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Popular Science

By: Cally Oldershaw, Christine Woodward and Roger Harding

76 pages, Col photos

London Natural History Museum

Paperback | Mar 2001 | Edition: 2 | #111131 | ISBN: 0565091557
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NHBS Price: £7.99 $10/€9 approx

About this book

Explores the nature of gems, their beauty, rarity and durability, and the mineral properties that govern these qualities. It describes the most popular stones in detail, shows how gem materials form, where they are found and mined, and how they are identified.

'Aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable, accurate, succinct... One could say a gem among books of its kind.' New Scientist on the first edition.


Is it a gem?; Finding gems; Properties; The passage of light; Cutting and polishing; The real and the fake; Jewellery; The gemstones; Diamond; Ruby and sapphire; Emerald and aquamarine; Opal; Amethyst and citrine; Garnet; Tourmaline; Topaz; Chrysoberyl; Peridot; Zircon; Spinel; Tanzanite; Taaffeite; Benitoite Iolite; Andalusite, fibrolite and kynaite; Kunzite and hiddenite; Kornerupine; Scapolite; Diopside and enstatite; Sphene; Chalcedony and jasper; Jade; Turquoise; Lapis lazuli; Malachite and azurite; Moonstone and labadorite; Blue John; Rhodonite and rhodochrosite; Serpentine; Ivory and bone; Amber and jet; Pearl, coral and shell; Further reading and picture credits; Index.

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Cally Oldershaw worked on the development of exhibitions in the geological galleries at The Natural History Museum. A Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (GAGTL), she now works at the Geological Society. She continues to work as a freelance author, editor and consultant. Christine Woodward prepared and produced geological exhibitions at the Museum until 1990. She still works with the Museum delivering adult education courses. Roger Harding is Director of the GATL, a body providing membership, educational outreach and gem testing services. He was curator of gemstones at the Museum, from 1972-90.
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