Gem Profiles

    Modern Jeweler’s popular Gem Profile columns were originally published monthly, from April 1983 – May 1993.

    Each profile discusses the origin, history and story of precious stone, serving as both a reference and a market guide.

    Today, the profiles should be viewed through the lens of the time they were written in, with any values assigned being understood to be historical.

    The creators


    David Federman

    As the Executive Editor of Modern Jeweler magazine, David Federman distinguished himself through his meticulously researched and compellingly narrated work.

    His exceptional contributions to gemstone journalism were recognized with an impressive 14 Jesse H. Neal Awards, alongside the prestigious AGTA Spectrum Award.

    David’s insightful and authoritative coverage significantly deepened the industry’s appreciation and understanding of gemstones and jewelry, solidifying his reputation as a leading expert in the field.



    Tino Hammid was an esteemed gemstone photographer, known for his work with “Gems & Gemology” and major auction houses.

    His career, spanning several decades, was marked by his ability to vividly capture the essence of gems and jewelry.

    Hammid’s photographs, celebrated for revealing the depth and detail of each stone, were pivotal in enhancing the visual presentation of gemstones in the industry. His contributions made him a respected figure in gemological circles.

    The First 60

    First published in 1988, ‘The First 60’ included is a curated collection of David  Federman’s first 60 ‘Gem Profile’ articles.

    Each article in blends meticulous research with engaging narratives. David’s expertise shines through in his exploration of the history, characteristics, and allure of each of gems featured. 

    The Second 60

    Published in 1992, The Second 60 included 10 essays created specifically for inclusion in the book.

    This volume extended beyond the familiar, featuring profiles of lesser-known and esoteric gems.

    David Federman’s insightful exploration ensures these unique gem stories are brought to a wider audience, enriching the reader’s understanding of the diverse and fascinating world of gemology.

    With thanks

    These profiles would not have been possible without the support of the jewelry community, including those who supplied the gems to be photogaphed:

    Adachi America Corp., Los Angeles; Akiva Gil Co. Inc., New York; American Jade N Gem Corp., Los Angeles; American Museum of Natural History, New York; American Pearl Co., Camden, Tenn; Argyle Diamond Mines, Perth, Australia; Assael International Inc., New York; Aurora Gems and Facets International, New York; Bill Heher, Trumbull, Conn; Calibrated Gems International, Los Angeles; Casimira Gems, Chicago; Christie’s New York; Colin Curtis, Fallbrook, Calif; Crystal Reflections, San Anselmo, Calif; David Humphrey of Geo Design, Pacific Palisades, Calif; David Penney; Echo Gems, Scottsdale; Equatorial Imports Inc., Dallas; Financial Registered Trust, Liechtenstein; George S. Williams Precious Gems Inc., Dallas; Gems and Minerals of Sarosi, Los Angeles; Gonzalo Jara, Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia; Harold Dibble, Angola, N.Y. (faceted by Art Grant); Heher Enterprises, Trumbull, Conn; House of Onyx, Greenville, Ky; International Jewelry Creations, New York; Intercolor, New York; Jack Lowell, C.G.M. Co., Tempe, Ariz; James Alger Co., Manchester, N.H. (cut by Bernd Munsteiner); Jan Goodman, San Francisco; J. Gregor & Co. (cut by Richard Homer); John Bradshaw, Nashua, N.H; Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp., New York; Jungle Gems, New York; K.C. Bell of K.C.B. & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif; Kevin Lane Smith, Seattle; Korite Minerals Ltd., Calgary, Alberta; Krementz & Co., Newark, N.J.; Leo Boyajian, Naples, Fl; Lowell Jones, Palm Springs, Calif; Manning Opal and Gem, New York; Mary Murphy Hamid, Los Angeles; Mason-Kay Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif; Maurice Shire Inc New York; Mayer & Watt, Beverly Hills, Calif; Michael Dyber, Rumney, N.H; Michael Schramm, Sapphires Unlimited, Los Angeles; Mojave Blue, Bakersfield, Calif. (cut by Michael Dyber, Rumney, N.H); Morningstar Pearls, Santa Monica, Calif; Ouerland Gems, Los Angeles; Overland Gems, Los Angeles; Pala International, Fallbrook, Calif; Pan-American Diamond Corp., New York; Ponderosa Mine, Boise, Idaho; R.C. International, Bellevue, Wash. (cut by Joseph Czeresncki); Ralph Esmerian, New York; Ramsey Gem Import Inc., San Diego; Reginald C. Miller Inc., New York; Rex Harris, Delta, Utah. (faceted by Tina Neilson); R.H. Co., Los Angeles; R. Esmerian Inc., New York; Smithsonian Institution, Department of Mineral Sciences, Washington, D.C (in cooperation with John White, curator); Susan Clark Gallery of Gem Art Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia. (carved by Thomas McPhee); Susan Hendrickson, The Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Hill City, S.D; The Sugilite Source, Phoenix; Tiffany & Co., New York; Tino and Mary Hammid; Tsavo Madini Inc., Costa Mesa, Calif; Tuckman International, Seattle; Walter Arnstein Inc., New York; Western Opal Corp., Los Angeles.