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Jewelry & Gems - The Buying Guide: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge [Paperback]

Antoinette Matlins P.G. , Antonio C. Bonanno FGA ASA MGA
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1, 2009 0943763711 978-0943763712 7

Over 400,000 Copies in Print
Know What You Want, Know What You’re Buying,
Learn the Secrets to Get the Most for Your Money
Easy to Read • Easy to Understand
Practical • Complete

Instant Answers ... to All Your Questions
Completely Updated & Expanded 7th Edition!

Purchasing gems and jewelry can be a magical experience, filled with excitement and anticipation. But lack of information, error, or misrepresentation can make the thrill of buying a gem or piece of jewelry confusing, intimidating, overwhelming, and costly.

To help you avoid the pitfalls and keep the magic, two internationally respected experts on buying gems and jewelry put their inside knowledge to work for you in this easy-to-read, easy-to-use guide. It is filled with practical advice and is designed to make it easy for you to have all the information you need to buy gems and jewelry with confidence.

Recommended by consumer and jewelry trade reviewers around the world, it is already in use in over 100 countries and has been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Hungarian, Russian and Japanese. Over 400,000 copies are now in print and this revised, updated, expanded edition covers even more: buying and selling on the internet, dazzling new diamond cuts, recently discovered gems … and new treatments and trickery to look out for. There are fascinating mythical and magical tidbits, and practical tips that could only come from an insider.

In simple, straightforward terms you’ll learn about the four Cs and how to juggle them to get what you want, at the price you want to pay; what to look for, and look out for; all about gold and platinum, jewelry design, and some of the country’s leading designers. You’ll learn what questions to ask and what to get in writing, and even how to select the jeweler, appraiser, and insurer.

The authors leave no stone unturned to give you everything you need to know—whether you are a novice or a connoisseur. With Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide, you’ll find the experience can be a joy, and the gems and jewelry you select a source of lasting pleasure!

Frequently Bought Together

Jewelry & Gems - The Buying Guide: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge + Gemstone Buying Guide, Second Edition: How to Evaluate, Identify, Select & Care for Colored Gems + Smithsonian Handbooks: Gemstones
Price for all three: $45.09

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Matlins and Bonanno's guide is as clear and easy to understand as their previous, well-received Gem Identification Made Easy (LJ 9/1/90) and Complete Guide to Buying Gems (LJ 5/15/84). They have updated, expanded, and revised these works to include cautionary advice to the gem-buying consumer about new advancements in fraudulent enhancements of diamonds and especially colored gemstones. Updated price guides and advice on cut, settings, and metals; questions to ask before purchase; advice on selecting a jeweler, appraiser, and insurer; and charts of diamond gradings, gem names, and alternatives point out just how much a consumer needs to know to avoid costly mistakes. Newman concentrates on gold jewelry craft and value. With the aid of her own excellent photographs (showing what can be seen through the indispensable 10X loupe), she describes what to look for in gold jewelry fabrication: mountings, settings, marks, fineness, and quality. Consumers will learn how to test for fakes and karat value, though some of the testing methods using acids are best left to professionals. Safer tests, like the squeeze test for rings and bracelet strength, will empower the buyer who is deluged with too-good-to-be-true jewelry sales. Especially useful is the section on evaluating gold chains. This is another easily read and understood guide by a respected gemologist. Both books are highly recommended, and public libraries might wish to consider purchasing more than one copy of each.
Therese D. Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


It is filled with practical advice and is designed to make it easy for you to buy with confidence. The authors leave no stone unturned to give you everything you need to know Chr(45) whether you are a novice or a connoisseur.' -- Antiques Diary May 2010 'Filled with practical advice.' -- Antiques Info March 2010 'As it states on the cover; 'The Unoffial Bible' for gem and jewelry buyers.' --Antique & Collector's Trader March 2010

Product Details

  • Series: Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: GemStone Press; 7 edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943763711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943763712
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Antoinette Matlins is an internationally respected gem and jewelry expert, author, and lecturer whose expertise is sought worldwide by clients who retain her to seek fine, rare, or unusual gems and jewels for acquisition.

She has written many books that have helped people--both consumers and professionals--increase their understanding and enjoyment of jewelry and gems. Her books include:

* Jewelry & Gem--The Buying Guide: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge
(The first and only book of its kind ever offered by Consumer Reports--now available worldwide in many languages.)
* Gem Identification Made Easy: A Hands-On Guide to More Confident Buying and Selling
* Colored Gemstones: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide--How to Select, Buy, Care for & Enjoy Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies and Other Colored Gemstones with Confidence and Knowledge

She is also the author of the "Gemstones" section of the Encyclopedia of Investments. Gemology editor for National Jeweler magazine for a decade, her articles and comments appear in consumer magazines such as Vogue, the Robb Report, Bride's, Business Week, Forbes, US News & World Report, Conde Nast Traveller, Smart Money, and First.

Antoinette Matlins spearheaded the nationwide campaign against gemstone investment telemarketing scams and has gained wide recognition as a dedicated and effective consumer advocate. A popular media guest, she is seen educating consumers and exposing fraud on shows such as ABC's Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, NBC's Today, CNN's Daywatch and World Report, Oprah, Inside Edition, and CNBC's Power Lunch.

In addition to her work with private clients, Ms. Matlins provides consulting services to companies in the gem field, including mining companies, jewelry firms, and trade organizations. She has also served as an expert witness for the United States Attorney's Office and for plaintiffs and defendants in matters dealing with fraud and misrepresentation involving gems and jewelry.
Ms. Matlins has developed an extensive international network of gem dealers, master metalsmiths, designers, and other resources for her work. Through this network, and working with collectors and investors, she enables clients to acquire unusual pieces, and to make their acquisitions with confidence--and at costs significantly below retail.

Based in Vermont, Ms. Matlins travels the world extensively, advising individuals and companies on buying and selling gems and jewelry. With her exceptional understanding of gemstones and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the jewelry business, she assists clients with locating everything from an engagement ring to a rare period jewel, from an exceptional natural fancy-color diamond to an unusual carved cabochon or the rarest of fine gems. She also manages the design and creation of equally unusual jewelry for these gemstones.

For more information, please visit her website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by Gemologist January 1, 2000
I bought a diamond in the NY wholesale diamond center and after taking it to an appraiser recommended by a friend, found out it was treated (it had cracks that were filled with glass so that you wouldn't see them)! The appraiser ordered me not to buy any more diamonds, or any other gem, until I went out and bought a book called "Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide." If I had read this book BEFORE I purchased the diamond, I would never have made such a mistake. First, the book tells about the exact treatment used on the diamond I bought, along with all kinds of treatments used on diamonds and other gemstones. Bit I really couldn't believe it as I read an example of EXACTLY what happened to me on 47th street. There is was, my story! I now enjoy shopping for jewelry more than ever, have discovered gemstones I never knew about before, and more importantly, following the information the authors provided, I now know exactly what to do to ensure I'll never be cheated again. I can't thank them enough, or praise this book enough.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that will teach you virtually everything you need to know about buying gemstones. Unfortunately the world isn't a perfect place and there are unscrupulous people that will try to sell you gems that are treated, or outright fake.
Don't let this happen to you!
Buy this book and learn what you need to know to protect yourself. The book starts off with getting to know gems, how to use a loupe, and why the cut of a stone is important.
It has several chapters on Diamonds and will teach you how to judge a good cut, what color is and how to judge it, clarity and various imperfection, weighting and most importantly how to spot fraud and avoid misrepresentation.
If this was all the book did it would still be worth the money. But the book goes on to teach you about colored gemstones. This section teaches you how to determine the value in colored gems, the various synthetic and treated colored stones, how to judge peals and finally how to avoid fraud and misrepresentation with colored gemstones.
Finally the book tells you the stuff you need to know when buying, from what to ask the seller, to finding a reputable jewelry and choosing an insurer and appaiser.
This book can save you many times the cost of it on your first gemstone purchase.
All in all this is a MUST HAVE BOOK for the gemstone buyer.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choices Without Fear! April 30, 2000
By A Customer
I bought this book after reading another review, and it was one of the smartest things I've ever done. I love jewelry, but after reading this book, I'm now much smarter about what I'm doing and I'll never buy jewelry again the way I used to go about it! I was recently ripped off, but now I now know what to aak, what to get in writing, and where and how to confirm the facts!In short, how to avoid ever being ripped off again. I also have a much better idea of what the price should be (thanks to the excellent price guides). It is also filled with great tips to help you get the stone YOU want rather than what the saleperson thinks you should buy, and wonderful design ideas too. And there is also great info on stuff like gold (for example, did you know that white gold has nickel in it, which some people are allergic to!). I also learned how to take care of my jewelry, especially pearls, which jewelers seem to know nothing about. In fact, I've just ordered "The Pearl Book" by one of the authors of this book.
I never knew there was so much to know, or how many choices were available to me. Now I do, and I can't thank the authors enough for the great service this book provides for people like me who love it all--diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry of all kinds.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book pays for itself many times over June 2, 2003
One thing that retail jewelers count on is that the public is unwilling to do its homework.
And if you've got tens of thousands of dollars to spend and don't much care where it goes, don't buy this book (but feel free to send me some of that money).
On the other hand, if you're like most of us, you want to get the best value for your money, and this book will definitely help by giving great tips when buying diamonds and other gems.
Not only that, this book can give you some creative ideas. Looking for something beyond the cheap "frozen spit" diamonds that are being sold all over these days? For the same money, you can buy a colored stone or cultured pearl that will look better and be a better value. Want a nice, bright green stone but haven't got $10k for an emerald? This book can give some affordable alternatives, like maybe a tsavorite.
This is a tremendous resource, written in an easy-to-understand style, and organized in a way that makes referring to it inviting.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good & Bad February 28, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is informative regarding specific information on jewels, and on some of the schemes currently in use to pass "slag" off as a precious gem. I give the book a HIGH rating on this type of information. (For clarity purposes, I use the term "slag" to include not only poor quality specimens, but also substitutes and synthetics.)
Unfortunately, it was my personal impression that the book had a definite bias towards pushing the reader towards a retail jewelry store. Most disappointing were the price tables, listing huge disparities in prices without specific guidelines on what deliniates them. The tables were at FULL RETAIL.
This is the age of E-Commerce. I bought the book from Amazon because I won't pay full retail for anything. The days of consumers paying double plus 25% over the true market are a bygone era. Anyone can buy gems direct from Antwerp, Israel and Thailand, direct. The book should provide guidelines more in line with current E-Commerce pricing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An important reference for gems and jewelry buyers
Very well written.Learn from an authority in the world of gemstones and jewelry.Antionette Matlins lays out the important and relevant information you need to know when buying and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jay777
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect reference book
If you are looking for a reference book that will have a permanent place n your shelf, this is the one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roberta Black
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift
This was a gift for christmas and they loved it. They do alot of garage sales during the summer
so I thought it would help
Published 4 months ago by Teresa
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read and great information
A very good book on the history and properties of gemstones. I would recommend for a jeweler as well as anyone interested in knowing more about the properties of stones.
Published 4 months ago by A. Meier
4.0 out of 5 stars another reference
Seriously, there are some gems in this book that make it worth your time and money. No one wants to pay too much or spend a lot of money on something other than what you thought... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazcfa
5.0 out of 5 stars good purchase
It is a good thing they keep updating this book! Although it doesn't have some of the newer gems I've been seeing, it does have new information about others.
Published 5 months ago by Deb
5.0 out of 5 stars A lay mans guide to gemstone values
A great beginners price guide to gemstones. But, this shouldn't be your only guide. It gives you a wide spread in price range. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Thomas M. Allen
1.0 out of 5 stars Not helpful
I purchased this to learn more about gold chains. It was virtually no help.
This should be a $2 pamphlet.
Published 6 months ago by R. Tanner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference
Great reference-invaluable addition to your reference library. Great photos and
very compherhensive information throughout the book. This book is a must have!!!
Published 7 months ago by DaveH
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome & informative! Full of information regarding stones and...
Excellent information on buying quality gems found in this wonderful edition! Full of information regarding quality before purchase. a must have for a discerning buyer.
Published 7 months ago by Bobby B Twine Jr
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