As cultural artifacts, gems can reflect the technology and the values of the civilizations that celebrated them, from carved Moghul emeralds to Chinese burial suits made from jade. “Each one says something about the skill of the artisans, and the values of the societies that produced them,” said Duncan Pay, editor-in-chief of the Gemological Institute of America’s quarterly peer-reviewed journal, Gems & Gemology. “Natural gems really are tiny sparks wrought from the depths of the Earth. They’re (also) invested with the spirit and energy of the men and women who mined them.”