Second Edition Now
Available For Sale

Completely rewritten, revised and expanded,
the 2nd edition is one third larger with 11 new chapters,
5 new introductory essays and more than
161 additional images


This second edition has been enlarged and largely re-written. Five new introductory essays and ten new chapters have been added together with numerous photographs.

 Though the principles of connoisseurship are in some sense immutable, much has changed and a great deal has been learned since I took a deep breath and put the 1st edition to bed in 2002. The ruby mines at Mong Hsu have played out and new deposits with unique characteristics have been discovered in Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique. The discovery of hot pink spinel near Mahenge, Tanzania, together with the discovery in North Vietnam of quantities of a little known variety of spinel colored blue by Cobalt have profoundly altered both the market and the connoisseurship equation in spinel. The venerable natural pearl, more or less disregarded since the rise of the pearl culturing, has returned to prominence. Cuprian tourmaline with characteristics that differ markedly from Brazilian Paraíba have been found in Mozambique. My travels have continued. I have spent time buying emerald in Bogotá and visited the mines of Boyacá, broadening and deepening my understanding of emerald. Several excursions along Jade Row at the Hong Kong Gem Show, together with a visit to the jade market in Guangzhou, China, has sharpened my understanding, I hope, of that inscrutable gem. I have returned several times to Bangkok and been privileged to speak with many of the great experts that reside in that city and have visited the spinel mines and markets of Luc Yen, North Vietnam.


Meet The Author

Richard Wise began his career In the jewelry industry as a goldsmith. His early interest in gemstone connoisseurship led him to travel extensively. He began writing on the subject in 1989. His articles on gemstones have since appeared in Gems & Gemology, Jeweler’s Quarterly, Colored Stone and many other publications. As Gemology Columnist for National Jeweler his column Gem-Wise was a popular feature of the magazine. Mr. Wise has been a Contributing Editor with Gemkey Magazine and Gem Market News. From the ruby mines of upper Burma to the Australian outback, from the Brazilian hinterland to the black pearl farms of Tahiti, from Tanzania’s Umba River to the emerald mines of Colombia, the author’s search for rare and beautiful gemstones has taken him to the world most important gem producing areas. As a respected journalist, he has interviewed some of the greatest experts and received entrée to many important private collections. Richard Wise is a popular lecturer and has spoken widely on gemstone topics before both industry and consumer groups. His first book, Secrets of the Gem Trade, The Connoisseur’s Guide to Precious Gemstones, originally published in 2004 is now available in a rewritten and enlarged 2016 second edition.

Recent Reviews

Here’s what the world’s experts say:

Richard Wise opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing gems. Connoisseurship allows us to search out and enjoy the finer aspects of gems… The second edition is better in many ways. There is much more of everything that made the first book great. Richard’s definition of what is precious has expanded to include many new gems.

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers

Secrets of the Gem Trade, second edition, is a treasure for any novice or expert Gem Lover… Generally, experts don’t reveal their hard-earned secrets. This book does it all. I got my copy yesterday and couldn’t put it down. Remarkable in its scope, quality of information and superb pictures of gems and sources, this book is a must have.

Jay Boyle

 Graduate Gemologist,

In essence, Wise has placed in print the considerations that such experts gain through decades of experience in the market. As a gem industry analyst, I really enjoyed the revised edition. It is an excellent resource and an absolute “must” read for anyone interested in gems!

Stuart Robertson

President  of the Accredited Gemologists Association

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