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  About Me

  My Books

  Buy My Books

  Book Quizzes

  Q & Answers

  Contact Info


  Other Books


WELCOME to ReneeNewman.com

Besides providing details about my background and my books, this site offers information on gems, jewelry, appraisers and other books. My goal is to provide consumers and jewelry professionals with unbiased, affordable information on how to buy, evaluate and appreciate gems and jewelry.  But the consumer principles I stress in my gem books can also be applied to other subject areas such as health. In both cases, you should be informed, deal with competent professionals and get proper documentation.

My overall mission is to promote consumer issues, education, ethics and the arts.

What’s New with Newman?  

A  revised and updated 3rd Edition of my Diamond Handbook with 178 new photographs, an expanded chapter on detecting synthetic diamonds and a new chapter on detecting diamond imitations. This is an updated diamond grading and identification guide geared to trade professionals but you dont need a gemological background to understand it. Click here for more information.

 An updated 6th Edition of the Pearl Buying Guide with 186 new photos and recent pearls and jewelry styles.  Click here for more information.

A new Third edition of the Gemstone Buying Guide with 323 new color photos and additional gem species and varieties.

Click here for more information about the Third Edition of the Gemstone Buying Guide.


A 4th Volume of Exotic Gems featuring jade and including a chapter on abalone pearls.

Click here for more information about Exotic Gems: Volume 4                                                                                             

An eBook version of the Gem & Jewelry Pocket Guide: A traveler's guide to buying diamonds, colored gems, pearls, gold and platinum jewelry was released on Apple I books, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It has updated information and many new photos.

Click here for more information about the book.


Talks Fall 2018-2019:

Sunday Sept 16, “The Diversity of American Gems,” AGIL International Gemmological Conference. University of Hong Kong, Graduate House. Wang Gungwu Lecture Hall.

Monday, Oct 15, 6:00 PM  "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued," WJA, Minneapolis, Solar Arts Building, 2nd floor, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis.

Wednesday Oct 17, 6:30 PM , "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued," Midwest Jewelers' Association, Woman's Jewelry Association & GIA,  Thermo Fisher Scientific, 5225 Verona Rd, Madison, WI.

Sunday, Oct 21, PowerPoint: “The Allure of Diamonds." Eve Alfillé Gallery, 623 Grove Street, Evanston, IL.

Monday, Oct 22, 5:30 PM, PowerPoint: "Pearl Update: New Types, Fakes, Treatments and Jewelry Styles,"  Chicago GIA Alumni Association, Jeweler's Building, 5 South Wabash, Chicago..

Thursday Nov 1, 7:30 PM “How Exotic Gems are Changing the Jewelry Industry.” Northridge Del Air Rockhounds Club, Northridge United Methodist Church, 9650 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA.

Friday November 9, 7:30 PM "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued." Mineralogical Society of Southern California (MSSC) Pasadena City College in the Geology Building E, Lecture Hall (Room 220), 1570 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA. 

Saturday, November 17, 6:30 PM, "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued." Woodlands Hills, Rock Chippers, First United Methodist Church, 22700 Sherman Way, West Hills, CA.

Wednesday January 16, 2019, 7:15 PM, "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued," South Orange County Gem & Mineral Society, San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, CA.

Saturday, February 9, 2019, 9:00 AM, "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued," Old Pueblo Lapidary Club (OPLC), 3118 North Dale Ave. Tucson, AZ

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, "How Exotic Gems are Changing the Jewelry Industry.” JCOLA (Jewelry Collectors of Los Angeles) in Culver City at the Veteran's Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave in Multi-Purpose room.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019, 6:15 PM. "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued," Melbourne Canaveral Gem & Mineral Society, Henegar Center, 625 E. New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL

Thursday, March 7th, 2019. "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued." GIA Alumni Assn., Associated Watch and Jewelry Buyers. 3418 West Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019. "21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued." GIA/AGS, Miami, FL

Sunday April 14, 2019, "Precious Metal Jewelry: How to Test, Mark & Value It." Intl Society of Appraisers. Brown Hotel, 335 West Broadway, Louisville, KY.

Mon - Sat, May 21-26  Speaker-in-Residence for the EFMLS Wildacres Spring Workshop Week at the Wildacres Retreat, 1565 Wildacres Road, Little Switzerland, North Carolina atop the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sponsored by the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies (EFMLS). For more information, go to www.efmls-wildacres.org 

Monday June 3, 2018, 6:00 PM "How Exotic Gems are Changing the Jewelry Industry.” Southern Nevada Gem & Mineral Society, Eagles Hall, 1601 E. Washington, Las Vegas, NV.

  Newman’s Nuggets on Buying Quality Jewelry

1.  When selecting jewelry, ask jewelers to rate the quality of the craftsmanship and explain their rating. Jewelers that sell well-made jewelry like the opportunity to show why their mountings and settings are better than those of competitors. Their answers will help you learn to judge quality and select a competent jeweler.

2.  Look at the back of the piece.  If it looks smooth and cleanly finished, chances are it's well-constructed.  

3.  If there's a clasp, verify that it works. Try to open and close it by yourself a couple times. Listen for the click.

     Then pull at the clasp gently to see if it comes apart or remains secure.

4.  Check for rough and sharp edges by rubbing the piece lightly against your skin and clothing. 

    5.  Select sturdy mountings for everyday rings and bracelets. Rings that are very thin and bracelets that can bend and dent do not last long. Platinum mountings can normally be thinner and more delicate than those made of gold and silver. This is because platinum is more dense and stronger than most gold and silver alloys.

    6.  Get a detailed receipt. The receipt should include:

      * The identity and purity of the metal(s)

      * The identity and shape of the stones

      * The carat weight of any major stone and the total weight of any smaller stones of each gem type.

      * The treatment status of the major stones---Are the color and clarity natural?  

    7.  Check to see if there’s a karat stamp or fineness mark and a trademark on the piece.  Even though these marks aren’t necessarily a guarantee that the metal content is as stamped, they’re an indication. If you ever decide to resell the piece later on, these marks would be important. To accurately compare prices you must know the gold, platinum or palladium content.

     The trademark is a mark that indicates the manufacturer, importer or seller of an item. In the USA , trademarks must be registered with the Patent and Trademark Office. Any item that has a quality mark should have a registered trademark, which indicates that the manufacturer stands behind its quality mark. If you’d like information and photos on how to read and interpret metal quality marks, consult Newman’s newest book—Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver & Other Jewelry Metals.

Trademarks of The Newman Gem & Jewelry Series

Loaded with detailed info on how to judge gem and jewelry quality.  Since jewelry stores normally don't describe the quality of colored gems, pearls or jewelry mountings, you must learn how to judge it yourself in order to get good buys and make wise choices. My books show you how.

Well illustrated. The main points are explained with color photos and diagrams, which are linked to the text. It’s time-consuming and costly to do this, but readers appreciate the numerous high-quality illustrations showing gems unmounted as well as set in attractive jewelry with and without magnification.

Written in clear English without a lot of trade jargon and euphemisms. Technical terms are defined and explained before they are used.

Unbiased and objective because their underlying motive is not to sell you jewelry or related services; it's to educate. Even though I used to work full-time in the gem and jewelry industry, I now make my living by writing and speaking about gems and jewelry.

Newman Gem & Jewelry Series Book Links

Diamond Ring Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Diamond Handbook, Details & Reviews

Gemstone Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Gem & Jewelry Pocket Guide, Details & Reviews

Pearl Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Jewelry Handbook, Details & Reviews

Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 1, Details & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 2, Details & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 3, Details & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 4, Details & Reviews

Rare Gemstones, Details & Reviews

Gold Platinum, Palladium, Silver and Other Jewelry Metals Details & Reviews 

© Copyright 2003 and 2018 by Renée Newman