Favorite Gem Book?

What is your favorite Gem reference book?

Reference guide by GIA

for id I think Liddicoat’s is still the best

Depends on what you want it for. Best easy book for learning elementary gemology is Matlins (Gem Identification Made Easy now in it’s 6th edition). Another good text is Peter Read’s Gemmology, which is used as the text for the FGA exam in the UK. For exhaustive coverage of gems and various procedures, Gems, in its 6th edition, edited by Michael O’Donoghue, is great. Remember that there are several sites on line now with gemology courses you can take, too. I find it’s nice to have a physical book to browse through, but I’m old fashioned.

If you end up wanting a complete set of inclusion photos, you’ll want all three volumes of Gubelin and Koivula’s set, but that would be pretty pricey…maybe $800 or $1000 altogether…and most of the needed inclusion photos are probably now somewhere on the internet.

Once you know a little about gemology, I think the best book is Hanneman’s Affordable Gemology, which will teach you how to identify stones with little or no equipment, if you’re clever enough and practice enough.


I agree =)

1 Like

Philip’s Guide to gems. Gem Identification Made Easy ( I hardly use it). Smithsonian Handbooks “Gemstones”. IGS and GIA have a lot of information online as well as in their course materials. Software, Gemology Tools Professional is filled with a lot of data and images. Wikipedia and a lot of other online resources exist.

Which is my favorite? Philips is my first goto and all the others are used as well. Philips is packed with data, images, theory… I’ve taken the IGS Certification and most of the GIA is completed and I find the Philips to be one of the best I have seen in it’s price range.


COLOR Encyclopedia of Gemstones by Joel Arem

I think the Sisk Gemology reference Volumes 1,2, and 3 are a great reference guide and also has brilliant photograpy

I’ve got a collectors book - Rockhounding in Texas - and a very old book - Gems in the Bible. Neither are considered really helpful but I like them- I have a problem - too many collections.
I can’t come to an answer for one great book. Y’all took care of that- thanks - I’ll take notes.:comet:️

I like Walter Schuman’s “Gemstones of the World”