Gems and Semiprecious Stones

Note a recent crash of the server caused a loss of the most recent syllabus.  This is a recreation.  Some changes may be mixed up.  Let me know if you see a problem.

A survey of the world of gems and minerals covering aesthetics, economics, and science. 3cr. 3hr.

 Syllabus by week of semester

1. Definition and origins: minerals, gems, ores

2. Production of natural stones: Mining and prospecting, precious metals, synthetic stones

3. Gems and jewelry, cutting and polishing, mounting

4. Marketing: carat, karat, and the economics of gems

5. Test 1

6. Diamond and diamond imitations, cutting and polishing, and evaluation

7. Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires

8. Stone enhancements: coloring, heat treating, radiation, doublets and other tricks that enhance stones

9. Test 2

10. The rest of the birth stones: garnet, amethyst (mentioned under quartz), aquamarine, peridot, opal (mentioned under quartz), topaz

11. Tourmaline and quartz (including opal), alexanderite and related minerals, tanzanite .

12  Organic Gems  (Ammolite, amber, jet, and coral) and Pearls (Nacreous only)

13 Jade  & turquoise

14 lapis lazuli, malachite

Final (during finals week is same value as tests 1 and 2)

 Text: 1) Read, P. G., (2003). Gemmology 3nd Ed., Amsterdam: Butterworth Heinemann, Elsevier Co, Inc. (Cost about $35) & 2) Simon and Schuster's Guide to Gems and Precious Stones (Cost about $13-$16 new and $6 used), New York.

 Course grading: 3 exams including final (multiple choice and short essay) 75% (25 pts each), 25% term paper on a specific gem of your choice (only one student for each gem) due week 13. Mandatory trip to the American Museum of Natural History to see the gems collection (Sat. or Sun. of wk. 14). Attendance is mandatory, absences in excess of 15% will result in a grade of F or WU. Academic Integrity Policy (cheating)

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