g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Jewelry Making Site

BellaOnline's Jewelry Making Editor


Gemstones Book Review

Smithsonian Nature Guide GEMS, the world in your hands. "Gems", by Ronald Louis Bonewitz, is an excellent reference book and simply beautiful. This compact little book has more than 400 examples of gemstones. Every major group of gems is thoroughly covered in this easy to use guide. Cut stones, precious metals, and organic gems are explained in detail with beautiful photographs.

The table of contents has three sections, a 38 page introduction,  profiles of GEMSTONES and an illustrated explanation on how to read the Gem Profiles in the book. The introduction is well written and provides the  reader  with an enormous amount of information. Everything is covered from, how gems are formed to where they are mined, to cutting, polishing and engraving gemstones. The introduction wraps up with an interesting history and folklore on collecting gemstones.

The Gemstone section covers over 400 stones. Each show a profile of the stones along with a key that indicates the structure, hardness, specific gravity, and other identifying points. Illustrations show popular cuts of that particular stone. Most impressive, are several photographs on each page showing the mineral in its natural form, as a cut gem, variants of the gem, and its application in jewelry. Each gemstone description includes its chemical makeup, where the gem comes from, as well as interesting information as it applies to the individual gemstone. The author intertwines technical detail with interesting stories, which gives the book an interesting twist.  

The photography alone is enough to captivate the reader. The commissioned close-up photographs vividly show each gem's key feature and facets. The photographs along with the illustrations and keys provide quick, clearly understood information. Everything you want to know about gemstones can be easily accessed with this book.

I especially enjoyed entries such as the precious opal on pages 120  and 121. Ten beautiful photographs show the opal in it's natural state as well as different types of opals used in jewelry designs such as a necklace by Louis Comfort Tiffany. 

An entertaining excerpt is on the  history of opals: "Opal derives its name from the roman word Opalus, which means 'precious stone.’ In the middle ages, opal was considered a lucky stone. In 1829, Sir Walter Scott published the novel Anne of Geierstein, or the Maiden of the Mist, in which the protagonist owns a magical opal talisman that cause the death of its owner when it accidentally comes into contact with holy water. Within a year of its publication, the sales of opal plummeted in Europe. Many still consider the stone unlucky."

I expected to find the gemstones in alphabetical order throughout the book, however they are not. If you are looking for a specific stone, you need to refer to the index. The book is bound in a very stiff glossy wrap around cover designed to hold up to the handling of a good reference book.

I found this book  to be very informative and believe anyone remotely interested in learning more about gemstones would find this to be a very valuable resource. The glossary is well written with over 100 entries and the index is complete. I would recommend this as companion to your jewelry making library, whether you currently work with gemstones or simply interested to learn about gems.

The book was published by Dk Publishing, with the American edition published in 2013.
Add Gemstones+Book+Review to Twitter Add Gemstones+Book+Review to Facebook Add Gemstones+Book+Review to MySpace Add Gemstones+Book+Review to Del.icio.us Digg Gemstones+Book+Review Add Gemstones+Book+Review to Yahoo My Web Add Gemstones+Book+Review to Google Bookmarks Add Gemstones+Book+Review to Stumbleupon Add Gemstones+Book+Review to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Jewelry Making Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Susan Mendenhall. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Susan Mendenhall. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Susan Mendenhall for details.


g features
Healthy Brains and Jewelry Making

Rock on Zircon!

Fold Form Copper Bracelet Project

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor