This article was originally posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller website in 2002, and reprinted in the June/July 2014 issue.
Ordinary jewelry depends on the ambient light for its best appearance. BioJewels, produced by several corporations, depend on the wearer’s lifesigns, instead, providing an ever-changing reflection of the wearer’s physical state, and indirectly his/her mental and/or emotional state as well. Although popular in their own right as costume jewelry, they have also proven to be useful to medical professionals such as personal doctors and nurses who need to monitor their patient continuously but unobtrusively, when the patient is in the public eye.
BioJewels are composed of a substrate that contains both a reprogrammable sensor and an electronically-sensitive material that reacts to the sensor signal by glowing. The sensor portion is generally reprogrammable for both metric and signal strength with the appropriate equipment by an individual with computer-2. The substrate can be produced to match the appearance of most precious stones, but cannot be changed after production.
Most jewelers on worlds of TL11+ (B+) that sell BioJewels are equipped for reprogramming, generally at a cost of Cr100-200 and one hour of time per jewel to be reprogrammed. On worlds of TL10- (A-), reprogramming will generally not be available.
When activated, the BioJewel glows at an intensity proportional to the strength of the incoming signal. Clear-substrate BioJewels can also be programmed to change color based on signal strength; colored-substrate BioJewels are limited to changes of hue (for example, a red-substrate BioJewel can be made to vary from orange to maroon, but cannot be made to glow green or blue).
BioJewels (TL12 In)
Wholesale Cr200/gram, vol. negl. (5t/m3), lot size 0-5kg
Retail Cr1000/gram, volume negl.
BioJewel Sensor Reprogrammer (TL12 In)
Wholesale Cr7500, mass 5kg, volume 3000 cm3
Referee’s Note: Use the wholesale prices listed when determining the cost for purchasing as speculative cargo or when selling to a gem dealer. Use the retail prices listed for sales to end-users.