E-text prepared by Peter Vachuska, Chuck Greif, Stephen Blundell,
and the Project Online Distributed Proofreading Team
By Frank B. Wade
A Text-Book of Precious Stones
THE GEM-LOVING PUBLIC
FRANK B. WADE, B.S.
HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY, SHORTRIDGE HIGH
SCHOOL, INDIANAPOLIS, IND.
AUTHOR OF “DIAMONDS: A STUDY OF THE FACTORS THAT
GOVERN THEIR VALUE”
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
The Knickerbocker Press
FRANK B. WADE
First printing, January, 1918
Second “ March, 1924
Made in the United States of America
In this little text-book the author has tried to combine the trade information which he has gained in his avocation, the study of precious stones, with the scientific knowledge bearing thereon, which his vocation, the teaching of chemistry, has compelled him to master.
In planning and in writing the book, every effort has been made to teach the fundamental principles and methods in use for identifying precious stones, in as natural an order as possible. This has been done in the belief that the necessary information will thus be much more readily acquired by the busy gem merchant or jeweler than would have been the case had the material been arranged in the usual systematic order. The latter is of advantage for quick reference after the fundamentals of the subject have been mastered. It is hoped, however, that the method of presentation used in this book will make easy the acquisition of a knowledge of gemology and that many who have been deterred from studying the subject by a feeling that the difficulties due to their lack of scientific training were insurmountable, will find that they can learn all the science that is really necessary, as they proceed. To that end the discussions have been given in as untechnical language as possible and homely illustrations have in many cases been provided.
Nearly every portion of the subject that a gem merchant needs to know has been considered and there is provided for the interested public much material which will enable them to be more intelligent purchasers of gem-set jewelry, as well as more appreciative lovers of Nature’s wonderful mineral masterpieces.
F. B. W.
- December 26, 1916
Because of the rapid increase in knowledge about precious stones on the part of the buying public, it has become necessary for the gem merchant and his clerks and salesmen to know at least as much about the subject of gemology as their better informed customers are likely to know.
In many recent articles in trade papers, attention has been called to this need, and to the provision which Columbia University has made for a course in the study of gems. The action of the National Association of Goldsmiths of Great Britain in providing annual examinations in gemology, and in granting certificates and diplomas to those who successfully pass the examinations, has also been reported, and it has been suggested that some such course should be pursued by jewelers’ associations in this country. The greatest difficulty in the way of such formal study among our jewelers and gem merchants is the lack of time for attendance on formal courses, which must necessarily be given at definite times and in definite places.
As a diamond salesman was heard to say recently: “The boss said he wanted me to take in that course at Columbia, but he didn’t tell me how I was going to do it. Here I am a thousand miles from Columbia, and it was only six weeks ago that he was telling me I ought to take that course. I can’t stay around New York all the time.” Similarly those whose work keeps them in New York might object that their hours of employment prevented attendance on day courses, and that distance from the university and fatigue prevent attendance on night courses. The great mass of gem dealers in other cities must also be considered.
It will therefore be the endeavor of this book to provide guidance for those who really want to make themselves more efficient in the gem business, but who have felt that they needed something in the way of suggestion regarding what to attempt, and how to go about it.
Study of the sort that will be suggested can be pursued in spare moments, on street cars or elevated trains, in waiting rooms, or in one’s room at night. It will astonish many to find how much can be accomplished by consistently utilizing spare moments. Booker T. Washington is said to have written in such spare time practically all that he has published.