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Mineralogical Almanac  

Gemstones Cover

Gemstones. Symbols of Beauty and Power

by Eduard Gubelin and Franz-Xavier Erni
ISBN 0-945005-36-9,
2000, Tuscon, Arizona, USA, Geoscience Press Inc. 

The authors of the book are Eduard Gubelin, a worldwide famous gemmologist, and Franz-Xavier Erni, an outstanding master of word. They timed a presentation of their book for opening of the Tucson exhibition. The book title "Gemstones. Symbols of Beauty and Power" speaks for itself. The authors lead the reader into a charming world of gemstones. They describe completely and precisely each gemstone or decorative stone with all individual features. In many cases the book contains detailed data on chemical composition and most typical isomorphic admixtures. It also describes physical and, first of all, optical properties. Significant attention is paid to crystal-morphological features. Eduard Gubelin visited numerous gemstone deposits on five continents. He managed to describe professionally and at the same time interestingly and intelligibly to the reader the geological setting and origin of each gemstone. The book paid significant attention to the history of discovery of the most famous deposits of gems and decorative stones. Knowing perfectly the paragenesis, Gubelin describes with fascination the typomorphic inclusions in each of them and the influence of micro-inclusions on optical effects of the stone. The role of the talented educator F.-X. Erni shows up impressively in description of historical scenes related to the fate of the most unique stones and those powerful people who owned them. The book "Gemstones. Symbols of Beauty and Power" is splendidly illustrated. The photographs on each page confirm the book's title. To a significant degree, this is a masterpiece of such outstanding photographers as Erica and Harold van Pelt, Nikolay Rakhmanov and Eduard Gubelin. It is pleasant that the photographs of the unique and most famous Russian gemstones occupied a deserved place in this book: better than any other book about gemstones published abroad, it describes the best historical treasure of Russia along with other world's largest collections. It seems to us that in this way the authors respected Russia as a country with long history and high level of science and culture. This book is recommended to a wide range of professional and amateur gemmologists, mineralogists, geologists and other people who love the beautiful world of stones and interested in the unlimited perfection of the Nature.

Vladimir S. Chernavtsev,
expert-gemmologist, "Tsentrkvartssamotsvety" Enterprise

You can order book from Earthlines, Unit 2B
Tharston Industrial Estate, Norwich NR15 2PD ENGLAND.
Phone: 44 (0) 1508 531014
Fax: 44 (0) 1508 531207
email: endsleighbooks@compuserve.com

For more information e-mail geobook@ix.netcom.com


Mineral Species Discovered in Canada and Species Named after Canadians

by Laszlo Horvath

The Canadian Mineralogist Special Publication 6, 2003.
Editor Robert F. Martin. 372 pages, hardcover,  3 parts,
 7 appendixes, index.

The main part of this book describes the 206 minerals that were first studied on the territory of Canada. Canada holds the fourth place after USA, Russia, and Germany in mineral discoveries. Description of each mineral appears on a separate page and includes the chemical formula, symmetry, detailed geography of type locality, brief description of the occurrence (bedrocks, mineral size, morphology, colour, associated minerals, etc.), origin of the mineral name, type specimens depository, and complete references to the first study and, in some cases, to other significant works. If the discovery of a mineral has a history, it is given in the "Comments" section, which also includes other additional information on this mineral. The pages presenting the mineral species named after people contain not only some facts about those persons, but also their portraits (which seems to be very important!). Other illustrations in the book include black-and-white photographs of minerals (basically SEM images), crystal drawings, and scenic pictures of the type localities. An insert features 39 colour photos of specimens of the most beautiful Canadian minerals.

The history of new mineral discoveries in Canada, covering more than 220 years, is briefly described in the introduction. Appendices in the end of the book include the chronology of discoveries, geographic schemes of type localities, distribution of the mineral species among chemical classes, and the author index. Another section of the book is very interesting by discussing the names that were first introduced to the mineralogical literature based on studies of Canadian minerals (even though these names are considered obsolete from the standpoint of the current mineralogical nomenclature).

A separate section describes 30 mineral species discovered outside Canada but named after Canadians - mineralogists, crystallographers, and geologists. The descriptions in this section are structured similarly to those in the main part, and here we can also see the portraits of all those people.

The book is very complete and detailed. These qualities are absolutely crucial for this kind of a reference edition. Having experience of preparation of an analogous review for the former USSR territory, I can fully understand what an enormous effort has been made by the author to collect all the information and (especially!) illustration materials for this book. It is a very interesting and captivating reading, and, in spite of high saturation with facts, information is easily accessible due to clear and convenient organization of the material within each section. This remarkable work is a fundamental contribution to the history of mineralogy and can be recommended for reading by both professionals and amateurs.

Igor V. Pekov, PhD
Department of Mineralogy,  Lomonosov Moscow State University

You can order this book from
Mineralogical Association of Canada
    P.O. box 78087, Meriline Postal Outlet,
    1460 Merival Road,
    Ottawa ON Canada.
Order online at  www.mineralogicalassosiation.ca or by fax 1-418 226-4651.

Price $45 (postage includes)


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