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2 Remote Warehouse Geology- Rocks and Minerals

Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World


Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Gems are objects of wealth, icons of beauty, and emblems of the very best of everything. They are kept as signs of prestige or power. Given as tokens of love and affection, they also come in a kaleidoscopic array of hues and can be either mineral or organic. Gems can command a personand#8217;s gaze in the way they play with light and express rich color. And they can evoke feelings of passion, greed, mystery, and warmth.

For millennia, gems have played an important role in human culture: they have significant value, both financially and within folklore and mythology. But just what are gems, exactly? This lavishly illustrated volumeand#8212;the most ambitious publication of its kindand#8212;provides a general introduction to gems and natural gemstones, conveying their timeless beauty and exploring similarities among different species and varieties. Gems and Gemstones features nearly 300 color images of the cut gems, precious and semiprecious stones, gem-quality mineral specimens, and fine jewelry to be unveiled in a new Grainger Hall of Gems at The Field Museum in Chicago this October. The book and exhibitionand#8217;s overarching theme will be the relationship between finished gems and their natural origin: while beautiful as faceted and polished pieces of jewelry, gems are often just as lovelyand#8212;or even more soand#8212;as gemstones in their natural state. For example, an aquamarine or emerald as originally found in a mine with its natural crystal faces can be as stunning as any cut and polished gem prepared for a ring, bracelet, or charm.

Thoughtful of both ancient and modern times, Gems and Gemstones also includes fun-filled facts and anecdotes that broaden the historical portrait of each specimen. When Harry Winston, for instance, donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1958, he sent it through the U.S. mail wrapped in plain brown paper. And for anyone who has ever marveled at the innovations of top jewelry designers, Gems and Gemstones features a dazzling array of polished stones, gold objects, and creations from around the world. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, amethysts, pearls, topaz, amberand#8212;every major gem gets its due in what will be an invaluable source on the subject for years to come.

Gems and Gemstones is the basis for the iPad app, available in the Apple iTunes App Store, Gems and Jewels.

About the Author

Lance Grande is senior vice president and head of collections and research at The Field Museum. He is a curator in the geology department and a general content specialist for The Fieldand#8217;s new Grainger Hall of Gems exhibit. He is also a member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago and is an adjunct professor of biology at the University of Illinois. Allison Augustyn, a funding specialist at The Field Museum, was previously an exhibition developer there, where she prepared such exhibits as The Ancient Americas, George Washington Carver, and The Grainger Hall of Gems.

Table of Contents



Introduction to Gems

The Formation of Gems

The Classification of Inorganic Gems

Diamond (colorless, colored, black)

Corundum (ruby, sapphire)

Chrysoberyl (alexandrite, cymophane, catand#8217;s-eye)

Spinel (red, blue, other)

Quartz (amethyst, citrine, and other)

Opal (black, white, fire)

Topaz (blue, imperial, other)

Beryl (emerald, bixbite, aquamarine, heliodor, morganite, pale green, and goshenite)



Tourmaline Group

Elbaite Tourmaline (verdelite, rubellite, indicolite, canary, achroite, bicolor, watermelon, cuprian)

Dravite Tourmaline

Schorl Tourmaline

Liddicoatite Tourmaline

Garnet Group

Almandine Garnet

Pyrope Garnet (including rhodolite)

Spessartine Garnet (including mandarin, malaia, umbalite)

Grossular Garnet (hessonite, tsavorite, rosolite, leuco)

Andradite Garnet (demantoid, topazolite, mali, melanite)

Uvarovite Garnet

Zircon (hyacinth, jargon, starlight, matara)

Pyroxene Group

Spodumene (kunzite, hiddenite, triphane)


Actinolite (nephrite and catand#8217;s-eye)

Zoisite (tanzanite, thulite, anyolite)

Forsterite (peridot, chrysolite)

Feldspar Group

Orthoclase Feldspar (moonstone)

Albite Feldspar (moonstone)

Albite-Anorthite Feldspar (labradorite)



Inorganic Gems Not Described Here

Organically Derived Gems


Noble Coral



Precious Metals (Gold)

Synthetic Gems, Simulant Gems, and Augmentation



Folklore, Mysticism, and Magic


History of The Field Museumand#8217;s Gem Halls

Exhibition Team for the Grainger Hall of Gems

Final Words and Acknowledgments



Index of Gem, Gemstone, and Other Mineral NamesSubject Index

Product Details

Grande, Lance
University of Chicago Press
Augustyn, Allison
Precious stones
Earth Sciences - Geology
Rocks & Minerals
Natural Resources
Earth Sciences - Mineralogy
Geology-Rocks and Minerals
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
290 color plates, 7 line drawings, 5 tab
10 x 8.5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Gems
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Rocks and Minerals

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