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Gemstones (Smithsonian Handbooks)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Designed for beginners and experienced collectors alike, these field guides make identification of individual specimens sure, simple and straightforward. Each entry has a full color illustration as well as color-coded bands that provide at-a-glance facts for quick reference. Easy to use and beautiful to look at, this series is an invaluable resource for every collector.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published May 15th 2002 by Gem Guides Book Company (first published March 15th 1994)
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Emma Blackery
Apr 03, 2014 Emma Blackery rated it really liked it
Not a book for beginners, but that's a lapse of judgement on my part! As a total novice to gemstones, this was quite hard to get into with the many terms used (cleavage, birefringence, fire, lustre) but towards the end of the book, I found myself understanding these terms in relation to other gems. Glad I picked this up, though - learned about many beautiful gems I'd never seen before!
Sep 17, 2008 Tori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting. My main complaint was the focus--what I really wanted was more info on the gemstones used in jewelry, and this book focused more on gemstones in general, thus spending a lot of space on the rare and unsuitable for jewelry. Also, the book includes so many pictures of rare variations, that it gives a skewed idea of what the stone normally looks like. (Especially for fluorite!) I did come to understand one main source of confusion. Scientists today know a lot more about chemical ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Nadia rated it it was amazing
I don't know if it's a bad thing, but I have a minor, well ok, major, obsession with gemstones. So, reading this book was my blessing. I've probably read it about 20 times or so, scanning through, reading about all things from malachite to watermelon tourmaline. It's really informing and interesting.
Dec 02, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crystals
A very compact guide to a plethora of crystals. Interesting nuggets that deserve many re-reads. Cannot catch all at one go.
Jun 24, 2008 Anastassiya rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
This laconic book gave me a good introduction into the esoteric world of gemstones. A great, consice description of each gem. The photos are incredible, most of them I later discovered in the Natural History Museum (London).

The most spectacural of gems being Watermelon Tourmaline! Well pehaps after Chysoberil Alexandrite!
Rebecca Huston
Aug 10, 2010 Rebecca Huston rated it it was amazing
A lovely little book on gemstones, full of pictures and straightup data, along with some history. Great for those of us who like bright shiny things that make us go 'Ooooooooh!'

For the full review please go here:
Good reference book for gemstones for geologists or gemologists. Includes information such as color, crystal system, cleavage, fracure, hardness, specific gravity and refractive index for each gemstone. Discusses where in the world gemstones are found, how they are formed and how they are mined. Includes beautiful color photographs of gemstones of all shapes and sizes.
Aug 26, 2012 Kat rated it it was amazing
This is basically the best gem handbook that I've found for anyone who doesn't have a professional certification. It gives all of the necessary information on a variety of stones, and some very interesting and useful history and information about other aspects of gemology.
Apr 24, 2014 Maya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this world within a world the gemmologist may turn detective, being able to distinguish between two outwardly similar stones, or between a natural stone and a fake.
Jun 26, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good nonfiction book. It is richly illustrated with color photographs. The groupings of stones are logical, both by color and chemical composition. The science is also fascinating.
May 19, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good pictures and highly informative. I read it because I wanted a beginner's overview, but a friend of mine has a copy that she uses for more depth than I am ready for.
Mar 23, 2010 Winnie rated it it was amazing
I kept reading this over and over again while I was obsessed with gemstones and jewels, this is a very handy guide.
Jenny GB
Jul 06, 2014 Jenny GB rated it really liked it
Beautiful and informative...what more could you want? I had a lot of fun looking up my favorites and reading about them as well as looking at ones I don't think about as much.
Jul 04, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
My quick go to book whenever I see a stone that interests me. Having a degree in Geology & a certification in Diamonds I from GIA helps me to understand at a glance what the stone is all about.
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