Books for the News

Gems Dazzle at the Field Museum and the Press

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Last week, the Field Museum debuted to much fanfare the renovated Grainger Hall of Gems, where the newest temporary exhibit, “The Nature of Diamonds,” will be sparkling through March 28, 2010. But the hall itself, one of the most popular areas of the museum since it opened in 1921, has reemerged polished, shiny, and chock full of dazzling gems. As the Field Musuem notes on its website:

Featured are all the major gemstone varieties, from those known for thousands of years to newcomers discovered in recent decades. You’ll behold rare jewels from every era, including an Egyptian garnet necklace more than 3,400 years old; a Chinese jade ornament thought to have been carved about 600 years ago; and a modern pendant created by C.D. Peacock containing a 28.84-carat tanzanite stone—one of the rarest gems in the world. The exhibition combines the beauty of nature with the creativity of human artistry, so don’t miss this unique opportunity to follow gems from their raw state to their remarkable setting in stunning jewelry.

To celebrate the reopening of the Grainger Hall, the University of Chicago Press has partnered with the Field Museum to publish Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World. Featuring nearly 300 color images of the cut gems, precious and semiprecious stones, gem-quality mineral specimens, and fine jewelry on display at the Grainger Hall of Gems, Gems and Gemstones showcases a dazzling array of creations from around the world. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, amethysts, pearls, topaz, amber—every major gem gets its due in what will be an invaluable source on the subject for years to come.
You can sample pages from the book here or ogle gorgeous jewelry in this birthstone gallery.