The subtitle of Ronald Ringsrud's new book, A Passionate Guide, The Emeralds, The People, their Secrets has been well selected. The book is not just about emerald, most specifically Colombian emerald, it is about a country, its people and one man's love affair with it all.
I first met Ron Ringsrud about a year and a half ago. I had never been to Colombia and as is my custom whenever I go into a new market, I was looking for a guide to the country and its emeralds. Ron Ringsrud was an inspired choice.
He is fluent in Spanish and has been involved in the trade and traveling to Colombia for over twenty years. He is a true aficionado and knows whereof he speaks.
The book begins with an excellent summary of the history of emerald mining in Colombia coupled with a history of the Mogul Empire and more specifically the Indian princes whose love affair with the Colombian emerald began, almost as soon as the Spanish conquered the mines in the 16th Century.
The book includes a provocative and thoughtful approach to connoisseurship and grading of the emerald. The author carefully defines and explains the terms he uses. He also takes on such arcane terms as "old mine" and "gota de aceite (drop of oil)." I first heard these terms a number of years ago and typically could not find any sort of consistent explanation as to their meaning. Ron provides the most lucid explanation of these concepts that I have seen or heard anywhere.
Ron is one of the new breed of gem writers, one who does not limit himself to quotes from Pliny and Theophrastus and is not afraid to actually tell his readers something of the real intimate secrets of how how emerald is appreciated and graded.
There are more than 225 photographs and 70 Photomicrographs. Some like the beautiful Harold and Erica Van Pelt image to the right are fabulous and more than adequately capture the sumptuous color of this verdant gem. Emerald is notoriously difficult to photograph true to color and a number of the author's images fall short while others are little short of magnificent.
Ringsrud includes some wonderful images of the people and the countryside in the province of Boyaca, a region I toured with him two years ago.
The author has spared no expense; the book has been beautifully produced, the paper, the cover, all top drawer.
Ron is a partisan and writes like one. If you are looking for a book that will give you a real sense of Colombian emerald, its unique characteristics and how it stacks up against emerald from other localities together with the feel for the country and its people, Ronald Ringsrud's new offering Emeralds, A Passionate Guide is the book for you.
Emeralds; A Passionate Guide, ISBN: 978-0-9822627-5-7. The book sells for $80.00 can be ordered directly From Green View Press: http://www.emeraldpassion.com/
Thinking of investing or just trying to find a beautiful gemstone. Want to know more about it? Consider the connoisseur's guide. 120 carefully selected photographs showing examples of the highest quality gems to educate the eye, including the Rockefeller Sapphire and many more of the world's most famous gems. Consider my book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones.
“Wise is a renowned author... He’s done a marvelous job of this first book, monumental work, a tour de force...My recommendation: Buy this book”.
Charles Lewton-Brain, Orchid
whether you like to know what the best colour is in Tanzanite, or how to grade a Diamond, you will find it in this book. No other book I read before dealt with this topic is such detail as Richard Wise's masterpiece."
A. Van Acker, FGA Amazon June 2005
"Secrets Of The Gem Trade: The Connoisseurs Guide To Precious Gemstones by Richard W. Wise is an impressive new reference for dedicated dealers and collectors of gems, gemstones, and ... pearls. Introducing and descriptively exploring each and every gem covered in the easy-to-use reference, Secrets Of The Gem Trade contains an illustrated summary of each stone inclusive of its history and general information, hue and tone, saturation, which may be noticed as the finest, an understanding of the particular gems rarity, and the caution for synthetics and how to depict them, however depending upon the stone there may be description of clarity, color fading, multi-color effect, etc. Secrets Of The Gem Trade is very highly recommended to anyone interested in gemology as a superbly organized, authoritative, comprehensive, and easy-to-follow reference."
Midwest Book Review April 2006
Newly reprinted. Only $39.95 in paperback. Read a couple of chapters online an order: We recently discovered about a dozen copies of the out of print hardcover: $79.95 signed by the author www.secretsofthegemtrade.com.
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