An essay on buying gems at the source in Asia, with a discussion of how con men play on the greed of those who believe gems will be cheaper at the mines.
Developing a comprehensive colored stone grading system has been the dream of gemologists since the late 1970's, but despite a number of valient attempts, we are no closer to the goal today than we were four decades ago. This article examines the various problems of colored stone grading, explaining why the challenges are at least an order of magnitude greater than the grading of diamonds.
Experience the hidden world of ruby & sapphire in this exhibition with Lotus Gemology and Van Cleef & Arpels' L'École School of Jewelry Arts
The role of fiber-optic lighting in gemological microscopy.
A discussion of the flux-healing treatment of rubies. This article was given the Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Award by the American Gem Society in 2005.
One of the greatest gemological challenges is determining if a ruby or sapphire has been heat treated. UV fluorescence can assist in that identification, as well as detecting fillers in emerald.
The Thai city of Chanthaburi (จันทบุรี) may be small, but it has played an important role in both the history of Thailand and the gem trade. Taking its name from the Sanskrit word for moon ('chan'), this petite town is among the most charming in the Land of Smiles.
Introducing the blue filter as a gemological tool to separate natural and Verneuil synthetic yellow sapphires.
The subject of andesine in Tibet has been one of controversy since 2008. This article examines the history of the issue, along with detailing an October 2010 visit to the Tibetan andesine deposit.
E. Billie Hughes, Richard W. Hughes, Wimon Manorotkul | 2020
From the dawn of time, precious stones have both attracted and fascinated humans in ways that few other items could. For while objects of desire are found throughout the natural world, physical beauty is too often ephemeral. From the allure of a man, woman, flower or butterfly, through the fleeting moments of a sunset, there is little that lasts and practically nothing that can be passed down to our descendants. The exception is precious stones. Not only are they the most durable creations of Mother Nature, but their visual splendor is truly eternal.
This book presents a completely fresh approach to the subject. Dubbing it humanistic gemology, the authors take readers around the world, showing the places they have explored in their search for gems, along with the people and cultures encountered along the way. Within this volume, remarkable photographs of the human world are interwoven with images of the microscopic realm of the gems themselves. In a lifetime beset by time control, where living is broken into ever smaller bits, as you browse through these pages suddenly you plunge into a domain of frozen time, one that affords vistas of millions or even billions of years. For jewels offer not just superficial beauty, but a window on the primordial forces that birthed both our planet and universe.
Inside Out – Gemology Through Lotus-Colored Glasses represents a fascinating new direction for gemology, linking the external and internal worlds of precious stones for the first time.
Richard W. Hughes, editor | 2022
The study of jade is unlike any other gem, trespassing across all conventional boundaries, particularly those of the gemological and mineralogical realm. Despite the march of mineralogical orthodoxy and conformity, the word “jade” is a fist in the air of protest, crying out not for reduction and definition, but an expansion of the mineralogical lexicon to include the cultural aspects of human civilization and life. The word “jade” is the anti-mineral. Because jade is so much more than a simple census of atoms, their valence states, and their places of residence.
An understanding of jade is not limited to the technical or exacting; it also incorporates a feeling for the cultural, textural, and ephemeral qualities that make the study of this gem unlike any other in the world of gemstones. It is our heartfelt hope that this volume will not just fill the “traditional gemological” gap, but will open readers’ eyes to a world beyond. Because jade is so much more.
While the literature on jade is vast, perhaps greater than any other gem, there is a distinct lack of a volume that treats jade as a gemological material. This book is designed to fill that gap, with extensive information on the history, sources, appraisal and identification of both treated and the various forms of imitation jade. All of this is together in a single volume for the first time, making this a must-have for all collectors, dealers, gemologists, appraisers, curators and anyone else with an interest in this fascinating gem.
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Jade • A Gemologist's Guide
Richard W. Hughes
featuring contributions from…
Ahmadjan Abduriyim • Dale Blankenship • George E. Harlow • Eric J. Hoffman • E. Billie Hughes • Richard W. Hughes • Jiang “Chris” Chenglong • John I. Koivula • Nikolai Kouznetsov • Liu Yicen • Kirk Makepeace • Jeff Mason • Dominic W.K. Mok • Qi Lijian • Mary Lou Ridinger • Donn Salt • Roland Schluessel • Andrew Shaw • Shi Guanghai • Susan Stronge • Wang Mingying • Stewart Young • Zhou "Adam" Zhengyu
Rudolph I. Estrada • Tao Hsu • Jason C.H. Kao • Michael S. Krzemnicki • William F. Larson • Wim Vertriest
Sponsored by the Houston Museum of Natural Science
The study of jade is unlike that of any other gem, trespassing across conventional boundaries, particularly those of the gemological and mineralogical realm. Despite the march of mineralogical orthodoxy and conformity, the word “jade” is a fist in the air of protest, crying out not for further reduction and definition, but an expansion of the mineralogical canon to include the cultural aspects of human civilization and life. Because jade is so much more than a simple census of atoms, valence states, and places of residence. Jade is a lexicon liberator.
While the literature on jade is vast, perhaps greater than any other gem, there is a distinct lack of a volume in English that treats jade as a gemological material. This book is designed to fill that gap, with extensive information on the history, sources, appraisal and identification of both treated and imitation jades. All of this is together in a single volume for the first time, making it a must-have for collectors, dealers, gemologists, appraisers, curators and anyone else with an interest in this fascinating gem.
An understanding of jade is not limited to the technical or exacting; it also incorporates a feeling for the cultural, textural, and ephemeral qualities that make the study of this gem unlike any other. This volume will not just fill the “traditional gemological” gap, but will open readers’ eyes to a world beyond. Because jade is so much more…
Standard Edition Hardcover with Dust Jacket
534 pages; 240 x 280 mm (9.45 x 11 inches), 2.75 kg (6 lb)
Full Color Throughout
Special Limited Edition of 100 Signed and Numbered Copies Bound in Thai Silk with Slipcase
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Title Page & Table of Contents
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The history of the Lao sapphire mines at Ban Huay Xai is detailed, along with modern mining by Hong Kong based Sino Resources Mining Corp. Ltd. from 2006–2012.
In search of Thailand's last ruby miner.
An orangish pink “padparadscha” sapphire was submitted for testing at Lotus Gemology’s Bangkok laboratory. Testing showed a number of conflicting features that suggested the gem was a cleverly treated synthetic pink sapphire designed to imitate natural padparadscha.
A discussion of the definition of padparadscha sapphire, from early to modern times, along with the difficulty in standardizing such definitions.
Richard W. Hughes | 1997
Ruby & Sapphire is widely acknowledged as one of the finest gemology books ever published. Not just an update of his previous volumes on ruby and sapphire, it represents something rarely seen in a technical book, a fusion of accurate science and spirited, accessible prose. Within its pages, one finds information on prices, quality analysis, sources, history, treatments and identification. Featuring over 300 color photos and 2500 references, this now out-of-print volume is today highly sought after by collectors and gemologists, who pay as much as $1000 or more for the privilege of owning a copy.
Out-of-print. Click here to search for a copy
Solid inclusions have been used by gemologists as a means of determining origin. While there is a great deal of overlap from one source to another, there are also important differences. For example, while apatite has been identified in sapphire from Madagascar, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, apatite has never been identified in sapphire from Kashmir. Thus the purpose of this article is to give a full listing of solid inclusions in gem corundums from around the world, with each occurrence fully referenced. This is provided with the goal of making origin determination of ruby and sapphire more accurate.
Richard W. Hughes | 2014
Few gems capture the imagination like ruby and sapphire. This book removes the cloak of an otherwise secret world . Drawing on a lifetime’s experience, the author ventures around the globe for the finest specimens, in the process allowing readers to discover the people and places where these rare gems are found, along with the story of the stones themselves. Throughout the text, Hughes guides readers with the steady connoisseur's eye, explaining what collectors should look for. For many pieces, actual auction prices are given, aiding collectors in their buying decisions. Illustrated with more than 300 color photographs, this is a visual and intellectual feast of the most delicious order.