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Favorite book?

FallenRox

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If there is a "MUST HAVE" book for learning more about colored gemstones, what would you recommend?

Doug Menadue recommended "Gemstones of the world" by Walter Schumann but I can't
ever just order one book. =)
 

T L

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crasru|1308100231|2946122 said:
Perhaps "Gems identification made easy" by Matlin?
I think her books stink personally, and she was probably bribed to give those super overinflated retail values in that bogus guide of hers.

I personally like books that deal with specific gems, like Renee Newman's books, or the Ringsrund book on emeralds. Hofer's book on colored diamonds, and Richard Hughes books on sapphires I hear are mainstays.

http://www.reneenewman.com/

I have an old copy of the Schuman book, and I hope the material has been updated.
 

Arkteia

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I have one book by Renee Newman and guess what? I got a lot of inspiration from illustrations in her books
TL - I don't think Matlin's books stink I just think they could be better with bright, glossy pictures.
 

T L

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crasru|1308109283|2946285 said:
I have one book by Renee Newman and guess what? I got a lot of inspiration from illustrations in her books
I have a few of her books. The Newman book I have on rubies, emeralds and sapphires is wonderful, concise and has great photos. The photos in the Matlin books are terrible, and if you saw what she considers "paraiba tourmaline," you would be appalled.

I love the new "Terra Spinel" book since it has wonderful illustrations on a wide variety of spinels. However, I wish it was more informative. It's more of a coffee table book.
 

Harriet

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TL,
I bought the latest edituon of the Schumann book. I'm afraid it's more like a reprint.
 

Deathspi

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I have the Gem Identification book and thought the prices were a bit high but didnt think much of it. It did make me laugh though to see everything on offer at the back of the book! ...not a bad book though, I thought.

Ages ago I got a book by Cally Hall ('Gemstones' or something) that I think is quite popular but didn't agree with the hype. From what I remember it is all pretty photos and no substance. I could be wrong though as I bought it to practice Japanese and my level at the time was poor! keep meaning to dig this book out and actually 'read' it to see if it's any good or not. :razz:
 

Pandora II

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Depends exactly what you want.

For a good all-rounder with pretty pictures and lots of info I would go for Richard Wises's 'Secrets of The Gem Trade'. I lent a lot of my books out to people on my course and that was the one that some of them went off and bought for themselves.

The other was 'Gemstones: Properties, Identification and Use' by Arthur Thomas. It came out in 2009 and I much prefer it to Schumann's.

If you want something that tells you how to use the various testing equipment then Antoinette Maitlin's book 'Gem Identification Made Easy' is a good guide to the basics.

Not a fan of Renee Newman's books or Keith Wallis's 'Gemstones: Understanding, Identifying, Buying'

If you want something academic with very few pictures but that is an essential if you want to learn serious gemmology then Peter Read's 'Gemmology' is great, as is Robert Webster's 'Practical Gemmology' and 'Gemmologist's Compendium'. The latter are out of print though.

'Gems - Their Sources, Descriptions and Identification' by Michael O'Donaghue is one of my 'Bibles'. It is academic and weighs a ton but really great.

Richard Hughes' 'Rubies and Sapphires' is a book I have been wanting to get for years but can't afford - copies are going for $400 and up if you can find them. It is however THE book on the subject.

Ted Themelis does very good books on corundum but again academic and expensive.

Cally Hall is a British Gemmologist who works at the Natural History Museum. Her book is a basic guide to the different gemstones - name, picture, Mohs, crystal system, SG, RI etc but isn't a book I really use very often. If I need to quickly look up a stone then I will use Arthur Thomas's book instead.

ETA: I ignore anything in books that talks about values, prices etc as it's out of date before the book hits the shelf and real information of that sort is trade-only, updated regularly thoughout the year, not actually that useful from an end consumer point of view and costs a fair whack. PS is actually a pretty good price guide IMHO.
 

Deathspi

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Looks like a good list Pandora, I for one will be sure to check those books out. I've always had problems finding decent books on gemology, most seem to be very basic or just focus on the buying/investment side of things which I don't really want.
 

T L

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Harriet|1308117449|2946371 said:
TL,
I bought the latest edituon of the Schumann book. I'm afraid it's more like a reprint.
If that's true, than I can't recommend it. There is a lot of old information in there, especially on treatment. Much has changed. Thanks Harriet.
 

T L

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Pandora|1308133814|2946436 said:
Depends exactly what you want.

For a good all-rounder with pretty pictures and lots of info I would go for Richard Wises's 'Secrets of The Gem Trade'. I lent a lot of my books out to people on my course and that was the one that some of them went off and bought for themselves.
I don't like that book because I feel it lacks a lot of information on other varieties of gems, and it has some outdated information. However, it does have some nice photos. I wrote a review of it on Amazon many years ago, and I wasn't too favorable.

The reason I like Renee Newman's books, in particular the one on sapphires, rubies and emeralds, is that she actually delves a great deal into treatment, and how to evaulate color, which I feel is quite lacking in most books on gems. There are many photos of what to look for when a gem is treated, like inclusions, dark field illumination, immersion, etc. . .

When one writes a book on gems, it's almost like writing a medical text. Things change all the time, so I feel those publications that keep updating their versions and material, like Renee Newman does, are beneficial. Matlin is always updating her books, and honestly, I prefer Renee's books better because they show more photos, and I feel they provide more in depth information that Matlin does.
 

Pandora II

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I like Richard's book as it has lots of info on what makes one stone better than another as well as pictures of really decent stones - so many books are pictures of crappy stones, if you look at Cally Hall's, half the stones are poor colour or have big windows or are super included. Richard's style of writing also aappeals to me - as does Richard Hughes who always makes me laugh.

Renee Newman's books just irriated me - I lent them out too and they all came back as not being rated very highly - I think they are better as buying guides than as gemmologically interesting.

But, as I said at the beginning... it all depends on what you are after.

Deathspi - glad to help. I have a pretty big library with more on my 'to get' list: Max Bauer, Liddicoat etc. One of my prize gem books is Edwin Streeter's 'Precious Gems' from 1890 which is pretty rare and incredible reading - he was a British jeweller and gemmologist and one of the first westerners into the Mogok ruby mines and his book is a description of gems, his exploits and the stones that passed through his hands - the Hope diamond and most of the other big old ones. Also descriptions of him and his friends seeing what happens if you set fire to diamonds... ;(

ETA. TL, I have the latest copy of Schumanns and the synthetics, treatments etc have been updated, but honestly if I want info on things like that, I'd go for industry magazines, online-sources and books by people like Ted Themelis who are at the cutting-edge.
 

cellentani

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I'm dying to get my hands on the volumes of "Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstons" by Gubelin and Koivula, but they're quite an investment.
 

Pandora II

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cellentani|1308145685|2946514 said:
I'm dying to get my hands on the volumes of "Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstons" by Gubelin and Koivula, but they're quite an investment.
My husband offered to buy me volume 3 for xmas - and then changed his mind and bought me a dress instead... (I'd rather have had the book)

Volume 3 is the one to get if you can only afford the one. Volume 2 is the least amazing of the 3...
 

T L

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Pandora|1308144723|2946505 said:
I like Richard's book as it has lots of info on what makes one stone better than another as well as pictures of really decent stones - so many books are pictures of crappy stones, if you look at Cally Hall's, half the stones are poor colour or have big windows or are super included. Richard's style of writing also aappeals to me - as does Richard Hughes who always makes me laugh.

Renee Newman's books just irriated me - I lent them out too and they all came back as not being rated very highly - I think they are better as buying guides than as gemmologically interesting.

But, as I said at the beginning... it all depends on what you are after.

Deathspi - glad to help. I have a pretty big library with more on my 'to get' list: Max Bauer, Liddicoat etc. One of my prize gem books is Edwin Streeter's 'Precious Gems' from 1890 which is pretty rare and incredible reading - he was a British jeweller and gemmologist and one of the first westerners into the Mogok ruby mines and his book is a description of gems, his exploits and the stones that passed through his hands - the Hope diamond and most of the other big old ones. Also descriptions of him and his friends seeing what happens if you set fire to diamonds... ;(

ETA. TL, I have the latest copy of Schumanns and the synthetics, treatments etc have been updated, but honestly if I want info on things like that, I'd go for industry magazines, online-sources and books by people like Ted Themelis who are at the cutting-edge.
Pandora,
Thank you for explaining why you like the above books. Yes, it does depend on what you're after. I read a lot of technical dry stuff, and for me, that is more appealing (I'm weird), but for others, I can see why it's more interesting to read another type of writing style.
 

Pandora II

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Generally I want the techy stuff with diagrams or inclusion photos etc but don't need pretty pictures if that makes sense. Then I like a good encyclopaedic gem-guide where I get a picture of the rough and a cut stone and all the constants for it and a mini-description. That is why I love Arthur Thomas's book so much - oh and it has all the techy stuff as well.

If you like dry academic then do you have Webster's, O' Donaghue and Read's books? Also are you into things like spectroscopy - if so, Colin Winter's 'Student's Guide' is fantastic (he invented the OPL Teaching Spectroscope) - he says in the book that once you get the hang of them you will love spectrums.. I though yeah right... till I got the hang of them and now it's one of my favourite bits of equipment.

Most people don't want pages and pages on colour vacancies and band gap theory, they just want to know a decent amount about spinel, tourmaline, garnet etc that is more than you get in the Eye Witness guides.

Just had a quick flick through the Renee Newman 'Ruby & Sapphire Buying Guide' and think I was perhaps a bit harsh. I would actually strongly recommend them to most people here. They have a lot of the information that gets handed out here on a bi-weekly basis... any chance of a sticky entitled 'The following stones are no good for engagement rings or 24/7 rings unless you are light on your bling' so I can stop doing cut and paste... :wink2:

I lent them to people this year by which time the books had nothing much to add. Probably if I'd lent them out in the first year I'd have been asking for commission!
 

FallenRox

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To all- Thank you much! I'll have my hands full for a bit with researching these.
I really appreciate it :)
 

movie zombie

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richard wise and richard hughes online articles or their books.

why? get the info on what the ideal qualities are in a stone. great education re what a quality stone is or is not. great pictures of quality stones. knowing what a quality stone entails allows me to adjust my expectations due to my budget accordingly.
 

T L

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FallenRox|1308158269|2946683 said:
To all- Thank you much! I'll have my hands full for a bit with researching these.
I really appreciate it :)
Although the articles are very dry and technical, I do like "Gems and Gemology" - the magazine published by the GIA. They have old magazines available for purchase as well, and you can research a gem species that they have published information about in the past. If the articles are very old however, they are probably missing some more up to date information. Great photography too.

As others have mentioned, there are some good online resources, such as online articles. Those tend to give more current information.
 

deorwine

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I really like Matlins' Gem Identification Made Easy book and have recommended it on this board before, although I agree that the pictures maybe aren't great and that it's only useful if you want to muck around with testing equipment rather than develop an eye for fine gems. Like Pandora, I like the dry technical stuff! On the same note, I also agree that the best book for corundum is Richard Hughes, which I was lucky enough to snag a copy of before it went out of print. It is... a very complete book. It's got the glossy pictures and the dry technical crystal structures and everything in between.

Wise and Newman are good for lots of pretty pictures, though -- they're probably a little more helpful than, say, Matlins for developing the eye.
 

Pandora II

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deorwine|1308242938|2947546 said:
I really like Matlins' Gem Identification Made Easy book and have recommended it on this board before, although I agree that the pictures maybe aren't great and that it's only useful if you want to muck around with testing equipment rather than develop an eye for fine gems. Like Pandora, I like the dry technical stuff! On the same note, I also agree that the best book for corundum is Richard Hughes, which I was lucky enough to snag a copy of before it went out of print. It is... a very complete book. It's got the glossy pictures and the dry technical crystal structures and everything in between.

Wise and Newman are good for lots of pretty pictures, though -- they're probably a little more helpful than, say, Matlins for developing the eye.
I think I might actually hate you... :wink2:
 

FallenRox

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I have to admit, I'm definitely into the technical details but I can't see me liking a book if it doesn't have the gloss. I'm a coffee table book collector so that might explain some of it.

Again, thank you much for these suggestions- I have a birthday coming up and since I can't possibly own any more boots or shoes without moving house for more closets, I'll be able to ask for some of these. Some are quite expensive and I'll bet most of the info is scattered on these many many PS pages but there's just something about holding a book (to me) rather than reading online. =)
 

Deathspi

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FallenRox|1308281036|2948072 said:
I have to admit, I'm definitely into the technical details but I can't see me liking a book if it doesn't have the gloss. I'm a coffee table book collector so that might explain some of it.

Again, thank you much for these suggestions- I have a birthday coming up and since I can't possibly own any more boots or shoes without moving house for more closets, I'll be able to ask for some of these. Some are quite expensive and I'll bet most of the info is scattered on these many many PS pages but there's just something about holding a book (to me) rather than reading online. =)
Glad there's other people out there who prefer 'analogue' books!! :bigsmile:
 

FallenRox

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Deathspi|1308296388|2948188 said:
FallenRox|1308281036|2948072 said:
I have to admit, I'm definitely into the technical details but I can't see me liking a book if it doesn't have the gloss. I'm a coffee table book collector so that might explain some of it.

Again, thank you much for these suggestions- I have a birthday coming up and since I can't possibly own any more boots or shoes without moving house for more closets, I'll be able to ask for some of these. Some are quite expensive and I'll bet most of the info is scattered on these many many PS pages but there's just something about holding a book (to me) rather than reading online. =)
Glad there's other people out there who prefer 'analogue' books!! :bigsmile:
I love the smell of paper- call me an uber nerd I guess. Besides, I'm online all day as a game developer and sometimes it's just nice to be in another room and hold a book and flip the page. Who would have thought that would end up being something called Old school???? Kinda blows me away. But yep- I'm a proud analogger. ha ha ha ;-)
 

Deathspi

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FallenRox|1308281036|2948072 said:
I love the smell of paper- call me an uber nerd I guess. Besides, I'm online all day as a game developer and sometimes it's just nice to be in another room and hold a book and flip the page. Who would have thought that would end up being something called Old school???? Kinda blows me away. But yep- I'm a proud analogger. ha ha ha ;-)
:appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl:

Sorry! /tangent.
 
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