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on December 21, 2007
Before you buy this book, do yourself a favor and have a look at the product catalog of the authors' crystal business, called Heaven & Earth. I was impressed with this book at first, but then I began to notice how many of the crystals are trademarked. Trademarked crystals seemed a little odd to me, and I can give them the benefit of the doubt if there are one or two, but apparently the authors are "discovering" these new crystals all the time. Keep reading the catalog and you'll find that a lot of these "new" (and as it happens, invariably rare and sold by the gram) crystals are regular, not so uncommon crystals with fancy trademarked names, some other variation of a manmade coating on an existing crystal, or even just glass. Have a good look at the catalog, because the purpose of this book is to convince you that you need the stuff in that catalog.

Don't get me wrong; I believe in crystal healing and that's probably why this systematic exploitation of crystals and the people eager to learn about them makes me feel ill.

I gave this book 2 stars because the photography is lovely and it makes a good doorstop. Please look for another book to buy, though.
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on February 11, 2013
I will never forget the first time I saw this book. It was in the old Galactic Gateway's store and the gentleman behind the counter saw me mesmerized by it. I saw it as if it were a photoshopped picture with the blurry edges around it, slowly coming into focus and registering that there were PICTURES of stones on the front of this book.
My experience up until this point had been books that were either text books on the composition of minerals, or Melody's work, while still a staple in my healing room, doesn't offer the colorful adventure that TBOS does.
The book was on the highest shelf of course, and my arms were full of stones I was about to purchase. I had to turn my back and lay down all my treasures and I was sure that when I whipped back around ready to grab that book off the top shelf it would be gone. But it was still there, and I managed to get it into my hands and settle down in the corner in the floor to take my time savoring one of the most beautiful books I had ever seen. I brought the book home needless to say and like Melody's work changed the way I looked at the world, TBOS also had some influence on the direction that I have taken in my life.

I carried this book around with me until it became dog eared, the cover was tearing, there are coffee stains on it, some of the pages have curled from moisture, my grandson laid his fudgcicle on it one day. This gives you some idea of how valuable this book has been to me. I would rush home to read about the stones I had purchased. I already knew the chemical makeup, I already knew the historical values, I already knew the gemlogical values, I wanted to know what people were using these stones for!
This was the first book that I noticed focused on healing ourselves, then others. This book takes you through a journey of crystal healing like no other book can or has. It is almost as if Naisha Ashian kept a journel while meditating with each of these stones, and Robert Simmons kept his version. That is the beauty of this book, there are two versions to every stone. Everyone I know prefers one over the other, when I first started I liked Robert Simmons version better, as I worked on deeper layers and through more of my own personal experiences with these stones, I came to truly appreciate the facinating work that Naisha Ashian was doing with these stones.
So many years ago, this book showed me that there was an entire industry that revolves around crystals and thier uses. With this book in tow, I have learned alot about this industry and have made decisions and formed many opinions based on the politics that surrounds this and later books on this subject. This book, with Melody's book ( to be reviewed next week), changed the course of my life, the direction of my path and the way I look at myself and others. I know I am not alone when I say that this work we call TBOS, is to date one of the most well known books on stones, even if it isn't the most accurate.

Size and weight TBOS (2.5★)

TBOS scores a little low in this category. TBOS is not only larger than the average book, it seems heavier to me than it should be. I know this is just a personal opinion, but in an age where our phones are sold by the oz., this book seems to be a bit cumbersom in some circusmstnaces. It will fit in a backpack, this is why I think it is heavier than it should be, I carried it around for a long time and finally shelfed it for TCB1 / 2 because of the portability issue. As far as using this book in the home, definitely a fun journey, A hot cup of tulsi tea, a warm blanket and Merlin on my feet while reading this book is a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Organization TBOS (3.5★)

I Love the way that this book is organized. It must be my gemini moon, but I really like having access to two different reviews on the same page. This book also organizes stone by the name. If you have looked at other books, you may see where they are categorized by mineral, this can make finding agate difficult if you aren't aware that it is a form of quartz. TBOS separates this out beautifully helping you to find your stone descriptions quickly and easily. The table of contents groups stones into categories and subdivides them into specifics. This makes it easy to find the different agates that are listed as well as hundreds of other stones that are subcategorized in the mineral kingddom. There is no index in TBOS, so there is no way to look up stones through keywords or illnesses, this is why I took points off, I do like being able to look up an illness and seeing what stones others have used, this makes TBOS a challenge to use in your healing room.

Ease of use TBOS (3.5★)

In my opinion, TBOS works kind of like a one way street, meaning if I know what stone I want to read about - and possibly know the trademarked name- it's great.. When I am looking for a stone to work with a particular issue, it is just too much research to go through the entire book glancing through the pages at key words when there are other books on the market that offer an index. However, I will say that I have been known to look up a keyword in another index, get the suggestions, then look them up in TBOS. This is one area where organization becomes critical, with no index in TBOS, it creates challenges with use as practical handbook in the healing room and that is the one reason this book recieved the scores it has.
This book also offers very little relevent information for a crystal healer in the healing room, the experiences expressed here are personal expeiriences by two very gifted and talented individuals, however most clients that crystal healers work on are not as familiar with stone energies as these two, so it is much more subtle for clients.

Presentation TBOS (3★)

So I admitted that initially I believed TBOS to be the most beautiful book I had ever seen, and I still stand by the fact that it is one of the most beautifully illustrated stone books on the market. Presentation covers more than the illustrations, although they are a large part of it. Presentation also covers how the whole project comes together, the cohesiveness of the transition between subjects, the elements of design that are not limited to how the book looks but how the book feels. The pictures are amazing, however they are the stones that one would see in a museum, usually not sitting on a shelf at your local rock shop. This is the biggest 'ding' for this category, we all want to see amazing stones, but as a vendor, dealer and consumer it is no fun trying to please someone carrying around TBOS looking for an azurite that looks just like the picture.
The next part of presentation is the feel, over time the realization starts to kick in that there is a slight marketing technique to this book. The mix of beautiful pictures, stones available only by one principal vendor, the exorbitant prices charged for these beauties that are written about within the pages of this book. The lack of resources on how to obtain your own stones becomes pretty obvious. All of these things effect how TBOS presentation score.

Actual Content TBOS (2★)

This is where I walk on thin ice. I admit I have used TBOS for years. I admit to being so excited when I found this book. I am no longer excited about the politics and marketing of this book and that is why the actual content score is so low. Many would disagree with me on this score and ask how I could possibly score this book so low when it has had such an impact on my life - in a good way!
The answer is simple, after a few years learning the industry, selling stones and moving around taking classes as well as giving them, I started to form an opinion of this book and the others that follow, with few exceptions as marketing tools to sell Robert Simmons trademarked stones. There, I said it, sort of out loud.
I won't go into details on my opinion of trademarked stones (I already have in another blog), and Robert Simmons was not alone in the race to TM as much as he could while it was effective. The TM's keep the consumer having to buy from the vendor who owns the TM, otherwise the exact same material purchased from another vendor cannot be called the same name, hence is not talked about in TBOS. Trademarked stone represent a large reason why TBOS scores low on content, but not the only reason. I have not picked my TBOS up in over 2 years. I no longer use it as a refernece, not just because it can be hard to find a stone by symptom, but because of what I call 'fluff'.
Although both authors are very brilliant writers, I prefer to have a reference book tell me facts. This book tells some beautiful stories, some poetic journey's with stones, however there is little fact in this book. The trademarked stones confuse the facts when a crystal healer is honestly trying to find a stone. The work described in these books is not work that has been tried, true or tested by anyone other than the authors. Other books offer compilations of hundreds of experiences, yet this book offers us only two.
Admittedly, to read the experiences of these two was life changing for me at a time when I needed it, however when I look back and see how many times I was on the hunt for merlinite only to find out that the prime material is called psilimelane, and it is much cheaper than merlinite, and not so hard to find, I felt very ignorant. I feel that a book should not leave me feeling ignorant, I feel a book should be up front and honest about the material in it, especially when it is marketing itself as THE reference book on stones. Many of the stones that are named in this book are identified through the trademarked name, leaving out what it really is, causing much confusion within the industry.
This has also led to many 'new discoveries' of stones that are in this book as well as those that have followed. These 'new' stones are not new to earth, new to science, nor are they new to the industry. These new stones are simply old stones with shiny new trademarked names, great stories, and hgh prices -somebody has to pay for all that work right?
Over time I have come to see TBOS as a fiction, a wonderful journey through some of the most beautiful pictures of stones, poetic descriptions that ignite the imagination. However as consumer, I am sadly dissapointed in the actual facts about the stones, thier uses and thier names.
I do not refer to TBOS as a reference book on stones, I refer to it more as a beautiful journey through some very gifted writers experience using stones in a way others have not written about very well.
Would I recommend this book to others- YES - with a disclaimer of what it is
Would I re-purchase this book if the need arose - NO
TBOS total score 2.9 ★
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on March 16, 2015
I have a copy of the original book, which I was very impressed with, as well as the small, pocket-sized book that is based on the big one - because that is far too big to lug around. Actually, it is so heavy that it doesn't even make the most comfortable reading sitting down. Don't get me wrong - tons of information, good paper, etc. But I was excited to get the revised kindle version for ease of handling, as well as information on more stones. It has also bothered me that the small book covers some stones not in the large one - so I was looking forward to having all of my information in one place.

Instead, if I want to reference something now, I may have to search in three books to find it. It is incomprehensible to me that many of the stones I own are no longer featured in the revised edition. If they were important enough to include to begin with, then what makes them insignificant all of a sudden? Or is this a ploy to have us buy all three books if we want our information to be comprehensive? Senseless and annoying.

Also - really? They STILL couldn't get it together to include a regular index? For example, fuschite is nowhere to be found... oh, wait. It's called "ruby fuschite". Well, if I had an index, I could look up fuschite and be directed to the correct page. As it is, I could look through every name of every stone featured in the book and see if there is anything containing fuschite. Then I may find it. Or not. Because fuschite is not in the first book, for instance. Ruby or otherwise.

Also beyond my powers of understanding - jasper. Six varieties are sub-headed under it. Ocean jasper is not one of them. It is listed under "O". Same for spider jasper. Under "S". Or it would be / was - because it is now apparently no longer relevant. If these are different from the other jaspers, fine. But if you had an index, you could at least find them under jasper in there. Anyhow. It would have been good to have a non-meditating (or at least not actively meditating whilst working), anal editor on this.
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on May 2, 2015
There are two books that, as a crystal healer, a gemstone jeweler and collector of fine crystals, i feel that I must have in hard copy, instead of a Kindle book. The pictures and some of the writing are excellent and informative, but this author is so commercial that as soon as I find a better book (take a look at Gems of Wisdom and most of Judy Hall's books) with as much relevance to what I do I will change. I do not like that he finds a quartz or agate or whatever on one of his properties and names it something sort of new age sounding (atlantisite, etc.), and puts up the marketing and creates a story about it and lo the price is like diamonds! And although there is a lot of hype about how powerful these stones are, both my husband and I were University professors and we had a certification course for crystal healers, all of whom had a great sensitivity to energies. We did a blind test with ourselves and our students and clients. Not one of us could feel the difference between the Robert Simmons rocks with fancy names and quartz or other things. I do not like that he is a snake oil salesman, when there is so much good that we can all do.
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on August 29, 2013
this was no ordinary rain either..it started at about 2 am and went all day and the next night..we received over 3" in a 24 hour period..so why a delivery person would leave amazon's cardboard container outside with no plastic wrap is stupid! All three of the works got soaked and are completely damaged. They are still so wet after 3 days that they would be too heavy to mail back to you!! I spent all that money and will not even be able to read them, as the pages are all sticking together as they dry.

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on June 12, 2016
I received this as a gift. I also have the first one. I have been working with crystal energies for 15+ years. I use four different crystal books, an Android app, and the Internet along with my personal experiences when working with crystal energies. I buy and handpick 95% of my stones from rock shops. I did order a few trademarked stones from his store specifically the azeztulite once. I received little cards verifying their authenticity. At this time, I am on the fence about my order.

The revision is good and the additional stones are nice. It is a good starting point for someone interested in working with crystal energies. However, it should not be your only source.

There are two main problems with this book. First and foremost, Robert Simmons trademarks many stones. Just because you meditate with a stone doesn't give you the right to trademark it. To me, it's like trade marking a natural occurring lake or an ocean. It is just not right.
Secondly, I feel his descriptions are little embellished. Don't get me wrong, Mr. Simmons is a good writer. For example, he tells you 4 pages worth of material about his Moldavite experience. If the Moldavite doesn't resonate with you, you will be disappointed. This was my experience. Never the less, it was good for my collection. In fact, my experiences are different with quite a few of his descriptions. That is ok. Naisha Ahsian's descriptions resonated with me more and were a pleasant addition in the first book. I was a little disappointed with the lack of her comments on the additional stones. In any case, the buyer should be aware. I believe Mr. Simmons encourages others to create their own experiences with the stones in the introduction. But if you are like most new people in the metaphysical community, it is believed to be a "tried and true" reference material. I recommend you take the time to read the intro before looking further.
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on September 28, 2017
Pros: It's a nicely done book on stones/crystals. It's encyclopedia-style, with detailed pages about each stone. For each stone there's at least one color photo, sometimes more, along with an overview of the facts: its makeup, hardness, where it is found, etc. This short section is followed by two long sections, one for each of the two authors, Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian who offer their own commentary. I especially like the pages on the clear quartz crystal, which offers several pages of detailed information on the various formations.

Cons: Literally an hour after buying this book, I stopped into a crystal shop to pick some stones. While there, I saw this book again and mentioned to the lady that I just purchased it up the road. She said it's an excellent book but said it's "too bad the author trademarks stones..." I asked what she meant. She said he (Robert Simmons) will find a type of quartz or stone and will trademark it and rename it as a "newly discovered" crystal. He then (according to the sales lady) "invents amazing properties" for it and sells the "new" stone for a ridiculously high price.

I was perturbed by this and came home and googled the topic. Sure enough, a fair amount of controversy, the same claims the lady in the store made. One example is what's said to be a low grade quartz that he "reinvented" and calls Azeztulite. Apparently he's renamed/trademarked other stones too, giving them trendy, new-agey sounding names.

I read the history of Azeztulite, which it turns out is at the back of this book. Basically: Naisha (the coauthor) had been "inwardly in contact" with a group of angelic entities who called themselves "Azez" who travel the Universe "looking for planets ready to make the shift to a higher vibrational level". They find Earth, decide we're "ready" and instruct her to make a pendant using a stone which was to be called Azeztulite (vain angelic entities, apparently). She calls Robert Simmons to commission the making of the pendant, who knows nothing of the stone, but she assures him that the Azez beings told her not to worry, that it would come to him. Sure enough, it arrives UPS from some guy who's a stranger to them both.

The story sounds like someone's childish fantasy or a money making scheme between friends to me, I mean no disrespect to those who believe the story, but I for one do not. And the entire concept of Simmons trademarking stones so only he can profit from the new name sounds unethical and greedy. I don't know how much of what I read is accurate; I only know that it causes me to question the authenticity of the books' contents. I checked my receipt and the shop has a no refunds policy. So I'll be sure to cross reference any unfamiliar stones with trendy sounding names that I come across in the book with reliable sources to be sure they aren't something he reinvented. Otherwise, it's still very useful for the majority of stones which I am familiar with and want to read more about. The descriptions of stones that I already know well do seem accurate, I'll say that.
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on December 6, 2012
There is a lot of information in these pages! If you have a game plan on how to browse this book, you'll get a lot of use out of it. Take the time to read the introduction.
The authors suggested a tactic that I often use with my angel cards: Meditate, or just focus and get into a peaceful place. Think of an intention, or just clear your mind and look for guidance. Open the book and start reading about the first crystal that you can see. This works really well for me. Chances are, if you own this book or are thinking about owning it, you dabble in the metaphysical. That is why I especially appreciated this book- the variations on the meanings of the crystals by the authors. You could also just use it the normal way which I would assume would just be to look things up. Whatever works for you.
Crystals and their energy can be a very personal thing, and this book allows room for interpretation while giving the basics as well as giving some opinions based in experience.
I was at a gem show two months ago and I saw one fellow crystal lover carrying this book around. The pages were dog-eared, bent and scraggly, and the cover/binding was very well-loved. He had notes sticking out of the pages and carried it around with him to the different booths. He would ask someone if they had a particular stone after rifling through the pages. It was like he had a grocery list! I think that is definitely a testament to how valuable this book is.
I give it 4 stars because of the story at the end of the book. I consider myself to be very open-minded, but I also trust my intuition. The authors speak about a rare crystal that they "found" and their customers' reactions to its particular vibration. The story had me absolutely convinced while I was reading! I had to find this azeztulite for myself. I had to know the azez people. After I had finished reading, I wasn't so excited. I thought about what I just read and it really didn't resonate with me. I had my doubts, and apparently the internet did, too. Whatever floats your boat...take what you love and leave the rest! The rest of the book was so great that I didn't mind the ending too much.
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on October 4, 2016
I call this the Bible. Best book written on stones you can find. Details EVERY stone you can think of, giving metaphysical breakdown in an easy to read and understand 3-5 paragraphs by two very educated writers on this subject. Every stone description is accompanied with a picture of the stone, so I use as a quick reference where I can figure out the name of a stone based on the picture. This book has taught me so much about the stones I am drawn to and why I am drawn to them at particular times in my life. I feel that it has expanded my knowledge on the subject. I have three versions of this book - an updated version, with newly discovered stones and slightly modified descriptions and a pocket book of stones that I can literally put in my purse and use as a quick reference no matter where I am. This book has changed my world and has provided me an in depth understanding of the minerals in this world. Keep these books coming! Every rock lover should have this book!
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on January 21, 2017
Absolutely love all the information in this book! Great purchase for those who are learning or just want more details of the power their crystals have. Not everyone understands the way our bodies, the energy around us, and how crystals affect us. This book is a must have for your library and I'm thrilled it is finally in mine! I take it with when traveling for crystal hunts.
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