Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Precious stones
(860 words)

Like other “Oriental” luxuries in the Middle Ages, Asian precious stones – diamonds from India, rubies from Ceylon and Siam – mostly reached Europe through the Venetian Levant trade. By the end of the Middle Ages, Venice was sourcing most of its gemstone imports from Aleppo (Syria) and Alexandria (Egypt). Advances in processing now won the diamond notable popularity in Europe. Diamond polishers, attested from the 15th century in Venice, Bruges, Paris, and Antwerp, brought out the transparency of the natural crystal…

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Häberlein, Mark, “Precious stones”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_018517>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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