Gem Facts – Ratti
What is Ratti? You always wanted to know, but did not know who to ask!
Ratti Measure Unit ⇒ Gunchi, Gunja Seed or Ratti Seed.
Gunja Seed: Common name: Coral bead vine, Rosary pea, गुंची Gunchi (Hindi), गुंजा Gunjaa (Sanskrit), गुलगुंजी Gulugunji (Kannada), गुंच Gunch (Bengali), Ratti रत्ती (Gujarati), குந்து மணி kundu maNi (Tamil), गुंज Gunja (Marathi)
Botanical name: Abrus precatorius Family: Fabaceae (pea family). Source: Wikipedia
What is the difference between “Ratti” the old Indian measure unit for gems and the modern day metric unit of “Gram”?
Panini, Sanskrit grammarian (c500 BCE) in his treatise Astdhyayi wrote about coins and various fractions suggesting that the concept of coins existed prior to 500 BCE.
He mentioned Satamanas (sata= 100, manas = units) and Karshapana (sub-fraction). Each unit was called “Ratti” weighing 0.11 grams. Ratti was average weight of a Gunja seed (a bright red seed with a black tip – see the picture below):
1 Masha ⇒ 8 Ratti ⇒ 1 Gram ⇒ 4.8 Carats ⇒ 1 Ratti = 0.6 Carat