A Gem of A Story Online is the Web component to a live, interactive, televised field trip to the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The site offers a "virtual tour" through the Smithsonian exhibits, educational activities, online archives, and resources.
The Web site of The American Gem Society (AGS), like the society itself, offers information to protect consumers interested in purchasing gems. Learn the basics of buying a diamond, starting with the "4-C's." Individual questions can be emailed to AGS representatives via the Martha Stewart Web site (MarthaStewart.com).
View images and read descriptions of several specimens from the Smithsonian's extensive collection.
BooksThe Diamond Makers: A Compelling Drama of Scientific Discovery
By Robert M. Hazen.
Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
This highly readable book chronicles the long and checkered history of the pioneers of synthetic diamond-making. The mad Swedish inventor Baltzar von Platen and the irrepressible American scientist George Kennedy are just two of the many brilliant characters whose stories are told here with flair and an eye for eccentricity. See our excerpt, "The Science Behind the Sparkle."
The Nature of Diamonds
Edited by George E. Harlow.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Published in association with the American Museum of Natural History, where Harlow is a scientist and curator of gems and minerals, this is a coffee-table-sized yet authoritative book of essays by leading geologists, gemologists, physicists, and others. Beautifully illustrated with photographs and artwork.
Gems: Their Sources, Descriptions, and Identification
By Robert Webster.
Oxford, U.K.: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1994.
The massive fifth edition of this classic work begins with a description of diamond and moves onto other gems and ways to identify them, including measuring their hardness, optical effects, and specific gravity, among other methods.
Paul Lahti, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Brian Skinner
Cambridge University Press
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