Artificial gemstones have been well established in the trade for some time, but now, following further refinements in their manufacture, gemmologists worldwide are facing increasing problems with identification.Today, gem-quality synthetic diamonds, once deemed impossible to produce, are becoming widely available, and, moreover, it is possible to create almost any major gemstone in whatever colour is desired. Then, too, the growth of diamonds by chemical vapour deposition is destined to present further problems. The synthetic products of the past, particularly of the 1960s, are still available, and are puzzling the newer generations of gemmologists who have not encountered them previously. In Artificial Gemstones Michael O'Donoghue provides the definitive guide to the various man-made substitutes thus enabling anyone handling gems to identify them accurately. Starting with the theory of synthetic gem manufacture and an explanation of the production methods used for growing and/or improving crystals - with their ornamental application - the book moves on to list and identify the materials themselves. Some of these have natural counterparts; others are new minerals and do not occur in nature. The author lists the identifying internal and external features and tests, and the book contains colour illustrations to display the inclusions found in transparent materials. The book is completed by an extensive bibliography and a useful appendix of trade names. Gemmologists, gem dealers, lapidaries, curators, amateurs and students of gemmology and mineralogy will all find this an indispensable addition to their bookshelves.
Michael O'Donoghue is a Director of the Gemmological Association. He was Curator of Earth Sciences at The British Library until 1991 and is Lecturer in Gemmology at London Guildhall University. He has worked on and with minerals for nearly 30 years, specializing in gem minerals. He has written many books on gemmology.
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