Gems and Crystals: From the American Museum of Natural History (Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones)

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9780671687045: Gems and Crystals: From the American Museum of Natural History (Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones)
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Discusses the properties, history, lore, and sources of gems

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The record of human fascination with the beauty and allure of gems and crystals spans several millennia. Since the first colorful stone was utilized as an object of adornment, gemstones have been credited with magical and medicinal virtues; coveted as symbols of wealth and power; polished, shaped, engraved, and faceted to enhance their beauty; analyzed to reveal the secrets of their eye-catching properties; and exploited as the basis of a glamorous industry.

GEMS & CRYSTALS provides a comprehensive examination of gems and gem materials including discussion of their properties, history, lore, and sources--the information useful to novice and expert alike. The reader will discover the relationships among gems, crystals, minerals, rocks and the bewildering variety of gemstones. The extensively researched text encompasses a panorama of topics from the ancient lapidaries that are filled with descriptions of gems and their virtues to the most up-to-date scientific data.

GEMS & CRYSTALS relates both intriguing legends about the gemstones and the general history of their use and popularity in different cultures. The Museum's gem collection, itself the stuff of legends, is described in this comprehensive book by Anna S. Sofianides, Associate, and George E. Harlow, Curator of Gems and Minerals, in the Department of Mineral Sciences at the American Museum of Natuarl History.

Filled with information on approximately 140 different gemstone varieties, GEMS & CRYSTALS points out the factors important in determining the quality of each gem and spells out the possible confusions in gemstone identification. After a general introduction to the special optical and crystalline properties that give gems their extraordinary appearance, the properties of each gemstone species are chronicled in sixteen informative chapters.

All of the gems, minerals, and crystals pictured in the book come from the renowned collections and exhibitions at the Museum. Not in over fifty years, and never before in color, has there been a book featuring the gem and crystal treasures of the Museum. This work is their only visible presentation outside the confines of the exhibition halls, and they are only photographed with great precision and sensitivity by Erica and Harold Van Pelt.

GEMS & CRYSTALS presents an accessable and entertaining text with 150 dazzling photographs to make this book a truly beautiful reflection of the gems, crystals and objets d'art from one of the world's most fabled collections.

About the Author:

Anna S. Sofianides, M.S., an Associate in the Department of Mineral Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History, is certified by the Gemological Institute of America. She was born in Bulgaria and has lived in the United States since 1970. A tireless researcher, Ms. Sofianides has been collecting data on gemstones and the Museum's collection since 1974.

George E. Harlow, Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Mineral Sciences at the American Msuem of Natural History, is an eminent mineralogist and crystallographer. While interested in a broad range of geologic topics, he specializes in the study of rock-forming minerals, particularly feldspars and pyroxenes. Recently Dr. Harlow has been carrying out research on the jadeite variety of jade, examining the source in Guatemala and the provenance of jade for New-World jade artifacts.

Harold and Erica Van Pelt are recognized among the top photographers of gems and gemstones in the world. Their work has appeared in Lapidary Journal, Gems and Gemology, Rock and Gem, and Mineralogical Record.

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Sofianides, Anna S., Harlow, George E.
Published by Simon & Schuster (1991)
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Book Description Simon & Schuster, New York, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: new. First edition/first printing. ISBM:0671687042 [4to] 208p. : ill. (plates_b/w & col.). biblio. index. New in dj protected against wear and tear in Brodart Archival Mylar. Seller Inventory # 105205

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