For a general gem reference, the GIA Gem Reference Guide is superb.
It show pictures of the gems, where they come from, hardness and all
the technical characteristics, nomenclature, simulants, inclusions,
how big is normal, durability. And it’s pretty easy to use. It does
assume that you have a working knowledge of gemology. For example, to
find detailed on aquamarine, you need to know that it is
a specific color designation of the mineral beryl. Along with the GIA
Gem Property charts A and B, I’m covered for
This is the reference handbook in GIA’s Gem Identification course.
This book provides basic guidelines for identifying natural, treated,
synthetic, and imitation gems. Includes a description of the
material, identifying characteristics, and enhancements, key tests
used to separate it from other materials, and tips on care and
cleaning. It appears only to be available from www.gia.edu.
If you want to cut or carve lapidary material - there are wide
choices - cabbing, faceting, carving and more.
Another type of book would be the lore of the stones - everything
from will it cure my arthritis to who got rich finding stuff in the
And a fourth type - all about one type of gem - Amber the gem of the
ages - would be an example.
If you are putting a library together, lets all get together and
give her a list of 100 good books. If it is personal, I’m happy to
share the list of 20 or 30 that I use.
Judy Hoch, GG