Gemstone Identification Handbook Encyclopedia 800 Pix 130 Species Sapphire Opal

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,284) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 124300450165 Gemstone Identification Handbook Encyclopedia 800 Pix 130 Species Sapphire Opal. Smithsonian Handbook of Gemstones by Cally Hall. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Softcover. Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing. Pages: 160. Size: 8½ x 5¾ inches. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover with laminated/printed ("flexibind" - stiff but flexible) covers (covers also extend to inside flaps). Dorling Kindersley Publishing (1994) 160 pages. Unblemished except for very faint edge wear to the cover spine head and heel. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Shelfwear to the covers is principally in the form of very faint "crinkling" to the spine head and heel. The crinkling s very, very faint. It requires that you hold the book up to a light source and scrutinize the book very intently. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show faint signs of shelfwear, consequence of routine handling and simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #7570.5a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: The Dorling Kindersley Handbook of Gemstones is packed with more than 800 vivid full-color photographs of more than 130 varieties of cut and uncut stones, organic gemstones, and precious metals. With authoritative text, clear photography, and a systematic approach, this concise guide to identification enables you to recognize each gemstone instantly. Photo-Encyclopedic Approach: Each expertly written entry combines a precise description with annotated photographs to highlight the gemstone's chief characteristics and distinguishing features. Additional color illustrations and photographs show uncut stones, color variations, and a wide range of popular cuts. Easy-to-use, color-coded bands provide at-a-glance facts for quick reference. Also included is a concise glossary. Identification Made Easy: For beginners and established enthusiasts alike, the Dorling Kindersley Handbook of Gemstones explains what a gemstone is, how and where gemstones occur, what natural properties they possess, and how they have been fashioned and imitated through the ages. to help you in the initial stages of identification, a color key illustrates the variety of colors found within natural and synthetic gemstones. A concise glossary explains relevant scientific and technical terms. REVIEW: Designed for beginners and experienced collectors alike, this field guide makes identification of individual specimens sure, simple and straightforward. Each entry has a full color illustration as well as color-coded bands that provide at-a-glance facts for quick reference. Easy to use and beautiful to look at, this series is an invaluable resource for every collector. REVIEW: Cally Hall is a fellow of the Gemological Association and Gem Testing Laboratory of Great Britain. She has contributed to several books on gemology, mineralogy, geology, and earth science and is the author of “Identifying Gems & Precious Stones” A member of the curatorial team at London’s Natural History Museum, she spends her days identifying minerals and gemstones and lecturing. She specializes in the study of colored gemstones. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Packed with detailed information on gemstone properties, varieties, and more, DK’s “Smithsonian Handbook of Gemstones” is the clearest identification guide to natural and synthetic gemstones for beginners and established enthusiasts alike. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: I fear that I am a bit of a magpie. I like shiny sparkly things, and the usual response is Ooooh! Shiny! And as a young one, when taken on various trips, I started to take an interest in rockhounding and geology. It was finding gemstones that were the real fun, seeing these little bits of glittery rock that turned out to be sapphires or amethysts or garnets. Life would take me in different directions, but the interest in pretty, glittery rocks has remained. Smithsonian Handbooks: Gemstones is one of those lovely little books that is crammed full of information and pictures, along some folklore and bits of trivia that add to the mystique of gemstones. Compiled by Cally Hall, it's a very readable book, filled with more than 800 photographs, with a text that while it is slanted towards scientific terms, is very readable and accessible. The first section of the book is an extended introduction to what makes a gemstone different than say, a mineral, although they might be composed of the same chemicals. A brief history of how gemstones and precious metals (silver, gold and platinum) have been shaped, worn and coveted. One section that I found very interesting was the explanation of the Mohs scale used to determined hardness -- it ranges from 1 to 10, with talc at the bottom, and diamond at the top, and how a stone is determined to fit in along the scale. Another fascinating section is how light and crystallization help to determine gemstones, and what part they play in how a stone is shaped and graded. There is also a section on synthetic gemstones and how they have been created over the centuries, and how the color of stones can be changed by irradiation, heating and staining the stones. Finally, the section closes with a color key, ranging various stones by their hues, with plenty of vivid pictures and the name of each stone underneath along with the page that goes into more detail about it. The next section deals with the gemstones and precious metals in particular. Each item is classified into Precious Metals, Cut Stones, and Organics -- and each item is given a page or two that goes into further detail. Stones are given their chemical composition, rating on the Mohs scale, crystal structure, some folklore and history, what sort of cuts that the stones are usually shaped into, and lots of photographs. It here in the photographs that the book sells itself. They are unusually clear, and crisply printed, with each gemstone being shown in a variety of ways. There is jewelry, different colors that the stone can occur in, and a few shown in their 'matrix' or the surrounding stone and minerals that the gemstones are usually found in their natural state. One of the more intriguing sections is on what are known as Organic Gemstones -- stones that are created by natural, not chemical, occurrences, such as pearls, jet, coral, ivory, shell and amber. The final sections include a table of properties, glossary, index, and some useful addresses to contact if you find that you want to find out more. The binding is very sturdy, the printing very clean and crisp with the design well-thought out that flows easily from page to page. It is designed to stand up to quite a bit of use, with a spine that will not crack, and heavier than usual paper stock, and the quality is top notch. Packed into less than a 160 pages, this is a wonderfully priced little book that gives a quick, informative and lively look at gemstones. While it's certainly not a perfect book, and is mostly designed to help the reader figure out what a stone may or may not be -- only a trained gemologist can tell you what it really is -- it's a fun way to start learning. The price was extremely reasonable, less than 10$US, although the cover price is listed as 20$US. It would make a perfect book for adding to a home library, or as a gift to the budding REVIEW: The Smithsonian Handbook on Gemstones is a great little reference book. It is in depth but also a compact sturdy semi-hardback that is easy to take anywhere. I like the fact that I can easily refer to it when my customers ask me questions about the jewelry I sell. Now I can find the answers to almost any question regarding gemstones. The many colorful pictures are beautiful and the interesting descriptions are easy to read and understand. I would recommend this handbook to anyone wanting to broaden their knowledge of gemstones as I am. I am buying a lot of gemstone jewelry on eBay and this book really helps me to identify and know the value of a lot of gemstones I previously did not know about. It is really helping to simplify and make the most of my eBay bids. I can now make more educated decisions and have more insight into the information jewelers and gemologists know. I know I will be using this book a lot so it was a great purchase. I highly recommend this book, because it is what you would expect from the Smithsonian; like an enjoyable walk through the museum. As a matter of fact, when I recently visited the Museum of Natural Science in Houston and the natural gemstones exhibit (which in the past I might not have had much interest in) I was very pleased at my ability to recognize, know something about, and appreciate the vast array of incredible gemstones, because of how it raised my interest in the subject to a new level, with the information and knowledge I gained from reading the Smithsonian Gemstone Handbook. REVIEW: While written with a simplicity suitable for a novice gem-lover or enthusiastic youngster, the information assembled in this unassuming little paperback is incredibly detailed, cross-referenced and beautifully organized enough to please a seasoned professional. The photographs of materials described are excellent. I bought this book as it was recommended as a text for a gemology course, and am now motivated to give close scrutiny to anything published by Dorling Kindersley. Thanks for the opportunity to say something nice about this wonderful book.........and although you didn't ask, the book which was described as "used" arrived in almost 'new' condition....and at a price well appreciated! REVIEW: This is basically the best gem handbook that I've found for anyone who doesn't have a professional certification. It gives all of the necessary information on a variety of stones, and some very interesting and useful history and information about other aspects of gemology. REVIEW: I bought this book to learn more about all the different gems. I am just starting to make jewelry and thought this would be good for me. This book is an excellent book. It shows all the gems and tells the hardness of them. I found some gems that I never heard of in this book. It showed very good pictures of them so I was able to look them up on E-Bay and get them. I would advise anyone wanting to learn about gems for any reason to get this book. REVIEW: I bought this book for my 2nd grader who loves rock collecting. The pictures are brightly colored and the book contains a lot of information. He can not read the book on his own yet, but he spends hours paging through the book looking at pictures and descriptions of rocks. This book has so much information on gemstones that I have been able to answer all of his questions. REVIEW: Guess I'm part Crow; shiny, sparkle things definitely attract my attention, while the human side of me wants to know what they are, where they come from, and how they are formed. This book actually appeals to both sides. The color plates are very eye appealing, so my crow self is happy and my human self has plenty of tables, charts, and descriptions to satisfy it's inquisitive nature. While this will not be the only Gem Reference book in my library, it is very much worth reading over and over again. Highly Recommend REVIEW: This is an exceptional, concise and thorough handbook. It is informative as to the classification according to structures, methods of mining, identification of stones and minerals and uses. The illustrations are excellent, the index and table of contents are easily accessible, and even have photos, also.. There are stones in their natural, unfinished state, polished and faceted, and lush examples of jewelry made using gems. It is one of my favorite books on gemstones REVIEW: For a general-interest guide to gemstones, this spectacular little book is remarkably thorough, authoritative, and comprehensive. Minerals are classified by color, crystal structure, composition, and hardness. History and geology are prominent subjects as well. The information throughout is well-organized, clearly-presented, and easy to reference. Best of all, the full-color visuals are absolutely stunning. The book--like its subject matter--is a spectacular marriage of science & art. A big thumbs-up! REVIEW: A great book for beginners and experienced gemstone enthusiasts alike. Information ranges from simple descriptions for identification purposes (especially inclusions), to detailed terminology for the experienced rock hound. I have purchased so called beginners books in the past (for identification purposes) and they require expert gemologists to understand. REVIEW: Never thought there were so many crystals that can be cut into gemstones. Never saw so many beautiful pictures of cut loose gemstones in one place. Well explained, from formation, physical and optical properties, imitation and enhancement. Especially appreciate the color key section, with gemstones grouped according to color in which it is always, usually and sometimes available. Probably the best books on properties and identification of gemstones. I am positively THRILLED to own it, and I am only a gemstone lover and admirer. REVIEW: This is a clear, concise, easy to read guide to gems. Well photographed. A great primer for those unfamiliar with all the different types of stones, and a good reference for those who are more knowledgeable. Excellent for jewelers and designers to use with customers. Highly recommended. REVIEW: Very happy with this book. Offers full color pictures, RI's, and such for stone identification and/or verification. Interesting and essential for anyone in Lapidary jewelry making work. Well organized and easy to use for reference and finding what you need to find. Definitely a bench handbook for stone identification, Well worth the money. REVIEW: If you really want to know about gems... buy this book! The information and the Illustrations it contains is remarkable. Absolutely Recommend this to anyone interested in gemstones. REVIEW: This books is so complete. The introduction takes you through what makes a gem, what gives it value, and then the whole rest of the books is about each gemstone and it's hardness, typical cuts, colors, where found, what to look for. This book is a MUST!!!!! REVIEW: I ordered this book as a gift for my grandmother. She recently went to New Mexico and fell in love with all the shiny rocks and gemstones she found there. So I came home, I did my research, and searched for an inexpensive gemstone book with excellent reviews. This book seemed highly recommended from fellow lovers of shiny things, and I am really glad I went with it. It is filled with tons of pictures, and the text, while very informative, is simple enough for anyone to understand. REVIEW: This is a great little book. I bought a copy for my rock and gem club's library, and we liked it so well that we bought another copy and donated it to our local public library. I especially like the way it shows the gems and minerals in their natural state, then cut cabochon, cut and faceted also. REVIEW: I bought this for my 7-yr. old daughter - budding rock hound and naturalist! Like other DK books, the photography is luscious and the layout is casual and very inviting - full of beautiful images. It provides a great overview and history of gemstones and their appeal, where specific stones can be found and appealing photographs of the different cuts of stones. It also provides detailed "specifics" such as structure, composition and hardness. This is a thoroughly engaging book for all ages and it is highly recommended. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: GEMSTONES IN ANCIENT HISTORY: Throughout history, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness to providing protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. In the eastern civilizations of China, India, and Tibet, gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. Hereinbelow are a few examples of the uses for and beliefs concerning specific gemstone varieties in the ancient world. Chalcedony: Quartz-silica gemstones can be classified into 3 varieties: quartz, which is transparent cut from a single crystal; translucent varieties covered by the term “chalcedony”, and opal. The earliest recorded use of chalcedony was for projectile points, knives, tools, and containers such as cups and bowls. Early man made weapons and tools from many varieties of chalcedony including agate, agatized coral, flint, jasper, and petrified wood. In all ages chalcedony has been the stone most used by the gem engraver, and many colored varieties are still cut and polished as gemstones. The Ancient Greeks referred to almost all colors of chalcedony from white to black and everything in-between as Onyx. The name “chalcedony” is derived from the name of the ancient Greek town known as Chalkedon in Asia Minor on the Asia Minor side of the Bosporus. Now the Turkish city of Kadikoy and a suburb of Istanbul, Chalcedon was colonized by the Ionian Greek city of Miletus in the seventh century B.C., just opposite the shore where a few years later colonizing Greeks from Athens would found the city of Byzantium, which became one of the most impregnable fortified cities of the ancient world, and as Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. About two-hundred years after Chalcedon's founding, a close neighbor to the southwest, the city of Sardis, was just reaching its zenith as the chief city of the Kingdom of Lydia, and home to the fabulously wealthy King Croesus, who ruled from 560 to 548 B.C. Expert geologists, miners and gemstone cutters, the Sardians mined blue chalcedony which was shipped throughout the ancient Mediterranean world out of the port of Chalcedon. Greek seafarers in the third or fourth century A.D. wore chalcedony and garnet amulets to avoid drowning. Romans eventually applied the term to describe black and dark brown colors only. In ancient Assyria chalcedony amulets were carved by temple priests and worn for a wide variety of purposes; to secure public favor, ensure victories, keep a lover faithful, keep one safe on a journey, or protect the wearer from political upheaval or war. One such amulet recently deciphered by archaeologists was inscribed with the prayer: “may Sin, lord of the crown, quiet you; may Ninurta, lord of weapons, break your enemies weapons; may Nergal, lord of the netherworld hold you in battle; may Ea and Asalluhi cut off your poison. Clear off!” Archaeologists have also uncovered Assyrian and Babylonian cylinder seals carved from chalcedony. The Romans prized chalcedony for use as seals and in intaglio rings. During the later Roman Empire an art form started which was known as “opus sectile” in which large pieces of thinly cut stone (marble, mother of pearl, chalcedony, glass) were joined together to make a picture or design, much like a picture-puzzle, most often to be inlaid into walls and floors. The materials were cut into thin pieces, polished, and then cut according to the design so that they fit one another without the use of grout. Unlike mosaic techniques, where the placement of very small uniformly-sized pieces forms a design, “opus sectile” pieces were much larger and could be shaped to define large parts of the design. In the Middle Ages the technique was known as “cosmatesque”, and floors and small columns on tombs and altars continued to use inlays of different colors in geometric patterns. Byzantine art continued with inlaid floors, but also produced some small religious figures in hardstone inlays. In the Italian Renaissance the technique was often referred to as “painting in stone”. The center of the art form was late 16th century in Florence, Italy. “Pictures” were created using thin, cut-to-shape pieces of brightly colored, semiprecious stones. “Commesso” pictures (also known as “pietra dura”), which typically made use of chalcedony, ranged from emblematic and floral subjects to landscapes, and were used mainly for tabletops and small wall panels, but also for jewelry, cameos, small boxes, etc. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance chalcedony was believed to banish fear, hysteria, depression, mental illness and sadness. It was believed to reduce fever, and wearing chalcedony was believed to be beneficial to vision. It was also worn by many to promote calm and inner tranquility as well as to stimulate creativity. Astrologers and shamans of the Middle Ages wore engraved signet rings of chalcedony as amulets. In the late Renaissance it was widely believed that a person seeing nocturnal phantoms took in disease or evil through their eyes. Wearing chalcedony was believed to remove or counteract the disease or evil. During the Renaissance chalcedony was also widely used as an architectural element in many of Europe's architectural "jewels." One such jewel is the Usimbardi Chapel inside the Church of Santa Trinita, built from 1602-07 in Florence, Italy. Renowned Florentine painter, architect, and poet Ludovico Cardi (1559-1613) decorated the pilaster strips of the chapel with agate, chalcedony, jasper and lapis lazuli inlays or "cladding". Another treasure is in Prague where the Chapel of St. Wenceslas built in the 1400's completely inside the St. Vitus Cathedral has walls of large paintings interspersed with stones of carnelian, amethyst, chalcedony and chrysoprase. St. Vitus Cathedral is considered to be the one of the most important monuments of Czech art, is dedicated to St. Vitus, an Italian martyr put to death by the Emperor Diocletian in 304 or 305 A.D. The St. Vitus Cathedral is also the repository of the Bohemian (Czech) crown jewels and underground tombs of Bohemian (Czech) kings. It was also the venue in which Bohemian kings and queens were traditionally crowned. The magnificent gothic cathedral was founded in the late 9th century. The "good King Wenceslas" of the well-known Christmas carol dedicated a chapel to St. Vitus in 925 A.D. The cathedral in its present (rebuilt) form took nearly six centuries to complete after its construction started in 1344, and was designed by medieval architect Mathias Arras. When Arras passed away in 1352), his work was continued by architect Peter Parler, who also built the St. Wenceslas Chapel, decorated with frescos and semi-precious stones. The final stage of construction was completed only in the period between 1873 and 1929. The facing of the walls which consist of precious stones, and the wall paintings of the Passion cycle are parts of the original 14th-century decoration of the chapel. Scenes from the life of St. Wenceslas which form another decorative band are attributed to the workshop of the Master of the Litomerice Altar. It is the door in the south-western corner of this chapel that leads to the Crown Chamber in which the Bohemian coronation jewels are kept. In Victorian Europe chalcedony was carved into an endless array of cameos and intaglios. Moss agate, known for its green tree-like patterns was a particular favorite. Bloodstone was often used for cameos and intaglios for gentleman's jewelry. In particular, banded gemstones such as agate, sardonyx and onyx were used extensively for cameos. Chalcedony can be virtually any color of the rainbow. It is commonly pale blue, yellow, brown or gray with nearly wax-like luster. Ancient cultures prized a wide variety of chalcedony forms, two of the most widely used in the ancient Mediterranean were carnelian and lapis lazuli. Other forms of chalcedony used in the ancient world include agate, onyx, bloodstone, jasper, tiger’s-eye, and aventurine. It might surprise some to find that petrified wood and dinosaur bones are classified as chalcedony, as the organic material has been replaced by inorganic chalcedony. Aside from chalcedony there are many other varieties of quartz which are not generally recognized as quartz. Purple quartz is known as amethyst; yellow quartz as "citrine", and ametrine is a variegated gemstone possessing a color somewhere between amethyst and citrine. In the ancient world it was believed that chalcedony encouraged emotional balance, stamina, kindness, generosity, responsiveness, receptivity, creativity, charity and friendliness, and was useful for those suffering from depression, fear, hysteria, and mental illness. It was also believed to enhance the wearer’s ability to listen and understand, as well as the ability to communicate clearly, and provide the wearer with psychic visions. Its medicinal uses included as a treatment for heart ailments, fevers, as well as for eye disorders; and to relieve the emotional and physical symptoms of menopause, as well as to help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s [AncientGifts]. Jasper: Jasper is a form of agate, and belongs to the chalcedony family of gemstones, which in turn is part of the quartz family of gemstones. Jasper is very similar to citrine and amethyst in make up, but possessing such large amounts of trace elements such as iron and sulfur (which provide the colors) that they are opaque rather than transparent. The biggest difference between a red jasper and a citrine is that there is probably 20% to 30% more iron in the jasper. The crystals in jasper gemstones are so dense and so tightly compacted that they are invisible to the naked eye. It often contains organic material and mineral oxides which give it interesting patterns, bands and colors. Many of these patterns resemble landscapes with mountains and valleys. Jasper occurs in red, green, blue, brown, pink, purple, yellow, white, gray and black. Jasper was a favorite gem in ancient times and is referenced in Greek, Roman, Hebrew, Persian, East Indian Indus Valley (Harappan), Assyrian and Latin literature. In the Bible jasper was described as one of the twelve stones in the breastplate of Aaron, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Referenced again in the New Testament, jasper is listed as one of the foundation stones of post-apocalyptic New Jerusalem. The name Jasper comes to us from the Greek language. “Jaspis”, or the ancient spelling “Iaspis” meaning “spotted stone”. It was also the name of a mythical stone found in the head of the adder snake. Greek warriors carried a jasper talisman to give them courage in battle. This association with bravery and warriors carried all the way into the Middle Ages, where one name for jasper was "the stone of warriors." Early Mediterranean shamans or wizards believed that jasper was a very sacred stone. Blue colored Jaspers were used to travel safely back and forth to the Spirit World. Red Jasper represented the blood of the Great Mother and was used to connect with the Earth in healing ceremonies. Green Jaspers were used to call the rain. Magicians in fourth century Britain placed carved Jasper bowls at the corners of a farmer's field to bring rain for the crops (many American Indian tribes shared the belief that jasper had the ability to bring rain). According to the Medieval Norse tenth century Volsunga Saga, the sword hilt of Sigurd (also known as Siegfried), a legendary hero of Viking mythology and son of Sigmund the king, was set with jasper. Medieval authors of the 11th and 12th centuries wrote volumes about the protective powers of the Jasper. It was written that the gemstone drove away evil spirits and protected the wearer from the bites of poisonous snakes and spiders. It was also recommended that women hold a piece of jasper in the hand during childbirth to guard against the evil that could come to the mother and child by demons of the air. Physicians in the Middle Ages wore jasper amulets to aid them in their diagnoses, and stocks of jasper were kept in every pharmacy. Jasper was thought to drive away evil spirits and cure fevers, dropsy, and epilepsy. It was also believed to quicken thought and action, and at the same time ensure caution and the avoidance of needless risk. However mankind’s relationship with Jasper, especially red jasper, is much more ancient than merely Medieval Europe, or even the Classical Greeks. It dates back as early as Stone-Age France (20,000 B.C.) where it was found to be used for ornamental objects; and to the ancient Babylonians (1,000 B.C.) where it was used in seals which have been found in ancient ruins. In between the Neolithic Stone Age and the Babylonians, green jasper was used to make bow drills in the Harappan Indus Valley civilization 7,000 years ago (circa 5,000 B.C.), and jewelry shortly thereafter. On Minoan Crete jasper was carved to produce seals almost 4,000 years ago (circa 1800 B.C.), as evidenced by archaeological recoveries at the palace of Knossos. In ancient China, green jasper was often used by the Chinese in place of (much more costly) jade in the mouth of the dead. The ancient Egyptians used red jaspers to represent the blood of their goddess Isis. Amulets of the gem were said to have the same attributes as the goddess' blood itself, and when worn as an amulet helped prepare one for the judgment of Osiris upon death. Thus Chapter 156 of the Book of the Dead required the amulet in the form of the Girdle Tit of Isis, placed at the throat of the mummy, to be made of red jasper, whose blood-like coloring would enhance the words of the spell: ‘You have your blood, Isis; you have your power.’ Emanating from the same powers of Isis, an amulet carved of red jasper in the form of a serpent’s head was believed to prevent the body from being bitten by snakes in the underworld. The ancient Egyptians also carved sacred scarab amulets from red jasper as a symbol of eternal life. The ancient Egyptian word for red jasper, khenmet (hnmt), was derived from the verb “hnm”, and meant “to delight”. Red jasper was extremely popular in Ancient Egypt, expensive, and especially favored for use in earrings. Red jasper came to ancient Egypt from Nubia (a region laying between present-day Southern Egypt and Sudan) and from Punt (somewhere as yet unknown in Africa) in the form of regular tributes to the Pharaoh. In fact an ancient papyrus detailing the tribute from Nubia survives to present time. Red jasper tributes from both Nubia and Punt were discovered in the Thebes tomb of Rekhmire and the tomb of Iamunedjeh; both were high officials of King Tuthmosis III (1450 B.C.). Jasper was also carved into intaglio seals (as in signet rings), not only by the ancient Egyptians, but by the ancient Greeks and Romans as well, and was also very popular for use as carved cameos. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that if athletes wore the stone they would gain endurance. The ancient Greeks called it heliotrope sun (helios) and turner (tropos) because it was believed to turn the sun red if the sun’s reflection was shown in a bowl of water holding the stone. Mankind’s belief that Jasper contained magical powers persisted well into the Middle Ages where jasper was a favorite gemstone with shamans, magicians and mystics. Blue jasper was used as a medium to connect with the afterworld; red jasper was believed to enhance health, concentration, self-discipline, energy, focus and to shepherd a soul toward rebirth; yellow jasper protected the user while traveling to the spirit world; and brown jasper also providing protection in the form of “grounding”. One particular jasper known as “bloodstone” is a green stone with drops and splotches of red. The variety was so named by ancient Christians who believed that it represented the blood of the crucifixion dripping from Christ’s wounds onto a dark green stone that lay beneath it. Due to this belief, bloodstone became the favored stone of the Crusaders. Jasper was used widely during the Renaissance in an art form known as “commesso”, the roots of which can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire. During the later Roman Empire the art form was known as “opus sectile”, and it involved large pieces of thinly cut stone (marble, mother of pearl, chalcedonies such as jasper, glass, etc.) which were joined together to make a picture or design, much like a picture-puzzle, most often to be inlaid into walls and floors. The materials were cut into thin pieces, polished, and then cut according to the design so that they fit one another without the use of grout. Unlike mosaic techniques, where the placement of very small uniformly-sized pieces forms a design, “opus sectile” pieces were much larger and could be shaped to define large parts of the design. In the Middle Ages the technique became known as “cosmatesque”, and floors and small columns on tombs and altars continued to use inlays of different colors in geometric patterns. Byzantine art continued with inlaid floors, but also produced some small religious figures in hardstone inlays. In the Italian Renaissance the technique was often referred to as “painting in stone”. The center of the art form was late 16th century in Florence, Italy. “Pictures” were created using thin, cut-to-shape pieces of brightly colored, semiprecious stones. “Commesso” pictures (also known as “pietra dura”), which typically made use of various chalcedonies such as jasper, ranged from emblematic and floral subjects to landscapes, and were used mainly for tabletops and small wall panels, but also for jewelry, cameos, small boxes, etc. During the Renaissance jasper was also widely used as an architectural element in many of Europe's architectural "jewels." One such jewel is the Usimbardi Chapel inside the Church of Santa Trinita, built from 1602-07 in Florence, Italy. Renowned Florentine painter, architect, and poet Ludovico Cardi (1559-1613) decorated the pilaster strips of the chapel with agate, chalcedony, jasper and lapis lazuli inlays or "cladding". Another treasure is in Prague where the Chapel of St. Wenceslas, built in the 1400's completely inside the St. Vitus Cathedral, has walls of large paintings interspersed with stones of carnelian, amethyst, chalcedony, jasper and chrysoprase. St. Vitus Catherdral is considered to be the one of the most important monuments of Czech art, is dedicated to St. Vitus, an Italian martyr put to death by the Emperor Diocletian in 304 or 305 A.D. In the ancient world jasper was used as a cure for skin, intestinal, and stomach disorders (including ulcers), as well as gynecological complaints. Green jasper in particular was used to cure kidney, spleen and gall bladder ailments. The green and red jasper known as “bloodstone” was (predictably) believed to stop bleeding or hemorrhaging. Jasper was also used as a sleep aid, and believed to bring happiness into the wearer’s life. In many ancient cultures, jasper was carved into amulets protective or magical devices guarding the wearer against illness, disaster, demons or harm in the afterlife (as described in detail in the preceding paragraphs). Modern practitioners believe that jasper has magical properties which can enhance the wearers spiritual connection to the earth, or in spells and charms for protection, stability, self-reliance, prosperity, inspiration and good fortune. Jasper is also believed to prevent nightmares and strengthen the mind against depression and negative thoughts. The stone is also used to increase self confidence and independence and ward off mental or psychic domination by others, helping the wearer break free from an oppressive situation or an abusive relationship. Jasper is also believed to soothe nerves, ease the wearer's mental state, and to induce relaxation. Many contemporary healers also recommend jasper as an aid to healing after an illness, and believe that amongst its benefits is the ability to help the body absorb vitamins and minerals while expelling toxins. Jasper is also believed by many healers to cure insanity, bring out evil spirits in persons possessed by demons, aid in overcoming jealousy, and bring about truth and monetary gain [AncientGifts]. Onyx: Onyx is the name for the black (most often with white banding) variety of chalcedony. It has been used since antiquity where it was highly prized as a cameo stone. The layered color structure allows the engraver to cut the subject in one color while creating a background of another. According to Greek Mythology, the origins of onyx are traced to the Goddess Venus’s fingernails. One day when Venus (the Greco-Roman Goddess of Beauty) lay asleep the mischievous Cupid (her son and the God of Love) cut her fingernails and flew away leaving the fingernail clippings scattered on the ground. Because no part of a deity could be permitted to die, the gods turned the fingernail clippings into stone which later became known as onyx. In fact the name “onyx” draws its origin from the Greek language in which “onux” means fingernails. In the ancient world, onyx was oftentimes more costly than either gold or silver, and one ancient reference recorded it as more valuable than sapphire. Onyx was used in ancient Egypt as early as the Second Dynasty (about 2800 B.C.) to make bowls and other items. Onyx also was amongst the artifacts recovered of Minoan Crete (about 1800 B.C.), notably from the archaeological discoveries at Knossos. Onyx became particularly famous in the hands of both the Greeks and Romans, who as described by the first century Roman historian and naturalist “Pliny the Elder”, crafted beautiful intaglio seals out of onyx. Ancient Greek and Roman soldiers often wore a talisman of onyx, as it was believed that doing so would instill a sense of bravery in the soldiers. Oftentimes the talismans worn by Roman soldiers were carved with images of Hercules or Mars, the Roman God of War. Ancient historical accounts record that the Roman General Publius Cornelius Scipio (who defeated Hannibal at Carthage) frequently wore this gemstone. The Romans also believed that wearing onyx would enhance the growth of fingernails and regenerative skin growth. In nearby ancient Persia onyx was used by sorcerers and shamans who believed it enhanced intuition. In ancient India onyx was believed to calm the ardors of love, a belief which eventually was picked up by the Western World where onyx had the reputation of decreasing sexual desire. The ancient Hindus also wore onyx to protect against the evil eye as it was believed that onyx had a trapped demon within. To the ancient Chinese, onyx was known as the "stone of sadness", and it was believed that even entering a mine where onyx was found might lead to terrifying dreams, doubts, and disputes. Onyx was also known to the ancient Hebrews. According to Genesis, onyx was found in the land of “Havilah”, "where the gold is", thought to refer to Egypt or Arabia. A precious commodity in Old Testament times, onyx is also mentioned frequently in the Bible, such as "Job regarded God's wisdom as a greater possession than even costly onyx." Onyx is also frequently cited as one of the twelve stones in the breastplate of the High Priest, Aaron, representing the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. In the Medieval World onyx was believed useful in aiding the wearer to cure bad habits, and to help the wearer retain strength. However the beliefs of the ancient Chinese had spread to Europe by the Middle Ages, and onyx was also believed by many to bring bad luck, sadness, fear and images of madness in sleep, as well as to create discord and dispute. Medieval shamans and magicians believed that onyx would protect against misfortune and illness, and would prevent illusions, nightmares and confusion caused by evil spirits. Onyx was often used in magic to contact spirits of the dead, and as an aid to recall memories and visions of past lives. It was believed to “soften” barriers between the worlds, allowing travel between different planes of existence. Shamans also believed that the stone could be used to summon friendly spirits to guide a dying soul on its journey to the next world. An onyx sphere was believed to protect the owner by providing a warning of impending danger. In the Renaissance onyx was believed to fill the wearer with a gift of eloquence (and was regarded with great value by public speakers and orators), particularly when expressing his or her love to a new romantic interest. It was also worn with the belief that it helped increase concentration and sharpen the wearer’s wits, and was also worn to enhance one’s spiritual inspiration. Onyx was also believed to bring unexpected good luck and opportunity to its owner and to protect them from the plots and ill wishes of their enemies. Onyx is a variety chalcedony quartz, part of the agate family, and is formed in the gas cavities of lava. Generally the stone is black or black with white banding. Some onyx displays white and lighter reddish bands or ribbons against a brown background, this variety is known as sardonyx. When the onyx has a red base, it is known as carnelian-onyx. In the ancient world it was believed that onyx gave courage and bravery to the wearer, would warn the wearer of impending danger, would enhance the intuitive and prophetical abilities of sorcerers and magicians, would act as a guide to the souls of the deceased, would enable mediums to communicate with the dead and recall past lives, would protect against the “evil eye”, and would also cool the flames of sexual desire. It was also believed to enhance the growth of fingernails and skin, to enhance intelligence and the ability to concentrate, would help the wearer break bad habits, enhance the wearer’s oratorical abilities, and would protect the wearer from evil spells and nightmares. Modern practitioners believe that onyx is useful in healing old emotional wounds and enabling the wearer to move ahead by forgetting the past experiences of bad relationships, and as well help form new romantic relationships by improving expressive abilities between lovers. For absent-minded people onyx is regarded as being very helpful in increasing concentration levels and calming the mind amidst the chaotic conditions of modern life, even so far as being recommended for the treatment of various neurological disorders. Some modern practitioners claim that onyx can help physical ailments such as hearing problems, heart trouble, and ulcers. It is also believed to encourage new hair growth for those suffering from baldness, and is also believed an aid to those who are trying to break bad habits. Onyx is also said to lend comfort in unfamiliar surroundings, alleviating feelings of loneliness and alienation [AncientGifts]. Tiger’s-Eye: Tiger's-eye has been enormously popular in various Asian cultures for thousands of years. Cabochon cut stones of this variety show “chatoyancy” (a small ray of light on the surface) that resembles the feline eye of a tiger. The ancient source for Tiger’s eye was India, where it was a very important trade good, and was traded throughout the ancient Orient and into the Mediterranean. It was used as a very important healing stone by both the ancient Egyptians as well as the Greeks. Many ancient Egyptian statues of their various gods have been found with eyes made from tiger’s-eye. According to ancient legends, tiger’s-eye enabled the wearer to be “all seeing”, even to the point of being able to see through walls, enabling one to observe what was happening in another room. Tiger’s-eye was not only worn to enable “clear vision”, but also to drive off phantoms and shades of the dead. It was often carried by nighttime travelers for these purposes, as well as to help them see in the dark. Worn as a talisman it was believed to protect against curses and enchantments (“spells”), and to protect against illness as well. The ancient Egyptians also believed that tiger’s-eye would bring good fortune to the wearer. Tiger’s-eye was also quite popular in the ancient Middle East. The Assyrians (neighbors to the Babylonians) carved tiger's-eye into cylinders which were covered with depictions of mythic creatures and names of gods. These cylinders were then worn about the neck as charms for protection. Tiger’s-eye was also worn in the Near East as protection against the “evil eye”. There was an ancient belief that some evil sorcerers or witches had the ability to transmit evil with just a glance. Certain items of personal adornment (amulets, talismans, etc.) were thought to protect the wearer from the "evil eye" by the proviso of an always watchful open eye and tiger’s-eye was just that, an always open and watchful “eye”. A thousand years later Roman soldiers carried tiger’s-eye, often with the forms of lions and hawks carved into the gemstone, believing that it gave them an advantage over their opponents in combat, inspiring courage and providing protection as well. In much of ancient Africa tiger’s-eye was considered to be “the” gemstone of royalty. It was believed that an amulet of tiger’s-eye would grow heavier in presence of predators, providing advance warning of danger to the wearer. Tiger’s-eye is a form of chalcedony quartz which contains brown iron trace elements which produces its golden-yellow color. Tiger’s-eye “began life” as a form of natural asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral fiber, a form of hydrous magnesium silicate. Ancient civilizations recognized asbestos’s resistance to fire. The name is derived from its historical use in lamp wicks. Ancient Egyptians used asbestos for burial cloths to protect the dead during their journey to the afterlife. During volcanic events, the fibrous asbestos is replaced by iron-bearing quartz called limonite. This is what creates the dazzling golden luminous eye of the tiger that provides such elegant beauty in tiger’s-eye stone. In the ancient world many cultures believed that wearing tiger's-eye was beneficial for health and spiritual well being. It was used by ancient shamans and mystics as a psychic protection (against evil spirits) and as an aid to achieving clarity. In the Medieval World and into the Renaissance wearing a talisman of tiger’s-eye was believed to enhance business fortunes, and that tiger’s eye could bestow upon the wearer the strength to persevere and overcome fatigue or discouragement. Wearing tiger’s-eye was also believed during the Renaissance to make the wearer irresistible to the opposite sex, overcoming lethargy and boosting the wearer’s sex drive. Modern practitioners attribute to tiger’s-eye the ability to relieve high blood pressure, and beneficial to those who suffer from skin diseases, bronchial asthma, rheumatic heart disease, kidney disease, and to aid hypochondriacs. It is also claimed to be a “stone of balance”, useful to mediators and diplomats, as it is claimed that tiger’s eye helps the wearer see both sides of an argument and make detached, logical judgments. Tiger’s-eye is also said to increase confidence, especially when speaking in public. Another benefit ascribed to the stone is that it enables the wearer to calm and center themselves when they feel scattered and unorganized. Further that the wearing the stone will enhance integrity, willpower, and courage. It is also claimed that meditation with the stone can help the wearer find the “path of power” that lies between polarities, as well as enhance visualization skills, psychic vision and insights [AncientGifts]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through,, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: New and unread albeit with very faint shelfwear from storage., Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing (1994), Format: Illustrated Trade Softcover, Length: 160 pages, Dimensions: 8¼ x 5¾ inches, 1 pound

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