Gemstones of the World

Author: Walter Schumann

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company

Date Published: 1997

Pages: 280

“Revised and Expanded Edition.”

‘Gemstone of the World’ is a small book, but despite its size it is packed with an unbelievable amount of information. This includes hardness, optical properties, history, mining, locations, cutting techniques and terminology to name a few. The language is easy to understand yet offers in depth explanations of the scientific aspects of Gemology.


With any reference book there is a challenge in balancing the level of information and an attractive layout. ‘Gemstones of the World’ achieves a fantastic balance. The majority of the book is dedicated to cataloging the plethora of Gemstones by their individual properties with accompanying photos (as per the images above). Each Gem is at least presented in its rough and polished state, though some of the more popular Gems are dedicated an entire page. Just browsing through this section alone is a beautiful experience. The Gems are split into ‘Best Known Gemstones’ and ‘Lesser Known Gemstones’, and also included rocks (such as marble and alabastair) and organic gemstones (coral and Ivory). A small detail which I enjoyed is the silky feel of the pages which makes it easier to ‘browse’.  

Interestingly enough, the book has begrudgingly included a section on the association of Gems with the Zodiac and healing (‘Symbolism of Stones). I felt it was good that they included these sections as they are a historical aspect of Gems, yet also glad that they presented it in a clinical fashion.

Because of its loving attention to detail and the sheer determination to present as much concise information as possible ‘Gemstones of the World’ becomes a true guide; for the beginner, the browser or even the jeweller. (My personal favorite Gem is Hematite).

♥♥♥♥♥ – 5/5

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4 Responses to Gemstones of the World

  1. Robyn Hawk says:

    Excellent review for a book that is number 1 on my gemology bookshelf. I am a Gemology student and jeweler and this book has served me through several Tucson Gem Shows! I have yet to be introduced to a stone that isn’t in it!

    Robyn Hawk

  2. tiptopgem says:

    This is truly an outstanding reference. It was one of the first purchase that I made after deciding to study gemology, and now that I am finished with my GG diploma it is one of the most often-used references in my library.

    David Fortier, GG
    Staff Gemologist

  3. goldnsilver says:

    Wow, I had an idea the book was good but thats incredible (I’m glad I gave it 5/5)!

    I noticed that it is an ‘edition’. When a new one comes out do you two update? Also, if I may ask, what is your favourite gemstone?

  4. Audra says:

    I absolutely agree with the above posts and your review. I used to work at a lapidary magazine and have been to the Tucson gems shows as well. Everybody in the field seems to have a copy of this book in their office or in their briefcase or behind their booth. My favorite gems vary as different colors come throught the pipeline but right now I am very partially to tourmaline we have in stock from Badakshan, Tajikistan. It is the neon aqua green of caribbean water. FAB!!

    Administrative Assistant,

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