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'Rubies and Sapphires,' by Fred Ward

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


'Rubies and Sapphires,' by Fred Ward

by Fred Ward

The Bottom Line

Striking visuals and informative text give us an inside look at the ruby and sapphire industry. An excellent book that you'll refer to over and over again.


  • Gorgeous color photos on every page.
  • Folklore and history of the stones.
  • Mining and cutting, past and present.


  • Would have enjoyed a longer text.


  • History and folklore about the corundum family, which both rubies and sapphires belong to.
  • Where the "best" gems are found, how they are mined, and how politics have affected the supply.
  • Learn how treatments allow more of us to own precious gemstones.
  • Take a close-up look at the people who do much of the world's cutting and polishing.
  • Fantastic color photos of famous jewels. Color photos of hundreds of cut and uncut stones.
  • A detailed chapter about synthetic stones and the different methods used in that industry.
  • Gemstone care instructions and buying tips.

Guide Review - 'Rubies and Sapphires,' by Fred Ward

All of the books in the Fred Ward Gem Series are packed with incredibly beautiful color photos of gems and the people who bring them to life. History, folklore, mining, cutting and polishing, synthetics, and care -- Mr. Ward covers all of those topics.

I was especially interested in the chapters about gem treatments and gem synthesis. The author explains both topics thoroughly, helping us understand how those methods have enabled more of us to own precious gems. If you're looking for a book with price comparisons, this isn't it, but if you want a firsthand look at the world of sapphires and rubies this book is most definitely is an excellent choice.

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