Russian and former USSR geologists, mineralogists and other
researchers have provided perhaps the most comprehensive studies of
gemstone deposits and gemstone-bearing areas than those in any other
part of the world. Documentations of these studies have reached other
countries in somewhat piecemeal fashion. Geology of Gems provides for
the first time in English a more complete review of the results of their
work and an understanding of their considerations and conclusions on the
genesis of such deposits.
The strength of the book lies the geologic-genetic approach to
gemstone deposits throughout the world. Coverage is international in
scope and includes most of the major gemstone deposits, albeit there is
a heavy emphasis on deposits in the Russian Federation and former USSR.
Although many important gemstone deposits have been discovered since the
Geology of Gems was written, there has been no attempt to incorporate
data on these deposits.
The authorís purpose in writing the book was to provide a framework
for the exploration and discovery of new gemstone deposits. This goal
has been accomplished. Eighteen chapters are devoted to specific
minerals or mineral groups, such as Corundum, Beryl, Garnet, Charoite,
etc. Unfortunately the book lacks a chapter on Diamonds, which have
always received special and isolated attention in Russia.
Kievlenkoís classification of gemstones based on value (early 1990
prices) is the continuation of a Russian tradition dating from the
mid-1880ís. Many gemologists, mineralogists and others will consider
such a classification arbitrary and controversial, however, the
classification provides insight into the history of Russian gemstone
studies and does not detract from the geologic-genetic strength of the
framework of the book.
There is considerable confusion in the literature with regards to
deposit and geographic names and locations, especially where they have
been translated into Russian and then into English. Partial resolution
of this confusion was accomplished through consultation of various
general reference and text books; inventories of mineral localities;
geographic atlases and maps; various periodical journals devoted to
gems, minerals and related topics; glossaries of obsolete mineral names
and synonyms; personal conversations with learned friends; and
communications with Michael Leybov and Ludmilla Cheshko (Egorova). This
process considerably extended the editorial process and required some
arbitrary selections. Thus, there is no inference that all names have
been resolved. I have assumed that those citations in the text, which
are not found in the References, are personal communications.
Brief and frank discussions with Wendell Wilson, John White and Bob
Cook provided insight into dealing more directly with some issues. Their
input is appreciated. I am especially grateful to my wife, Rosalie, for
encouragement during her many months of solitude while editing was in
progress, Carla Soregaroli for her many, many hours of word processing
of several versions of the text, and Felix Kaminsky for his help in
understanding Russian terminology and reinterpretation of some text.
Art Soregaroli Editor, English Edition