From Satan's Crown to the Holy Grail

Emeralds in Myth, Magic, and History

by Diane Morgan


This book relates the natural, mythical, and social history of the emerald.

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March 2007


Pages 192
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/Education
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    Hardcover: £50.00/59,00€/A$86.00

Morgan discusses the origin of the emerald, its peculiar structure, and its strange allure. The story weaves across several continents and thousands of years. It is a tale of conquistadors, treachery, shipwrecks, and alchemy. Along the way, we meet scientists and kings and bear witness as the great emeralds are born, mined, smuggled, cut, and sold. The book also discusses the modern art of making synthetic emeralds. From the fastnesses of Afghanistan to the steamy jungles of Colombia and Zimbabwe, from the sands of Egypt to the bitter Urals, this is the story of a stone whose strange journey reflects the yearnings, greed, passions, and longing for beauty of the human race.



"Morgan traces emeralds through time in an interesting mixture of technical information and completely nontechnical to nearly rhetorical discussions. A significant portion of the work emphasizes mythic and magical aspects of emeralds and related minerals, along with people involved (or allegedly so) in the long history of this gemstone....[t]he treatment of emerald discoveries, worldwide distribution, and mining is very thorough and especially useful in its coverage of the past three decades....For those in the gem industry and nonprofessionals interested in the historical and related aspects of emeralds....General readers."—Choice

"Morgan begins with legends of the green gemstone. Then she discusses how they come to be, the emerald business, their appearance in world history, the great emeralds, secrets of the trade, and fake emeralds and their kin."—Reference & Research Book News

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