The Worlds of R. A. Hortz
The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide
How to Select, Buy, Care for & Enjoy Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies and other colored Gems with Confidence and Knowledge
By Antoinette Matlins
GemStone Press (2001)
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - Posted July 12, 2012
Buying Colored Gemstones can be a harrowing, yet exhilarating experience. They come in so many varieties, so many colors, and they can be used in so many applications that it can be mind boggling. To make matters even worse, artificial or manmade gemstones, as well as enhanced natural stones abound. How can you be sure that you are buying what you think you are buying - be it real or synthetic? And once you have acquired your sought after stone, how do you care for it so that it will last for generations? Antoinette Matlins has come to the rescue with her book, Colored Gemstones: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide.
This marvelous guide book is a must have for anyone considering the purchase of a colored gemstone. In clear and concise language, Matlins, a respected gemstone and jewelry expert, offers advice on how to select and buy sapphires, emeralds, rubies and other colored gemstones. In addition she offers historical background on the various stones, and information on how to care for them.
The text of this guide is divided into three main sections.
Section One: Getting to Know Gems
In this section, Matlins examines some of the myths and lore surrounding gemstones, including gems associated with the zodiac, and those deemed to be birthstones. She also outlines the basic knowledge and equipment that you should arm yourself with before venturing out to buy loose gemstones or gemstone jewelry. She explains how to use a loupe, how a stone's value is judged, how to examine a stone, and the basic terms you need to know to describe gemstones and their various cuts.
Part Two: Colored Gemstones
In this section, Matlins gets down to the nitty-gritty of buying gemstones. She describes how to determine how much a stone is worth, and what actually constitutes a gemstone. Synthetic, simulated, and treated (enhanced) gemstones are also discussed, as are common ploys used to defraud or mislead consumers.
This section provides invaluable advice on how to actually buy the gemstones of your choice, including which gems to search for that meet your color, and price, requirements. This section is enhanced by the inclusion of a several price guide charts that will give you a working idea as to what is a fair price for various gems, both natural and synthetic. Another chart is included that details how various treatments can affect the price of gem.
Detailed descriptions of popular gems, including gem specific buying advice is also incorporated into this section. Information provided includes how to tell the real thing from a fake, where the stones are mined, pricing information, and how to care for the stone. At the end of each description is a list of Useful Facts that provides information on the stone's composition, weight, brilliance, hardness, and wearablity. Detailed descriptions are provided on more than forty gems, including Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Amethyst, Beryl, Lapis Lazuli, Opal, Scapolite, and Topaz, to name but a few.
Part Three: Important Advice Before & After You Buy
This final section provides useful advice on what questions to ask when buying a stone, how to select a reputable jewelry and / or gemologist consultant, tips for buying online, and how to care for your gems and gemstone jewelry.
Throughout this text you will find handy charts and tables, as well as numerous illustrations. The information provided in this book is easy to understand, and enjoyable to read. The old adage is 'buyer beware' and Colored Gemstones:
The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide will not only make you an informed and knowledgeable consumer, but it will also alert you to the numerous pitfalls that await the unweary gemstone buyer. Before buying your next gemstone, buy this book, then shop with confidence!
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