The Garuda Purana (Garuḍa purāṇa) is a smriti Purana (smṛti, Hindu customary law). Its first part contains a dialog between Vishnu and Garuda, the King of Birds. The second half contains details of life after death, funeral rites and the metaphysics of reincarnation....
Sutji, once narrated the following tale to the assembled sages which sheds light on the origin of jewels and other precious stones -
‘ During ancient times there lived a mighty demon named Bala. Although he had defeated the deities and driven them out from the heaven, yet he had assured them that he would extend fullest cooperation and support in any yagya performed by deities in future. All the deities planned to perform a ‘Yagya’ in order to regain their lost kingdom. They made all the necessary preparations for the Yagya but were unable to find a person who could offer himself as a ‘sacrificial being’- a ritual without which any yagya is incomplete.’
‘Seeing no other option, the worried deities took refuge of ‘Balasur’ and requested him to offer himself for sacrifice so that the yagya could be accomplished without any hitch. Balasur was bound by his promise so he agreed. This way, the deities were able to accomplish their yagya. But, a strange event coincided with the death of Balasur, which surprised even the deities. The virtuous deed of offering himself as a sacrificial being in the yagya ceremony had amazingly transformed Balasur’s corpse into jewels. Deities tried to carry the ‘Jewel-body’ through the aerial route towards a safer place, but it was fragmented into countless pieces due to the impact of ferocious speed of the wind it had to negotiate. These pieces scattered all over the places- ocean, rivers, Mountains, Forests, etc. In course of time these places got transformed into countless mines of jewels and precious stones such as Vajra (diamond), Muktamani, Indraneel, Sphatik, Prawal, Pushparag and many more.