GET BACK, COPYCAT*
Apparently famous father and prominent Buddhist Robert Thurman wears the same ring I do -- except instead of buying his from a Kashmiri in Kovalam, his was custom-made in Cali six months ago, of 22-karat gold. He calls it a Kundan - I call it a Navratna - and wears his as a wedding ring.
From the annoyingly coy "Possessed" column in Sunday's New York Times (it's *interesting* that he agreed to talk to them, considering how the Buddhists go on about non-attachment and egolessness and whatnot):
"... about six months ago, the couple were in Los Angeles visiting a friend who is a jewelry designer. She wore a pendant around her neck.
“I said, ‘That looks like a mandala,’” he recalled. “She said, ‘No, it’s a kundan.’ It’s something that protects you from the malevolent influences of the planets.” Shaped like a gold flower, a kundan is a charm set with nine stones, one for each of seven heavenly bodies — the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — and two more for the “lunar nodes....”
Though unperturbed about planetary interference, Mr. Thurman asked his friend to make him a kundan on a 22-karat ring."
It is reassuring to know that even the rich and famous lose their stones, too:
"It did not take long, though, for chaos to reassert itself. Sure enough, the topaz has gone missing. Informed that the yellow stone is said to represent fate, he shot back: 'Ah, the gem of destiny. No wonder I lost my way.'"
*Growing up in lily-white McHenry, I thought this was the title of the Elton John song. I'd never heard the word "honky"... although the N-word was bandied about quite a bit.