Diamonds: Their History, Sources, Qualities and Benefits

Firefly. Nov. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9780228103318. $49.95. REF
This coffee-table book from gemologist Newman (Diamond Handbook: A Practical Guide to Diamond Evaluation) covers diamond lore, mining and processing, and more. With detailed, larger-than-life photographs, along with maps and illustrations, Newman explores cuts (rose, brilliant, emerald), jewelry styles (Victorian, art deco, modern), and pricing considerations. Newman mentions only briefly the social and environmental impacts of diamond mining, and in a generally positive light (for instance, she describes De Beers’s GemFair program as connecting “artisanal and small-scale miners to the global market through digital technology and assurance of ethical working standards”). Librarians might consider balancing it with Tom Zoeller’s The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire for more social impact coverage.
VERDICT Brilliant, oversize images of loose stones at all stages and in custom-made jewelry will draw gem buffs, jewelry makers, collectors, and historians.
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