A Necessary Introduction
one can regret more than I do that the shortcomings revealed in the
following pages are for the most part due to my very restricted
knowledge of gemology, an important if somewhat academic branch of
mineralogy. For, as with my book on pearls, I write not as a man of
science, but as a man of trade.
it had occurred to me more than once that I might write a book on
precious and semi-precious stones, entirely from the point of view of
one who has for many years extracted a living from the handling of
these small but interesting objects, until recently I doubted my
ability to contribute anything worth while to what other and in many
ways more competent writers had already provided for those interested
in the subject of gems.
now and then, however, I came across one or another textbook on gem
stones written by some scientific authority, and it sometimes occurred
to me that the information contained in such works might have been
presented in a more readable form.
why," I asked myself, "should things which are of the very essence of
romance be treated in such a dry-as-dust way?" If I had worked it all
out I would have seen that the romance of gems is imparted to them by