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Secrets of the Gem Trade: The Connoisseur's Guide to Precious Gemstones Paperback – 1 Mar 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Brunswick House Press (1 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972822380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972822381
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 2.1 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 617,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

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.


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For nearly 6 months now, my fiancée and I have been searching for a ruby engagement ring. After visiting 10 or so jewellers one Saturday, things were fast becoming confusing and I was becoming increasingly sceptical because knowledge amongst jewellers differ and some of what we were being told made sense, whilst some things made no sense at all. As I began to contemplate the hard earned money I was about to spend versus my knowledge of gemstones (limited to a few printouts off Blue nile dot com), the words "caveat emptor" or "let the buyer beware" began to ring loudly in my mind.

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).
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Format: Hardcover
Finally the truth at last. Every book on gems covers essentially the same ground, history, lore, physical and geographical properties. Secrets is the first book to truly explain in non-technical language the principals of gemstone quality evaluation. The author, an acclaimed connoisseur and dealer finally lifts the veil, guiding the reader towards a true understanding of those criteria that make a gem beautiful and desirable. Congratulations!
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Format: Paperback
I had known about this book for some time and finally got around to purchasing a copy. With a title like "secrets of the gem trade" it had a lot to live up to! The author probably knows as much about the trade as anyone alive and although I enjoyed it immensely I couldn't help on reflection coming away thinking it could have been so much 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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers all the main gem stones you would find at a gem dealers or in a jewelers shop. Covering Alexandrite, Amythyst, Beryls, Agates, Gernets, Pearls, Ruby, Sapphire, opal, tourmalines, Diamonds clear and coloureds, tanzanite lapsis and spinels. Well illustrated in full colour educating you in the importance and atributes of the different characteristics stones exhibit and how it affects their value and desirability. A detailed section on all the main characteristics of diamonds and also covers coloured diamonds. The book goes through the individual characteristics of stones sourced from different locations, ie rubies from burma or thailand? as well explains the qualities of hue, saturation and tone of a stone as well as the various treatments they can undergo. There is also plenty of reference to other subject matter if you have the desirability of gaining a more indepth knowlage. The sub title sums up what the book is about and gives you a good background of how to sort the wheat from the chaff. All in all a great guide covering what alot of other gem books miss out or don't explain too well.
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