Gemstones: A Concise Reference Guide

Princeton Univ. Apr. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780691214481. pap. $19.95. REF
In this succinct but informative work, Hansen (curator, minerals and gemstones, Natural History Museum, London) examines every known type of gem. She categorizes the gems into three types: well-known (diamond, quartz) and lesser-known stones (calcite, sinhalite) and organic gems formed by plants and/or animals (amber, pearl). The detailed introduction provides information on the history of gems, their properties, how they are cut and fashioned, and how they are analyzed. Lengthy entries discuss each gem in depth; each entry also includes a sidebar with the key elements of the stone—chemical composition, crystal system, hardness, optical nature, and more. Each entry contains several color photographs of the gem (before and after being cut) and a page of recommended websites, books, and journals.
VERDICT Humans have held gemstones in high regard, and this guide makes it clear why. Ideal for anyone with an interest in gemstones or for those interested in geology.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing