Book Review Gems & Gemology, Spring 2015, Vol. 51, No. 1

Wonders Within Gemstones II

Wonders within Gemstones II
By Anthony de Goutiere, softcover, 72 pp., publ. by FriesenPress, Victoria, British Columbia, 2014, Can$23.99.
In his second book on photomicrography, Wonders Within Gemstones II, Anthony de Goutiere presents remarkable photos of gem inclusions. De Goutiere reveals the natural beauty of these features by applying various lighting methods to a wide range of gemstones, including amber, beryl, corundum, diaspore, feldspar, garnet, malachite, meteorite, peridot, quartz, spodumene, and topaz. Readers will get a thorough overview on how to use these approaches to find “invisible” inclusions. It is a great resource for both the general public and those working in the jewelry trade and in gemological laboratories.

de Goutiere has mastered the use of oblique illumination, polarized illumination, and diffused illumination to reveal the most amazing aspects of many inclusions, such as iridescent color in fractures, cleavages, parting planes, thin films (like liquid inclusions), and voids. In one notable photo, the whitish mosaic thin film inclusions in aquamarine become remarkably colorful because of the excellent use of oblique illumination. The author demonstrates how darkfield and transmitted oblique illumination exhibit the sharp euhedral crystal faces of the syngenetic crystals inside gemstones. de Goutiere also uses diffused reflected oblique illumination to reveal distinctive surface etch markings and crystal growth markings, and shows how polarized illumination exposes internal graining and strain as well as birefringent spectral colors. It is such a vivid use of oblique illumination, which can be a very useful but challenging lighting technique for gemologists. The description of each photograph is concise, clear, and well organized. It covers stone information, inclusion detail, and lighting method. Some photos look like abstract art, and some are reminiscent of nature scenes such as mountains, rivers, and animals. These beautiful images are all strikingly rainbow-colored due to the effect of the light.

A Graduate Gemologist with over 50 years of experience, de Goutiere has filled his book with gemological knowledge, a persistent passion for gemstones, and an impressive aesthetic standard. Each photo is enhanced by his unique and artistic perspective. Wonders Within Gemstones II is an enjoyable read for anyone interested in gemstones. It is a valuable reference for any enthusiast who would like to start their photomicrographic adventure.

Ziyin Sun is a staff gemologist in the gem identification department at GIA’s Carlsbad laboratory.