Books on Gems and Gemstones

Want some more information on gems and gemstones? Its a fascinating study, the stories of the great gems, the great gem mines and the men who worked them. Collecting gems is an exciting hobby. Here is the information you need to learn if you want to collect certain varieties of jewelry or gemstones. Here are Chris' recommendations for some great books to guide you in the world of gems. Learn about the types of gems out there, their lore and history, how they occur and what a real bargain price would be. Start building your library today! Click on the links below to check the price and to buy a copy of the book from Amazon, the link will take you directly there.

Gemstone Buying Guide, Second Edition: How to Evaluate, Identify, Select & Care for Colored Gems
-- by Renee Newman

Renee Newman is a well known gemologist and expert in the field. This book was written for both consumers and professionals, and the guide gives pointers on how to buy gemstones, with advice on price comparison, quality evaluation, fake stones, gem treatments, and gem cleaning and care. This second edition includes 281 gemstone and related photos. There is also a new section on optical effects.

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Smithsonian Handbooks Gemstones
- by Cally Hall, Harry Taylor;

The Smithsonian's clear and concise, easy to read guide to gems. Excellent photographs of a wide variety of gems, this is a very populat book. A great primer for those unfamiliar with all the different types of stones that are out there, and a good reference for those who are more knowledgeable. An excellent tool for jewelers and designers to use with customers. Highly recommended.

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Gemstones of the World, Revised Edition
by Walter Schumann

With a million copies in print, here comes an even larger, more up-to-date version of the most complete reference book ever published on the subject. All the gemstones ever discovered are treated in their many variations. More than 1,500 full-color photos showcase each precious and semiprecious stone in all its singular glory--in both its rough natural state and its polished and cut renditions. Each entry offers complete information on a gemstone's formation and structure, physical properties and characteristics, methods of working, cutting, and polishing. Learn about the best known, including amethyst and diamond. Find full treatments of lesser-known gems, from andalusite to vesuvianite. A special section is devoted to rocks as precious stones, including alabaster, onyx, obsidian, and fossils. Organic gem materials are also covered, such as coral, ivory, amber, and pearl, plus new on the market stones like charoite. This is truly the ultimate one-volume book every hobbyist, jeweler, jewelry maker and rockhound will ever need! Highly recommended.

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Encyclopedia of Rocks, Minerals, and Gemstones
by Henry Russell, Chris Pellant

Rocks, minerals, and gemstones have fascinated people through the ages. They have been used as decoration, and have often been attributed special powers. This book, arranged in alphabetical format, describes 288 different rocks, minerals, and gems. Each entry includes beautiful color photographs, describes where the material is found, basic facts, how it is used, and some interesting information about its uses, myths, and legends.


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Colored Gemstones--The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide : How to Select, Buy, Care for & Enjoy Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies and Other Colored Gems with Confidence and Knowledge
by Antoinette L. Matlins

A leading authority in gems and gem care, Matlins has issued two additional titles in her "buying guide" series. Colored Gemstones covers traditional background information and the allure of precious and semiprecious stones, including emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and others. The text and appendixes include charts, graphs, and a guide for purchasing and valuing stones, as well as advice on gem care and how to avoid scams. Color inserts highlight stones by color and showcase special jewelry design and styles. Diamonds focuses on the unique quality of this special gem. The text offers advice on appreciating diamonds, their qualities and characteristics, and setting and purchasing details. Color inserts highlight shapes and settings that accent the beauty of this gem of all gems.

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Turquoise Unearthed: An Illustrated Guide
by Joe Dan Lowry, Joe P. Lowry

A really great book on Turquoise, the history of its use here in the US, and especially of the classic mines that produce very fine gem turquoise which are located right here in the Western USA. This book has my stamp of approval and an honored place in my library Its highly recommended. In the American Southwest, turquoise is a highly prized gemstone with great cultural significance and author Joe Dan Lowry is recognized worldwide as a leading expert on the subject. This book is  the definitive resource for rock hounds and serious collectors alike. This lavishly illustrated volume also features some of the finest examples of antique and contemporary Southwest Indian turquoise jewelry.

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Identification of Gemstones
by Michael O'Donoghue, Louise, Dr. Joyner

A comprehensive reference guide to gem and ornamental materials, this book deals with each gem species, outlining all the features a gem tester has to know before making an identification. The experienced author team describe not only each natural gem species, but also their synthetic counterparts, and the materials used as imitations, demonstrating how to avoid potentially costly mistakes. End of chapter summaries, details of further reading, and the companion web site combine to provide all the support needed by professional gemmologists, antique and gemstone dealers, jewellers and students.

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Synthetic, Imitation and Treated Gemstones
by Michael O'Donoghue

This book is designed to help gemstone and jewelry buyers determine man-made from natural gemstones and ornamental materials, pointing out tell-tale features of fakes that can be observed with simple instruments. Contains chapters on specific gem species, discussing the nature of each material, features that can be observed with a 10-X lens, and basic principles of testing with standard gemological instruments. Also covers the rarer artificial materials. Includes color photos.

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by Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Robert C. Kammerling

A comprehensive introduction to gems for dealers, jewelers, and hobbyists. This textbook treats the study of gems as a science, explaining the origin and occurrence of gem minerals; their chemical, crystallographic, physical, and optical properties, along with details of the instruments and methods for measuring them. Also covered are gem synthesis, enhancement, and fashioning; and imitation and assembled stones. A number of new gem minerals or new forms of previously described minerals recently discovered are documented in this book for the first time. A bit more expensive that other texts, but it is of high quality and very well researched and detailed.

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Gems and Jewelry: All Color Guide
by Joel E. Arem

Arem, a well known gemologist, mineralogist, author, and photographer, writes clearly and concisely about the many kind of gems which are used for jewelry and ornamental purposed, including popular mineral species, organic gems, decorative stones, collector's gems, and man-made gems. The consumer is introduced to gems by a discussion of their origin and history and their properties. Explanations of cabochon and facet cutting methods help the reader understand the marketing of gems. The species listings start with the traditional leaders, diamond, beryl, and corundum, followed by the increasingly important garnet group. Each section contains information about variations, localities, fine examples, and consumer tips, enhanced by fascinating historical references. Illustrations of crystals augment the many colored cut stone and jewelry pictures.

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Handbook of Rocks, Minerals, and Gemstones
by Walter Schumann, et al

A guide that is both accessible to hobbyists and useful to experts, translated from the German edition published in 1985. Some 600 stunning color photographs show specimens from all over the world. Each specimen is described in detail, including origin and structure, chemical composition, hardness, color, and other properties. The introduction discusses the basics of mineralogy and provides a list of general features used in the identification of rocks and minerals.


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Gems & Jewelry Appraising: Techniques of Professional Practice
by Anna M. Miller

The premier book of its kind, now updated and expanded. Gems & Jewelry Appraising, 2nd Edition covers all the standards, procedures, and ethics of appraising gems, jewelry, and other valuables. Each step involved in conducting an appraisal is fully explained, with photos, case studies, key documents, worksheets and pricing data included. This resource offers all the information that practicing or aspiring appraisal professionals will need to establish an appraisal business, handle various kinds of appraisals, and provide an accurate, verifiable estimate of value.

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Gem Identification Made Easy, Third Edition: A Hands-On Guide to More Confident Buying & Selling
by Antoinette L . Matlins
Antonio C. Bonanno

Antoinette Matlins has become an acknowledged expert on gemmology, appearing on various TV shows and other media. Focusing on gemology as a science rather than a fine art, the authors have written an honest and straightforward book that lays the groundwork for identifying gemstones in an easy-to-read-and-understand volume. They outline useful information on setting up a lab, securing proper lighting, and identifying the essential and optional instruments used in successful gem identification. They also explain how to identify the myriad inclusions and blemishes found in natural and synthetic gemstones and devote a section to enhancement techniques found in antique and estate jewelry.

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Gems and Crystals : From the American Museum of Natural History
by Anna S. Sofianides, George E. Harlow

Following a brief history of these collections and how they were catapulted from modest beginnings into world-famous status by such notable benefactors as Tiffany, Jesup, Morgan, and Guggenheim, the authors outline the archaeological and cultural history of gems. They also offer additional information on the basic attributes, properties, and evaluation of gems in general and devote the rest of the book to exploring the history, lore, distinctive properties, and occurrence of approximately 140 varieties of gems and minerals from diamonds and topaz to lapis lazuli and pearls.

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National Gem Collection
by Jeffrey E. Post

This beautifully illustrated work commemorates the reconstruction of the gem and mineral hall at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Curator Post has compiled an informative work that highlights one of the world's most famous and visited gem collections. Following an introductory chapter focusing on gem basics (cutting, measurement, color) and a brief history of the collection, the five remaining chapters describe historical jewels in the collection, diamonds, corundum (rubies and sapphires) and beryl (emeralds), other important gems, gems with special optical properties (opals), and ornamental stones. Among the famous jewels profiled are the Hope Diamond, the Napoleon Diamond Necklace, the Marie-Antoinette Earrings, and the Hooker Emerald.

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The Complete Encyclopedia of Minerals
by Petr Korbel, Milan Novak

Great photos of minerals and the necessary information to identify your finds - a great handbook to have. Covers minerals and gemstones (since most gems are minerals). Costs a bit more than some of the others, but this book is of very high quality. The book contains detailed information for all levels of interest in minerals and geology, it is a great reference guide. If you are interested in minerals, I think you will really enjoy this selection.

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Secrets of the Gem Trade: The Connoisseur's Guide to Precious Gemstones
by Richard W. Wise

Secrets of the Gem Trade is the consumer's guide to precious gemstones. The book is divided into two parts: In plain non-technical language, Part I redefines preciousness and gently guides the reader toward a real understanding of those criteria that make a gemstone. Part II contains a series of individual essays that apply the criteria of connoisseurship to 35 of today's most important gemstones. The book covers precious stones old and new including diamond, pearl, tourmaline, sapphire, chalcedony, spinel, ruby, and garnet.

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Emerald and Other Beryls
John Sinkankas

Another excellent book by John Sinkankas. Beryl has furnished us with so many wonderful gems - Emeralds, Aquamarine, Morganite and Heliolite. Mr. Sinkankas has gathered a world of research information in this book - the extended section on world wide beryl occurrences is amazingly complete. A few comments about a rare Emerald occurrence in Nevada started some correspondence between Mr. Sinkankas and me. Many great illustrations and a fine value based on the pictures alone. Good reference materials materials, and as a result a good book for both the beginner and experienced mineral collector alike.


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Opal Identification and Value
by Paul Downing

Everything you've always wanted to know about the gemstone Opal. An excellent book with beautiful photos of opal gems. Some fine opals are found in the US in Nevada and Idaho, with smaller amounts from Arizona, Oregon and California. A fine value based on the pictures alone. A very good reference work, and as a result a good book for both the beginner and experienced mineral collector alike.


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