Sapphire & Emerald Buying Guide
This book is one of Renée Newman's popular series of buying guides designed for retail buyers of gems and jewelry.
The book is divided into 16 chapters that discuss the various aspects of these stones. An appendix lists the properties and sources of these gems, and a bibliography is also provided, along with a brief index.
plusses A number of features recommend this book:
A number of features recommend this book:
quibbles Like all books, there are the occasional errors or misstatements.
Like all books, there are the occasional errors or misstatements.
If there is any one flaw in this book, I would say that for the target audience, it is a bit overwhelming. So much gemological information is packed into the 164 pages that beginners may feel adrift on a giant technical sea. But this is a small complaint. There is also much to commend. Overall, the Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald Buying Guide succeeds admirably in its goal of offering sound advice for the purchaser of ruby, sapphire and emerald. The reader cannot fail to learn much about gems. My hat is off to Renée Newman for another rousing success.
by Richard W. Hughes
Renée Newman comments:
I disagree that I have a two dimensional, "saturationless" approach to color description. I define my three-dimensional color terminology on page 39. When I describe the evaluation of ruby and emerald color on pages 41 and 51, I begin with saturation. But I describe it in terms any dealer or consumer could understand. Regarding emerald, I state, "pure colors are more desirable than dull, muddy ones. In high quality emerald, the bright areas of color should not look grayish or brownish."
When I describe high-quality Mogok rubies on page 47, I included the statement: "There is hardly any brown or gray masking the hue. (In other words, there is a minimal amount of brown or gray present. Consequently, the color of the stone is a more intense red.)" I find this easier for my readers to understand than saying good Mogok rubies have a saturation range of X to Y%. Furthermore, I don't know of any studies that have measured their saturation range and I doubt that dealers would be able to agree on a range.
I also include the concept of saturation in my color description of the various sapphires. I normally use terms other than "saturated" to describe it because I've found that "saturation" (along with intensity, strength and richness) has a variety of meanings. Some people use it to refer to tone, some to the amount of gray or brown present, and others to both tone and saturation. I find the term "color purity" to be less ambiguous, especially in the contexts in which I use it. But I agree it's not the best term since it can also refer to the hue. If any one can come up with an unambiguous term for "saturation" that would be clear to the general public and the trade, I would appreciate hearing about it.
The reason I've packed so much information in this books is because it's written for the trade as well as for consumers. Salespeople, dealers and appraisers want comprehensive reference materials; pawnbrokers and antique dealers want easy-to-read identification information; serious gem buyers want complete evaluation data. My book, the Gemstone Buying Guide, is ideal for people who want a more general and less technical book.
Thank you for including the cover photo and flattering review of my book on your website. Congratulations on creating what is probably the most informative and entertaining gemstone website on the Internet.
April 26, 2006