When I heard about a new book — Dictionary of Gemstones & Jewelry — my first thought was, “oh no, not another one.” But this one, written by Akira Chikayama, and translated by Stephen H. Gill, is a comprehensive reference work unlike anything else in the market. Anyone and everyone in the gem and jewelry trade must have this book on their reference shelf! It is filled with information not found anywhere else in a single volume; I could find nothing of importance that was not included in this exhaustive and accurate work. It is also organized in an extremely helpful manner, making it easy to access whatever you need to know. For example, if you are interested in gemstone treatments, just go to “treatment” and you will find a listing of gemstones, the ways in which each may be treated, and even interesting historical facts. If you want to know about diamonds, just go to “diamonds” and you’ll find it is organized so you can find information on anything you might want to know about diamond, from its physical properties to specific sources around the world, mining techniques, or even famous diamonds!
The appendices also contain invaluable information of timely importance, such as a chart comparing different types of jade, listings of RI liquids and SG liquids, a chart of all the elements, fascinating information about synthetics and how they are chemically different for natural counterparts, and much more. But it is not just about gemology and technical matters. It is also filled with fascinating historical data, “fun facts” and biographical sketches of people who have shaped the field as we know it today.
Perhaps most amazing is that it is user-friendly and easy to understand. I actually found myself “reading” this “dictionary” into the wee hours of the morning because it was so accessible and so interesting. Alan Jobbins also played a major role in making this English edition a reality, so it is no accident that it is exceptional in every way.
I could go on and on about all that it contains and how it differs from any other book available, but space is limited. In short, it is much more than a “dictionary” it is one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive books written, on every facet of the gem and jewelry world. It is a rare treasure, and worth its weight in gold!
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