Buying Gemstones & Jewellery In Sri Lanka

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Buy this book well in advance of your trip

I asked for this book because I had just accepted a contract to work in Sri Lanka for a few months and even though I am not particularly interested in gems, I have family members who love sapphires. I have worked in Sri Lanka before and know a bit about how the industry works, but I have been surprised by how many more gem shops there are compared to my last visit.

Ms Rix writes with clarity about how to prepare for your gem buying. It's a little bit like going to Las Vegas. Decide how much you are going to spend, how much risk you are willing to take. Decide exactly what you are looking for before you arrive. 

Ms Rix offers suggestions for high risk and low risk approaches to buying. Believe her when she says you can easily be cheated.

So buy this book long before your Sri Lankan adventure. Read and think about what it is you are trying to do and how you want to do it. Consider dividing your spending money into segments and spending each segment a different way. The no risk way is to buy certified stones from reputable dealers. If you want to take some risks with the remainder of your money, go gambling on the other methods.

As with any gambling on art, never spend more than you can afford to lose, and only buy things you like. That way, even if you buy a pretty piece of colored glass, you can wear it and tell a great story.

Oh yeah. Buy a jewelers loupe and learn how to use it.
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The Gemstone Detective is the nom de plume of Kim Rix, and this installment of Buying Gemstones and Jewellery is aimed at tourists who are traveling to Sri Lanka. This colorful and informative 100 page book was released 4th October 2018 by Filament publishing and is available in paperback and ebook formats.

For a relatively short book, it covers the basics of sourcing and buying gemstones and jewelry in Sri Lanka. The author describes the methods and basic etiquette involved to hopefully help the tourist buyer avoid the worst and most costly pitfalls.

The layout follows a logical progression. It begins with background and definitions. It covers what corundum (ruby/sapphire) is, a very little bit about Mohs hardness scale, along with some mineral terms like asterism and chatoyancy. Defined terms are in bold typeface and are written for the layman. There's a fair bit of fun factoid information included like famous sapphires in history and crystal 'meanings'. There's not too much non-scientific crystal trivia included. I would estimate the filler info (crystal 'meanings' and supposed properties) takes up less than 5% of the total content.

The next chapters include a very rough description of valuation and the attributes which make a stone more (or less) valuable. The options for sourcing and buying gemstones, both rough and cut stones as well as finished jewelry are written clearly and in terms that the average layman can understand. This book is aimed firmly at the layperson. This is not an instruction manual for buying professionally or breaking into the gem trade on a wholesale level.

The discussion on treatments and enhancements for stones is worth the price of the book, honestly. (And not just for tourists to Sri Lanka! This info is good for -anyone- considering a stone purchase).
Although the guide is slanted mostly toward the sapphire buyer, many of the Sri Lankan gemstones are included in shorter descriptions (moonstone, beryl, chrysoberyl including Alexandrite, some quartzes (amethyst), and a few others). I liked it very much that the author mentions in several different places that it's easy for the unwary to get carried away and be sold iolite as sapphire (it's emphatically not the same thing).

There is a fair bit of repetition in the chapters, but that could be intentional; to help the tourist who intends to read the salient bits which apply to their situation instead of reading it from cover to cover like a novel (or like an average reviewer ;) ).

I worked as a metal artist, goldsmith, and certified gemologist for over 16 years and I actually did learn some things from this book. The text is also peppered with a large number of internet links which provide a good reference for the buyer.

Four stars. If it saves just one person from the heartache of being cheated it's well worth it.
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I was lucky enough to receive a free copy by of this book via netgalley! A very interesting read! Thank you!
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I found Buying Gemstones & Jewellery In Sri Lanka The Gemstone Detective Series by Kim Rixa little gem of a book. Especially as I was lucky enough to go there for my Honeymoon 25 years ago. It is a beautiful country to visit.

This little Book brought back lots of lovely special  memories for me especially as we purchased a beautiful Sapphire from Sri Lanka and had a ring made there and I still wear it today. 
This book is crammed with so much information on what to look for. Where to go, Do's and Don'ts etc when you are purchasing gemstones. You could be anywhere in the world, this book would be a brilliant guidebook on what to look for etc. If you want to purchase some gemstones to be made into something special.

However, the only thing I would of like of seen was more Illustrations of the gemstones etc, photos of the area's that were mentioned in to book. More photos on how they were mined etc as I found it lacked in this area. 
It would of been brilliant to see a few small photos of where the main places they mentioned, you are going to in one book. It just need to be broken up a bit. 
However, it was a lovely little book with so much information any traveller would love to read about.

Big Thank you to Netgalley for letting me read and review Buying Gemstones & Jewellery in Sri Lanka By KimRix.
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I was lucky enough to read a review copy of Buying Gemstones and Jewellery in Sri Lanka #TheGemstoneDetective #NetGalley

This was not at all what I expected, in fact, it was better than expected.  An interesting book which gives an insight into trading gemstones and what to do and what not to do.   Very interesting to read about the history of some of the gemstones and how they became downgraded to semi-precious.  I liked the book it was very informative.
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What a great idea for a very specific guide. I want to read more of these as her contacts grow worldwide. Excellent first start, thanks for the ARC!
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