And in order to make them of a deeper colour they put them into the fire. These lapidaries whom the king has near him, on seeing a stone before it is cut, say: this ruby will endure so many hours of fire, and will remain very good. And the king risks it, and orders it to be put in a very strong charcoal fire for that space of time which the lapidary has mentioned to him: and if it endures it without danger, it comes out more perfect in colour, and is worth very much. And all the other stones are found and worked in the same manner: and some stones are found which are half ruby and half sapphire, and others half topaze and half sapphires, and also catas eyes. The king has a great treasure of these jewels, for whenever he meets with any very good stone he puts it in his treasury.
Close to this island of Ceylam in the sea there is a sand-
same as in this MS. The whole of this passage is much shortened in the Lisbon edition.same as in this MS. The whole of this passage is much shortened in the Lisbon edition.