The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Jewelry,
Precious Metals & Gems


The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens. ~Author unknown

These gems have life in them: their colors speak,
Say what words fail of. So do many things—
The scent of jasmine, and the fountain's plash,
The moving shadows on the far-off hills,
The slanting moonlight, and our clasping hands...
~George Eliot, "The Spanish Gypsy," 1864–1868

Truth is the diamond of the soul, as its pearl is purity and its ruby love, while the topaz is knowledge, and the sapphire wisdom. ~Ouina (Cora L. V. Scott Richmond), given through her Medium "Water Lily," "Diamond Drops," Ouina's Canoe, 1882

...we are pleasantly dazzled by the burnished silver, and the chased gold, the rings of wedlock and the costly love ornaments, glistening at the window of the jeweller... ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Little Annie's Ramble," Twice-Told Tales, 1837

As a girl of twenty-two who can play golf, and swim, and steer a boat, and run an automobile, I care little whether my dress is a dream, my hair a poem, or my suitor a prince. And yet — and yet, I have at times a frightful hankering after luxury and jewels. It's in the blood, I suppose. Ah, me! ~Laura L. Livingstone (Herbert Dickinson Ward), Lauriel: The Love Letters of an American Girl, 1901  [a little altered —tg]

Let us still believe that the nerves proceed from the heart, and not from the brain, and that the heart is the seat of consciousness, and that the ring-finger is (as Aulus Gellius asserts) in the most direct communication with it! ~John Evans, "Posy-Rings," 1892

The three rings of marriage are the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering. ~Author unknown

The jewel, which is so well adapted to a woman's adornment, is a combination of the riches of nature and art; it is concentrated brilliancy, the quintessence of light.... In the bowels of the earth, in the deserted channels of exhausted torrents, in the gloomy depths of the mineral world, stars are concealed that rival in their beauty those of the firmament. The fresh splendours of dawn, the sun's incandescent rays, the magnificent sunsets, the brilliant colours of the rainbow, all are found enclosed in a morsel of pure carbon or in the centre of a stone.... uniting as though urged by the secret instinct of the beautiful, to compose prismatic forms of astonishing regularity... ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875

All the luminous the coloured spectacles which the world in the immensity of space can offer us, nature has produced in miniature amongst precious stones. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

The ruby encloses the brilliant red of the clouds of evening... ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

[T]he sapphire... is a concentration of azure. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

The emerald condenses the green of the meadows and certain aspects of the ocean. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

The topaz is a miniature reproduction of the rich gold which illumines the setting sun. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

The aquamarine... has the glassy tint of the waves of the sea. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

The violet of the amethyst represents the deep purple shade of the heavens... ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

[T]he hyacinth is like the tints of dawn passing from saffron to orange. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

How much art and science, and what attention, what care is necessary to render the sun-beams which are imprisoned in a tiny polyhedron of pure carbon, brilliant and sparkling! ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French

With the annexions of fair gems enrich'd,
And deep-brain'd sonnets that did amplify
Each stone's dear nature, worth, and quality.
'The diamond,—why, 'twas beautiful and hard,
Whereto his invised properties did tend;
The deep-green emerald, in whose fresh regard
Weak sights their sickly radiance do amend;
The heaven-hued sapphire and the opal blend
With objects manifold: each several stone,
With wit well blazon'd, smiled or made some moan.
~William Shakespeare, "A Lover’s Complaint," c. 1609

If wisdom and diamonds grew on the same tree we could soon tell how much men loved wisdom. ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is the Bible Worth Reading and Other Essays, 1911

Pins never unfit you
you can wear them your whole life
~Ruth Krauss (1901–1993), Open House for Butterflies, 1960

He would often spend a whole day settling and resettling in their cases the various stones that he had collected, such as the olive-green chrysoberyl that turns red by lamplight, the cymophane with its wire-like line of silver, the pistachio-coloured peridot, rose-pink and wine-yellow topazes, carbuncles of fiery scarlet with tremulous four-rayed stars, flame-red cinnamon-stones, orange and violet spinels, and amethysts with their alternate layers of ruby and sapphire. He loved the red gold of the sunstone, and the moonstone's pearly whiteness, and the broken rainbow of the milky opal. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890

I have a collar of pearls... On the ivory breast of a queen they have rested... I have topazes, yellow as are the eyes of tigers, and topazes that are pink as the eyes of a wood-pigeon, and green topazes that are as the eyes of cats. I have opals that burn always, with a flame that is cold as ice, opals that make sad men's minds, and are afraid of the shadows. ~Oscar Wilde, "Salomé," 1891

[T]he diamond and other precious stones are focuses of light, and essences of colour which seem expressly created to ornament on a small scale the human body with all the splendours which adorn the universe on a large scale. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875

You don't want a million answers as much as you want a few forever questions. The questions are diamonds you hold in the light. Study a lifetime and you see different colors from the same jewel. ~Richard Bach, Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit, 1994

[R]est thee now,
And may some kind God smooth thy wrinkled brow.
Behold to-morrow comes, and thou art young,
Nor on one string are all life's jewels strung...
~William Morris, The Life and Death of Jason: A Poem, 1867

A large brilliant sapphire, cut in the shape of a heart, was clasped round by two golden hands. The token of love and union. ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882

Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
More than quick words do move a woman's mind.
~William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, c.1594  [III, 1, Valentine]

My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
~William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part III, c.1590  [III, 1, Henry VI]

I don't want to own anything until I know I've found the place where me and things belong together.  I'm not quite sure where that is just yet.  But I know what it's like.... It's like Tiffany's.... Not that I give a hoot about jewelry.  Diamonds, yes.  But it's tacky to wear diamonds before you're forty...  ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly

Vouchsafe to wear this ring...
Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
~William Shakespeare, Richard III, c.1592  [I, 2, Richard III, to Lady Anne]

Not for the world: why, man, she is mine own,
And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
The water nectar and the rocks pure gold.
~William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, c.1594  [II, 4, Valentine]

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