Although published ninety-seven years ago, there is one book that is
still regarded as the principal authority on pearls. That would be
Kunz' and Stevenson's "The Book of the Pearl: the History, Art,
Science, and Industry of the Queen of Gems," published in 1908 by
The Century Company.
With 548 pages, and over 180 illustrations, The Book of the Pearl is
a classic treatise on this ancient symbol of perfection. Tiffany and
Co. Gem authority Kunz and US fisheries expert Stevenson survey the
history of pearls, their structure and form, pearl fisheries
globally, fascinating facts and lore on pearl-culture and
pearl-farming, their alleged mystical/ medicinal properties, value,
commerce, care, use, and famous examples.
The easiest way to secure a $17.46 paperback copy of this book is
through Ganoksin.com at:
fascinating facts and lore on pearl-culture and pearl-farming
Additional on the publications of George Frederick Kuhn
may be found at:
While the first edition of the book contains 25 beautifully colored
illustrations, subsequent reissues are rendered in black and white.
I guess that paperbacks and color are incompatible. But, if you
desire to have a copy of the first edition and have lots of money to
throw around go to:
Here you can find a first edition copy of the book for a mere 600
Or, you can go to:
to find a first edition for only USD 750.
Because of its great age, you will find little in this book about
cultured pearls. But then some of us view cultured pearls in the
same league as artificial or treated gems, so it is a relief to be
spared from constant harping about the wonders of the scientific