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In Archaeology and Art History, researchers are often confronted with gems of all types and ages. Gemmology is the science dealing with gems and considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy. Its roots can be traced back to Theophrastus (315 BCE) who described how minerals and gems grow and to Pliny (79 CE) who mentioned identification issues of gems. At the beginning of the nineteenth century R-J Haüy and his contemporaries started to develop gemmology as a modern science. The analysis of gems starts from the identification of their chemical composition, determining whether they are natural or “artificial” (i.e., imitation or synthetic), checking for enhancement treatments, grading and sometimes determining their geographic origin. The current book is an attempt to consolidate knowledge about the history of gems, including synthetic gems and imitations, as well as of their treatments, together with analytical techniques in a form that makes it possible for archaeologists and art historians to draw on this gemmological knowledge.
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