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Secrets of the Gem Trade: The Connoisseur's Guide to Precious Gemstones Paperback – 1 Mar 2006
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This is the first comprehensive gemstone grading manual. The book divides into two parts. Section I describes the criteria used to quality grade faceted gems, cabochons, pearls, opals, star stones and Catseyes. Section II applies the grading criteria to 35 of today's most important gemstones. The book covers diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, tourmaline, garnet, pearl, agate and opal. The book includes 1st person travelogues from Mr. Wise's trips to the major gem bearing areas of the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia and South America.
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Top Customer Reviews
Not wanting to be fleeced, I thought it would be a good idea to buy a book on gems and to learn the basics of gemstones and understand why the 4 C's (colour, clarity, cut, carat) are important and more importantly learn the principles behind them.
Since buying Secrets of the Gem trade 3 weeks ago, my knowledge has improved tenfold and aside from being a comfortable read, the book has proved to be an invaluable resource in our search for the perfect gemstone for the following reasons.
1) Clear and well written information on the 4 C's - The guiding principles behind gem selection, chapters are understandable and informative. Technical detail is included only where the author has deemed it appropriate for the understanding of a concept or principle. Unlike other books, you won't find scientific garb on mineral %'s/composition, rock type etc, but rather you will find an honest account. I personally found the chapter on "cut" and the discussion on light and refraction within a gemstone particularly useful when liaising with jewellers particularly on the subject of the brilliance (or lack of, in the case of rubies I was being shown).Read more ›
The sections on grading of stones are superb and you start to understand what makes a fine gem, however, I was amazed that prices are not discussed at all nor, dealer percentages, average mark-ups or any general price discussion so you could get an idea of this end of the game. Is that not what the title really suggests? The subject has been totally avoided and there is nothing in the book I can recall which would upset the trade at all. There is also nothing on negotiating or the various avenues for purchasing! The author himself an active dealer may have had some bearing here!
Another serious subject that was brushed over far to quickly was that of treatments and modern additives! A huge subject these days and probably the single biggest caveat one would need to know as much about as possible; virtually nothing of it is covered- a huge disappointment.
Overall it is fine enough in detail and so beautifully presented for it not to skittle it and it's somewhat misleading claims from the cover, however there is far too much of the book devoted to coloured diamonds which are way out of reach of all but the Monaco set so why bother? I don't think many readers are buying it for a substitute for a Rodeo Drive Tiffany's catalogue but rather to get under the hood and nitty gritty of the trade.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great for a beginner, a bit useless for anyone that already knows anything. Sent it back.Published 15 months ago by CS
Interesting book, reads mostly like a novel. Took me only a few days to go cover to cover. Nice background and travel stories that give a somewhat different perspective on the... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Ron B
A really clear and concise guide to mainstream gems. I found this to be an easy read and I learned a lot. Read morePublished on 17 Aug. 2014 by I.
Great book and gift for the aspiring gem collector / investor . Definitely recommend for someone looking to take next step in gem knowledge!Published on 22 April 2014 by andy dias
If you are interested in gemstones you will get alot out of this book, especially if you are a collector like me.Published on 3 Mar. 2014 by DM
very good value for money, nicely laid out easy reference, good plain English would recommend to anyone interested in gemstones very happy with my purchase.Published on 2 Oct. 2013 by Cathy Donnelly