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Best Reference Books

What is the best reference book to show color pictures of the spectrum of various stones?

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Hi I find the Sisk reference books marvellous for colour photography and reference to most gemstones


Do these books have photos of the spectroscope patterns for selective absorption? I read a description of the content. It does say loads of color pictures but are these photos just of the gemstones with a description of them or does it have other info for identification such as mentioned-spectroscope photos, RI, and specific gravity.

No not full details on spectrums I find this online site very good

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Tables of Gemstone Identification by Roger Dedeyne & Ivo Quintens.
Certainly the best book for gemstone ID…everything you need really and a new edition is out later this year.
Check it out at

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Try GIA’s “Gem Reference Guide”. It has the color spectra and a whole lot more.
ISBN 0-87311-019-6 Enjoy.

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Thank you all… some great resources that I will have to look into. If anyone knows of any others please don’t hesitate to let me know about them.

By far the very best book is the one written by Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Gemstones Identification - Blue Chart.

All gemstones are covered including synthetics, imitation, treated and untreated. Organized by refractive index, Specific Gravity, Pleochroism, Phenomenas, common colors, Birefringence, Crystal System, hardness and a spectrum chart.

I consider this spiral bound book as my go to identification bible. Each gemstone also has a quick abbreviated note that describes distinctive characteristics / typical inclusions / common treatments, LW SW reactions plus Chelsea filter colors.

I highly recommend this book to anyone starting out and anyone in the business. All the information at your fingertips, Spiral bound and very easy to use.

Updated on a regular basis. I have used it for nearly 20 years and recently order the latest 2019 edition. I had the pleasure of meeting the author at the Holidome, Tucson, back in 2003
Best trip ever.