His skill as a working lapidary was very great; and he prepared a number of lenses of garnet and other precious stones, which he preferred to the achromatic microscopes of the time.
These qualities alone have made it supreme as a jewel since early times, and yet the real brilliancy of the stone is not displayed until it has been faceted by the art of the lapidary; and this was scarcely developed before the year 1746.
The following are some of the most famous diamonds of the world: - A large stone found in the Golconda mines and said to have weighed 787 carats in the rough, before being cut by a Venetian lapidary, was seen in the treasury of Aurangzeb in 1665 by Tavernier, who estimated its weight after cutting as 280 (?) carats, and described it as a rounded rose-cut-stone, tall on one side.
But these were used almost exclusively for lapidary inscriptions.
Especial mention should be made of the ceremony of purifying the grove, which was held to be defiled by the felling of trees, the breaking of a bough or the presence of any iron tools, such as those used by the lapidary who engraved the records of the proceedings on stone.