OUTLANDER Links, Part VII: Gemstones

Here are some pictures of the various types of gemstones described in the OUTLANDER books, along with my favorite gemstone-related quotes. Hope you enjoy them!
Black Diamond
1. Black diamonds. Here's an article (and short video) on the possible origins of the black diamond ("carbonado"), referred to in the OUTLANDER books as an "adamant":

"You have the adamant," I said, touching it gently. It was still cool to the touch, in spite of being worn so close to his body.

"I have," he said, but he was looking at me, not at the stone, a slight smile on his face. "What is it an adamant gives ye? The knowledge of joy in all things?"

"So I was told." I lifted my hand to his face and stroked it lightly, feeling hard bone and lively flesh, warm to the touch, and joyful to behold above all things.

(From Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 63, "Out of the Depths". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

2. Chrysoberyl

Jamie seized my neglected forceps from the table, plucked the object delicately from my hand, and dropped it into my glass of water. A delicate plume of ash and soot floated up through the water to form a dusty gray film on the surface. Below, the object glittered up at us, serene and glowing, its beauty at last revealed. A faceted clear stone, the color of golden sherry, half the size of my thumbnail.

"Chrysoberyl," Jamie said softly, a hand on my back. He looked at Mandy's basket, the silky black curls lifting gently in the breeze. "D'ye think it will serve?"

(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 115, "Nosepicker". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

3. Emerald (image © Gemological Institute of America)
[Jamie] took a deep breath and picked up the emerald, a crudely faceted stone the size of his thumbnail. "Put out your hand, a bhailach."

Brianna looked as though she wanted to protest, but bit her lower lip, and encouraged Jemmy to do as his grandfather asked. He took the stone, still looking suspicious, but then the look of wariness faded into a smile as he looked down at the stone.

"Pretty rock!"

(From The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 109, "The Voice of Time". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

4. Garnets
(image © Gemological Institute of America)
Garnets rest in love about my neck. I will be faithful.

(From Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 40, "Virgin Sacrifice". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

5. Moonstones
(image © Gemological Institute of America)
He held the dirk by the blade, upright so that the rising sun caught the moonstone in the hilt and made it glow. Holding the dagger like a crucifix, he recited something in Gaelic. I recognized it from the oath-taking ceremony in Colum's hall, but he followed it with the English translation for my benefit:

"I swear on the cross of my lord Jesus, and by the holy iron which I hold, that I give ye my fealty and pledge ye my loyalty. If ever my hand is raised against you in rebellion or in anger, then I ask that this holy iron may pierce my heart."

(From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 22 ("Reckonings"). Copyright © 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

6. Opal (image © Gemological Institute of America)
"They do say that opals are unlucky stones, Sassenach." I thought he was joking, but he looked uneasy. A widely traveled, well-educated man, still he had been born a Highlander, and I knew he had a deeply superstitious streak, though it didn't often show.

Ha, I thought to myself. You've spent the night with a ghost and you think he's superstitious?

"Nonsense," I said, with rather more conviction than I felt. "It's only a rock."

(From Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 23 ("The Skull Beneath the Skin"). Copyright © 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

7. Ruby
"Oh, I forgot! I still have your ring." I drew it out and gave it back to him. It was a heavy gold circlet, set with a cabochon ruby. Instead of replacing it on his finger, he opened his sporran to put it inside.

"It was my father's wedding ring," he explained. "I dinna wear it customarily, but I...well, I wished to do ye honor today by looking as well as I might."

(From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 15 ("Revelations of the Bridal Chamber"). Copyright © 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

8. Sapphire (image © Gemological Institute of America)
[Lord John] glanced at his left hand, which bore a broad gold band, set with a brilliant, faceted sapphire. Hector's ring. Given to him by his first lover at the age of sixteen....Without hesitation, but with some difficulty--the ring had been worn a long time, and had sunk a little way into the flesh of his finger--he twisted it off and dropped it into Jamie's hand.

(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 118, "Regret". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

9. Turquoise (image © Gemological Institute of America)
"Stones of protection; amethyst, emerald, turquoise, lapis lazuli, and a male ruby."

(From Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 60, "The Scent of Gemstones". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
If you find these links interesting, check out my previous "OUTLANDER Links" blog entries:

OUTLANDER Links, Part 14: 18th Century Clothing
OUTLANDER Links, Part 13: Plants and Herbs
OUTLANDER Links, Part 12: Standing Stones
OUTLANDER Links, Part 11: Science and Technology
OUTLANDER Links, Part 10: Weaponry
OUTLANDER Links, Part 9: Historical Events
OUTLANDER Links, Part 8: 18th Century Medicine
OUTLANDER Links, Part VI: Wildlife
OUTLANDER Links, Part V: Castles and Palaces
OUTLANDER Links, Part IV: Native Americans
OUTLANDER Links, Part III: All Things Scottish
OUTLANDER Links, Part II: Colonial North Carolina
OUTLANDER Links, Part I: Culloden
What Do These Things Look Like?


Stunned By Stone said...

What gorgeous gems!

Mitzi H. said...

Did you find out if there is such a thing as a (male) ruby??? Hehehe.

App said...

The first one, the black diamond, could also refer to what is known as the Alaska Black Diamond or more commonly known as Hematite.

Your example quote mentions adamant, which according to Wikipedia could have been a diamond but it's an archaic term referring to any very hard substance, including diamonds, other hard gems, and even metals.

Or depending on the era in which the quote refers to, it could also have been a magnet.

Karen Henry said...

Mitzi - LOL! No, I have no idea whether the "male" ruby really exists or whether it was a figment of Geillie's imagination. <g> But if anyone else knows, please say so! (BTW, the ruby pictured here is a "cabochon", like the one in Jamie's father's ring.)

App - Well, in the books, the terms "black diamond" and "adamant" are used interchangeably. I have no particular knowledge of gemstones myself; these are just some pictures I happened to find. I could certainly be wrong about this one. <shrug>

Unknown said...

I love the stones and I love the books.
Can't wait to get my hands on the new one :)

Thanks for the beautiful little reminders that you gave me with the text quotes :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for this information and pics matched with the quotes from the books! Well done. It's nice to have a good visual as you read. Lovely gemstones. Who wouldn't love to wear Jamie's cabochon ruby! LOL.


hungeryjack said...

Nice post - gemstones pictures ..Keep Posting

gemstones pictures

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