June 15, 1998
Jewelers interested in the history of watches, clocks and jewelry will
find the Web site of The Gemmary to be a fascinating place.
Although The Gemmary, based in Fallbrook, CA, primarily serves the
antique scientific instrument collector, a page on the site is devoted
to old and rare books on watches and clocks, and another to gemology and
jewelry. All are for sale. One of these books, strategically placed on
your countertop, can provide an interesting diversion for your customers
while they wait for that watch battery, and it'll make interesting
reading for you as well.
Nearly 200 rare and hard to find books on gemology, gemstones, diamonds and jewelry are
listed, covering a wide variety of topics, with a brief description of
each. A few random titles include Diamonds, A Study of the Factors
That Govern Their Value, published in 1916 and listed at $30; The
Romance of the Jewel, 1920, $30; A Handbook of Precious Stones, 1889,
$30; The Kingdom of the Pearl, 1926, $500 (a limited edition - one of
only 165 published); and A History of Jewellery, 1100-1870, first
edition, 1953, $125.
A second edition copy of The Jewelers Manual, signed by author and GIA Chairman Richard
T. Liddicoat and published in 1964, is listed at $40. Robert M.
Shipley's Gemology, the Science of Gemstones, published in 1950,
carries a price of $125. The description calls it "Class notes for his
Among the more than 60 listings on the watch and clock page are
such titles as Old Clocks and Their Makers, 1904, $85; The Lure of
the Clock, 1932, $30; and Watch Collecting, 1970, $10.
If your avocation is science, mineralogy, mining, meteorites or
paleontology, the site lists hundreds of rare and antique instruments
and books. It's
fascinating to see and read about some of the instruments that
scientists used hundreds of years ago.
Technically speaking: The site is well-designed and easy to navigate. The photos of the
scientific instruments are excellent, as are the descriptions. The site uses simple text links and no tricky frames or fancy graphics, therefore making it accessible to browsers of all versions!
- by Jack Heeger