For the most part I really enjoyed this book. It’s a fun read with some excellent lines.*
I appreciate her efforts to clearly explain things as vastly different as the geological and biological processes that create gemstones and pearls, and different concepts of value to the psychology of want and envy and their roles both in marketing and the shaping of the political world.
The idea of birthstones seems to go pretty far back but I’ve yet to find much trustworthy information on the whys and wherefores. In 1870 Tiffany & Co. published a poem with the traditional birthstones of English speaking countries, which sort of codified them. As new gemstones are discovered the calendar is sometimes modified to include them. (For instance adding pink tourmaline to October-why couldn’t they have left well enough alone? And tanzanite to December-now that’s an upgrade!)
April has remained steadfastly diamond.
“She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known.”