Jewels: A Secret History

Finlay, Victoria

  11 Reviews

Lift the lid of your jewel box and bring out your favourite gems, you're about to be dazzled by their seductive stories. From amber and jet through to rubies and diamonds, in this extensively researched but easy to read book, journalist Victoria Findlay explores the world of precious stones: their foundation, the mythology that surrounds them, their history and their uses. A gem of a book.

Comments from Groups

Excellent and well written reference book full of interesting details.... The fun part was passing around our own treasured gems and sharing their personal stories. Whangarei 004

Great book for discussion. All admired, too, the amount of research she'd done, and her courage in going to some out-of-the-way places. A book many in the group would like to own. Auckland 009

We found Victoria Finlay's background personal experiences of various jewels, and then her in-depth stories and explanations most interesting. We each chose a particular chapter to read and had a lively final meeeting of the year telling others of our particular gemstones. A book that can be read over time, and a good reference book for the bookshelf, we thought. Wellington 041

A most interesting book which would be the definitive writing on the subject of the selected jewels. Amazing research and history; and whatever one's preference or interest, there was much to be learnt. Auckland 010

What a fascinating book - just as absorbing as her first book on colour. It was interesting to realise the hold on diamonds that is exerted by De Beers. She goes into incredible depth on researching each stone's origins and provenance. Blenheim 007



We all thought this book was fascinating - although the small print made for difficult reading!
Most LOVED this book - we learned so much and enjoyed sharing the stories of the jewels we brought. Great notes.
Most of our small group were surprised to enjoy the book more than their first expectation. The history and social aspects were the main attraction.
This book was an interesting choice by one of our group. Except for the person who chose the book we all decided it was not the sort of book we would choose from the library, however that is the value of Book Clubs - because everyone enjoyed the book and we had a good discussion!
WELL 047
The group found the book very interesting as far as the history and stories surrounding the various gems are concerned. A book to read bit by bit, otherwise one can be overwhelmed with so much information!
AUCK 014
Incredibly well researched. Easy to read and so much history. Very enjoyable.
NELS 021
An interesting book. We did more research and shared our own gems. A good informative writer that makes the subject interesting.
CHCH 419
Well researched and written.
AUCK 071
We all enjoyed this book - myths and legends, history, geology, some easily understood science, anecdotes and stories - something for everyone. We just wish we could remember it all. Each member had their favourite extract, and we all brought 'gems' which had a personal story, to share with the group. Made a really good final meeting of the year.
We all loved this book.
Initial reaction was "oh no, what's this" with expectations of a dry, boring book. Final reaction was 'great book, half adventure story, half fascinating reference book". We all thoroughly enjoyed it.