ARTICLES: What Are Upratnas or Semi-Precious Gemstones

What Are Upratnas or Semi-Precious Gemstones

What Are Upratnas, Semi-Precious Gemstones, Super alternative gemstones & Do they work astrologically?

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A frequent question that I often see addressed to Gemstoneuniverse and also the one that has been asked to me countless times : Do Upratnas Work? If they do, how effective are they? Can they be considered equally effective as the Navaratanas? Before we dwell into answers of the above questions we should be very clear about what exactly is an Upratna or Uparatana?


Definition of an Upratna?

An Upratna is a superior substitute to a Navratna- one of the Nine precious Gemstones. I frankly do not like calling a Gemstones Semi- precious, though some do, purely from the point of view of convenience. However, do note that a Gem Quality and a Jyotish Quality Semi Precious Gemstone is a valuable Gemstone.

The important thing here being- Gem Quality and Jyotish Quality . Even though Indian sacred texts list the use of 84 such semi precious Gemstones, my attempt here is to share information about those substitute gemstones that deliver the best results. This is based on experience and statistical results of many years.

What are the Navratnas?

The Nine Primary planetary Gemstones prescribed in the Shastras (sacred texts) are called the Navratnas (literally translated means nine gems). These are listed below:

The Navratnas-Nine Primary Gemstones Planet Gem Name( English) Gem Name( Hindi)
1. Sun Ruby Manikya
2. Moon Pearl Moti
3. Mars Red Coral Moonga
4. Mercury Emerald Panna
5. Jupiter Yellow Sapphire Pukhraj
6. Venus Diamond Vajramani/ Heera
7. Saturn Blue Sapphire Neelam
8. Rahu Hessonite Gomed
9. Ketu Cat’s Eye Lehsunia/ vaidurya


You will find this list on more than 100,000 websites.

So what is the point of making this list yet again?

Well, it is relevant to our discussion. If you look at the list closely – Pearl, Red Coral, Hessonite and Cat’s Eye are classified in the gem trade as Semi Precious Gemstones for the sake of convenience, whereas the description of Shastras is accurate, factual – these are among the Nine Precious Gemstones representing the Nine Planets. All these Navratanas have to be gem quality and Jyotish quality to deliver planetary results.

Please make note that in the Shastras the term Semi-Precious (or allusion to a category indicating monetary value) does NOT exist.

Listed in the sacred texts are Upratnas – Superior Substitute Gemstones to be used in lieu of the 9 primary precious Gemstones for getting planetary energies and benefits. And this is what is exactly meant by Upratnas.

In the Indian sacred texts 84 Upratana s have been mentioned. Each of them is used for achievement of an objective or a desire, for resolution for a medical condition, for wealth, for attracting the right partner and for different planets.

Here I shall mention those, which are the best Uparatna s for the nine planetary gemstones. Even though, the efficacy of Agates/ Haqiq , Malachite/ Dana Firang etc.are legendary, we shall restrict our discussion to the Uparatna s of the nine planetary gemstones.


Best Upratna s/ Best Substitute Gemstones for Planetary Energies Planet Upratna of 1 st Choice Upratna of 2 nd Choice
1. Sun Red Garnet Spinel
2. Moon Blue Moonstone White Moonstone
3. Mars Carnelian Red Agate
4. Mercury Peridot None
5. Jupiter Yellow Topaz* Heliodor
6. Venus White Sapphire White Zircon**/White Topaz
7. Saturn Iolite Amethyst
8. Rahu Lapis Lazuli None
9. Ketu Cat’s eye quartz None


* Yellow Topaz is precious and rare and in many instances gives results that are as potent as a Yellow Sapphire. It should not be confused with abundantly available and much lesser priced Citrine, which does NOT give results as a Yellow Sapphire alternative.

** Colorless Top Quality treatment-free Zircon is a potent Uparatana and gives good results. It is often mistakenly called as Jerkin, Zarcan by ill-informed individuals.

*** In the columns marked none – I have not found any gemstone that bought in superior results.

What we have here is a list of 14 gemstones out of 84 choices . These are the best alternatives and deliver results that are satisfactory. I have mentioned only those, which I have noticed delivering quantifiable results first hand. Others also do work but the effect is not quite comparable to these.


Moving on to the second part of the query – Are they effective? And can they be considered as effective as Navratnas?

Yes, upratnas are effective and they provide good results provided they are GEM quality and Jyotish Quality . If Not, Then no results.

The demand of Jewellery industry are so high that today most of the market is flooded with Semi Precious Gemstones – not necessarily Upratnas (Read what actually are Uparatnas above) that go through several treatments such as radiation, dyeing etc. to improve appearance. Treated Gemstones will give no results for Jyotish Purposes.


Jyotish Quality= Gem Quality + Free from Treatment + Free from any kind of flaws listed in the sacred texts.

Where Gem Quality means that a Gem excels on the all 4C’s of C ut, C olor, C larity and C arat weight.

Are Uparatanas as effective as the Nine Primary Gemstones?

Well, there is no unit of measure or yardstick where the results between delivered by them can be compared. Here’s an example to help you understand better – if we were to travel from point A to point B, we could do that by an aeroplane or on a motorcycle.

You can compare the results of Jyotish Quality Navratnas as that of an aeroplane and that of Jyotish quality Upratna s as that of a motorcycle. The important part is that they get the job done that is to traverse the distance and reach point B.

Upratna s create miracles and are a fantastic starting point for Gem Therapy. Some of them such as Peridot and Yellow Topaz have many extra benefits in addition to the planetary benefits.

Mull on this – Gem quality Green Jade( Jadeite), mentioned as one of the Upratnas among the 84 that find mention in the sacred texts is known as Sang-E-Yashab ( Classified as Semi Precious in some trade circles) and is excellent for heart health, is sometimes more expensive per carat than a Ruby, Sapphire or an Emerald. In case you happen to try an upratna and it spins some magic for you, You would be inseparable from your talisman, rendering your upratna invaluable. Therefore, there are no precious and semiprecious gems – just gemstones!

A small prayer for you, which you should also recite for yourself, your loved ones and the whole universe

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah = may all be happy
Sarve santu niramayah = may all be free from disease
Sarve bhadrani pashyantu = may all see good and auspicious in everything.
Ma kaschit duhkha bhaag bhaveet - may none be unhappy or in distress
Om shantih, shantih, shantih -Om peace, peace, peace!

With Blessings, Love and Peace


Guruji Shrii Arnav-Vedic Guru Guruji Shrii Arnav-Vedic Guru


Guruji Shrii Arnav- Vedic Guru is also an internationally acclaimed planetary gemmologist. An Accredited Jewelry Professional from the Gemmological Institute of America at present he is the chief mentor of and . He is also the chief Horoscope columnist of Deccan Herald - A leading Indian English daily.

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