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Crystal and Gems

An illustrated guide to gemstones and crystals, the myths and stories behind them, and the world’s most celebrated jewellery.

Discover the history of precious, semi-precious, and organic gemstones, their scientific properties, their symbolic and mythical powers, and their traditional uses.

Humans have been beguiled and fascinated by gemstones and crystals since prehistory, and made use of them for everything from currency and ceremonial decoration to tokens of love or power. But why have some been considered more significant than others – rare or otherwise?

Learn all about the key properties of precious and semi-precious stones, and discover the science behind some of their more unusual and mysterious properties, and the various ways in which they have taken on powerful symbolic meanings. How did the Vikings use iolite to help them steer their ships, for example? And why did the Ancient Greeks and Romans believe sardonyx pendants could protect them in battle?

Encounter some of the most famous or celebrated gemstones and jewels along the way – from a turquoise-studded pectoral worn during Aztec ceremonies, to the diamond necklace that helped to bring about the French Revolution – in this glorious celebration of precious, semi-precious, and organic stones in all their beauty and variety.

ISBN: 9780241569924
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley