From Mine to Market: Mapping Venetian Contributions to Early Modern Global Gem Trade

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Gems and jewels serve as objects of personal adornment, markers of social status, symbols of civic pride, and, of course, emblems of spiritual belief, all while serving as currency in their own right. Yet, such usage and meanings come to be attached to the stones only after the objects enter the secondary marketplace.  This website maps key locations of the early modern gem market, including diamondsfrom  Golconda, sapphires from Sri Lanka, rubies from  Myanmar, and emeraldsfrom Colombia. It likewise illustrates the journeys of several prominent early modern Venetians, including Gasparo Balbi, Cesare de' Federici and Ambrosio Bembo - who traveled the globe in search of precious stones.