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Classic Jewelry Book Gets an Update

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The authoritative work was a bestseller when first published.

Richard Wise’s “Secrets of the Gem Trade: The Connoisseur’s Guide to Precious Gemstones” became a bestseller when it was first published in 2003. Over the past 13 years, the author has seen so many new twists and turns in the marketplace that he was inspired to make his authoritative book even better. The newly released second edition includes 11 new chapters, five new introductory essays and 161 additional images.

By revealing how the world’s best gemologists evaluate precious gems, Wise aims to give the reader the power to differentiate between a “good stone” and a “truly fabulous museum-quality gem.”

Gem enthusiasts will see new chapters about jadeite, demantoid garnet, natural nacreous pearls, conch pearls, Golconda (Type IIa) diamonds, sunstone, peridot, moonstone, cobalt blue spinel, red/pink spinel and violet diamonds.

The publisher noted that the two new chapters on pearls address a huge resurgence in natural pearls. The inscrutable jade is discussed in clear terms that both Asian and Western readers will understand.

And in his new introduction, Wise tells the story of the Blue Whites, the crème de la crème of colorless diamonds.

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The 404-page visual delight includes exclusive images from two major museum collections and an array of the latest auction head turners. The images are individually spot varnished for color depth and accuracy.

The book is divided into two parts. The first examines the term “preciousness,” as Wise leads the reader to a better understand of the criteria that define a gemstone. The second part contains a series of essays that delve deeply into the unique qualities and characteristics of what the author describes as 35 of “the most beautiful and the most important gemstones available today.” These include diamond, pearl, tourmaline, sapphire, chalcedony, spinel, ruby and garnet.

Secrets of the Gem Trade has a cover price of $99.95 and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most other major book retailers.

Credits: Images by Brunswick House Press.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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