The new edition of the best-selling book Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide, 7th Edition (GemStone Press / October 2009 / Quality Paperback / $19.99) by Antoinette Matlins, P.G., and Antonio C. Bonanno, F.G.A., A.S.A., M.G.A., with almost 400,000 copies in print, has now added an eye-opening chapter on antique and period jewelry , covering all of the most collectible periods.
"Antique and period jewelry pieces are a major source of rare, valuable gemstones that are truly natural (that is, not artificially improved)," says Antoinette Matlins
, one of the country's most highly respected gem and jewelry experts.
According to Matlins
, virtually all sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and many other gemstones have for many decades been routinely subjected to various treatments to improve their appearance.
Until recently, this fact was not disclosed to consumers.
Beginning in the 1970s, there was a significant drop in the value of these gems as a result of the influx of treated gemstones; the supply of stones-albeit, treated stones-rapidly increased and outpaced demand.
At the same time, Matlins
explains, the value of the rare, precious, truly natural gems, also dropped.
That is, until today.
According to Matlins
, "Without disclosure, no one realized there were really two different gemstone markets: 1) natural, unenhanced gemstones, and 2) "natural" gemstones, meaning "produced by nature" but improved by human intervention.
Now that the Federal Trade Commission
requires disclosure of treatments, people are coming to understand that there are differences and, says Matlins
, collectors and connoisseurs are seeking truly natural gemstones of fine quality.
"Prices are increasing dramatically for these gemstones because demand is increasing but supply is not," Matlins
"Natural rubies, sapphires and emeralds are among the rarest of all gems today because, with very rare exceptions, nature stopped producing them decades ago.
Antique and period jewelry, especially jewels containing colored gemstones, offer unique opportunities for the astute, counsels Matlins
For those who are more interested in modern jewelry, Matlins
is quick to point out that there's nothing wrong with buying a treated gemstone.
"In fact, were it not for the use of treatments to make more gemstones available for jewelry use," she
explains, "only the world's wealthiest would be able to enjoy wearing fine rubies, sapphires and emeralds today.
On the other hand, for those who aren't wealthy, Matlins
adds that there are also some wonderful choices for anyone who wants an affordable natural gemstone.
By Antoinette Matlins
, P.G., &
Through her books, lectures and workshops, and numerous media appearances, Antoinette Matlins, P.G., has been educating the consumer and the jewelry and gem trade for almost 25 years.
In this new edition, she
brings readers the latest information to guide them through every step related to buying and enjoying gems and jewelry.
Antoinette Matlins, P.G., is the most widely read author in the world on the subject of buying jewelry and gems.
book Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide has almost 400,000 copies in print, and is the only book of its kind ever offered by Consumer Reports . Her
books are published in six languages and are extensively used by consumers and professionals in the gem and jewelry fields worldwide.
An internationally respected gem and jewelry expert and a popular media guest, she
is frequently quoted as an expert source in national and international magazines and newspapers and is often seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN
, educating the public about gems and jewelry, and exposing fraud.