The variety of stones covered ranges from those familiar to most readers to the rare and unusual. Apatite, calcite, moldavite and obsidian are listed alongside the less well-known stones such as gaspéite, psilomelane and jeremejevite--stones normally reserved for small notes in more expensive texts, often without the photographs that this book makes good use of. Although not as widely known, these gemstones are given the same consideration and respect that the more 'usual' gemstones in expensive jewellery are afforded, providing valuable insight into what can be done when jewellers think outside of the box.
The information supplied on each stone is comprehensive. The author gives pronunciations of the names of stones, along with all the usual gemmological information such as chemical formula, refractive index, specific gravity and crystal system. Localities are mentioned where considered important or noteworthy, along with historical context, showing that these 'rare gems' have been known through history, even if not utilized. Treatments are also covered, either in the initial constants area for each stone, or in the main body of text, along with the care and attention necessary to avoid damage to these more unusual gemstones. In total, the information given in this book is very well presented, easily readable and accurate, ensuring and excellent point of reference in an area all too often overlooked.
Whether a newcomer to the world of gemmology or an experienced collector, this volume has something for everyone, and is highly recommended. --Gems & Jewellery
I wish all of the books that appraisers need to keep on our reference shelves were just like this one. Rare Gemstones, How to Identify Evaluate and Care for Unusual Gems is a treasure. Like all of Renee Newman's books, it is impeccably organized, beautiful and complete.
This book is intended to be the companion to Renee's book Gemstone Buying Guide. Whereas that book includes the gemstones more frequently seen in fine jewelry, Rare Gemstones reviews, well, more rare gemstones. For appraisers familiar with the GIA "B Chart," you will immediately recognize many of these stones. Although they may be rare, they may not seem exceptional to NAJA appraisers. But I assure you, there are some curios in here. For example, as I flip through the pages, I can say with certainty that I've never seen Rainbow calcite, Star enstatite, or Cadmium hemimorphite.
The book has two major subsections, Rare Gems Used in Jewelry, and Rare Gems Sometimes used in Jewelry. The second group is too soft or otherwise inappropriate for jewelry. Nevertheless, they are still beautiful enough to be called a gemstone, and desirable enough to be a collector's stone.
The front and back covers of Rare Gems are carpeted with high quality, high gloss, full color photographs of gemstones, laid out by color, dark to light. The first thing I did was look at every single photograph and see which gemstone it was. The layout and all aspects of this book were of the highest quality.
Each gemstone is concisely but thoroughly explained. The book contains the pronunciation, chemical composition, RI, Hardness, SG, crystal system, optic character, toughness, treatments, and more, in chart form, for each stone. Then there are one to seven paragraphs written about each stone. That information includes history, quality factors, typical uses and even retail prices. Best of all, there are many photographs, including uncut specimens, the faceted gemstone, possible colors that it is found in, high and low quality examples, and the gem set in jewelry. Seeing the photographs is almost like holding the stone. When I explore a stone in the book, I believe I really get to know it.
Additional sections in Rare Gemstones include; How to Care for Rare and Unusual Gems, and Where to Find an Appraiser. The appendix includes the expected items, for example; main sources of information for the identification data, and identification terms explained. It also has some unexpected information including; lists the traditional birthstones established in 1912, gemstones in the order of their descending Mohs hardness, gemstones in the order of their descending refractive index, and gemstones in the order of their descending density.
Probably the most beneficial aspect of Rare Gems for the appraiser is having all of this information put together in one affordable, easy to understand book, especially considering the newness of the information. For instance there is Zultanite, not just a diaspore anymore. It's a gem quality, color-change, rare and desirable stone being heavily marketed. The thorough and au courant nature of this book makes it my only reference for this gemstone.
I recommend that all appraisers buy this book. Become familiar with it. When you need it, the information will be on your bookshelf ready to help you figure out that rare stone, or explain it to your client. Everyone wins. --Kim Piracci The Jewelry Appraiser
As a gemologist, I appreciated a book I could show my customers that featured rare gems. However, some of the gems that were included were not very rare, others were rarely seen... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Brandon Moak
I got this today and I started to read it. I really like it. Although I do wish that they had more stones in that I'm really interested in, like Tanzanite for one. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sueg