Gemstones of the World: A Dazzling Guide to Precious Gems

The fascinating new book “Gemstones of the World” by geologist Walter Schumann takes readers on an illuminating tour of over 130 different gemstones found across the globe. As an experienced gemologist, Schumann brings his expert knowledge to vividly showcase the wide world of gemstones in all their dazzling diversity.

Spanning nearly 300 pages, the book profiles both common and rare gem varieties, from glittering diamonds to fiery opals. Each gemstone receives a multi-page spotlight with detailed information on its science and origins, lore and symbolism, chemical properties, geographic sources, and more. Stunning close-up photographs in high resolution capture the gems’ mesmerizing colors and flawless cuts.

Schumann organizes the book into insightful chapters covering major gem families, like corundum, beryl, quartz, pearls, and others. He elucidates how nature creates these prized stones over eons through complex geological processes. The corundum chapter, for instance, explains how trace element impurities lend rubies their rich red hue and sapphires their deep blue tones.

While delving into the gems’ physical traits, each profile also highlights fascinating cultural and historical facts. We learn how ancient Hindu texts extolled the virtues of glowing rubies and how enormous pearls were favorites of vain medieval monarchs. These engaging backstories make the science behind the gemstones come alive.

For each entry, Schumann carefully details the gem’s main sources around the world. Sapphires come mainly from Sri Lanka and Australia, emeralds from Colombia and Zambia, and so on. This provides new insights into the global gem trade. The book contains a series of detailed maps pinpointing important modern and historical mining sites.

One of the highlights of “Gemstones of the World” is its stunning photography. Over 600 remarkable close-up images reveal the diverse palette of colors and shapes that make each gemstone unique. The dazzling gallery features many rare specimens from top museums and private collections. These include unusual gem forms like the mandarin garnet’s neon orange sprays, the alexandrite’s color-changing properties, and the exquisite symmetry of emerald crystals.

Walter Schumann’s passion for gemology shines through on every page of this definitive guide to nature’s treasures. Both general readers and specialists will find much to admire in this magnificently illustrated tour of the mineral kingdom’s most radiant jewels. “Gemstones of the World” is an essential, visually sumptuous reference for understanding and appreciating the spellbinding allure of precious gems.