Arab Roots of Gemology: Ahmad Ibn Yusuf Al Tifaschi's Best Thoughts on the Best of Stones

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Scarecrow Press, 1998 - History - 271 pages
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Although Arab contribution to the sciences is generally well known in the Western world, Arab contributions to the study of gemology are less recognized because of the lack of English-language translations of notable Arab texts. Scarecrow Press is pleased to present Samar Najm Abul Huda's translation of Ahmad ibn Yusuf al Tifaschi's study of gems. Born in 1184, Al Tifaschi first learned about gems from his father, and augmented his knowledge through readings of Aristotle, Theophrastus, and Pliny, as well as through extensive travels to mines and trading centers. In 1253, he wrote what later became known as the most "methodical and complete" work on precious stones. Gemologists of today are still astounded by the advanced observations that Al Tifaschi made in this work. The book covers 25 different stones, giving the crystallographic forms and physical properties such as hardness, lustre, and dispersion. The book also describes causes of the formation of gemstones within their mother rocks as well as the characteristics of the mine concerned. Abul Huda's translation of the work includes notations on the translations of Al Tifaschi's work into other languages, as well as background information on Al Tifaschi's world, the well-known gemstones of the 13th century, the gemological terminology used by the medieval Arabs, and notations on other gemstones not mentioned by Al Tifaschi. Includes index, a general bibliography, and illustrations of two precious gemstones in their settings.
 

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Contents

Background
3
WellKnown Gemstones in the Thirteenth Century
6
The World Where al Tifaschi Lived
8
Ahmad ibn Yusuf al Tifaschi
9
Gemological Terminology Used by Ahmad al Tifaschi in the Thirteenth Century
15
Hardness of Gemstones
18
Gemstones Not Mentioned by al Tifaschi
22
Weights and Measures Used in the Thirteenth Century
26
TURQUOISE FAIRUZADJ
219
CORNELIAN CARNELIAN AQIQ
222
AGATE DJAZ
224
MAGNETITE MAGHNATIS
226
EMERY COMMON CORUNDUM SUNBAZDAJ
227
MALACHITE DAHNADJ
229
LAPIS LAZULI LAZUWARD OR LAZWARD
230
CORAL MARDJAN
233

AZHAR AL AFKAR FIDJAWAHIR AL AHDJAR
29
Azhar al Afkarfi Djawahir al Ahdjar
31
Facsimile of Manuscript
36
English Translation with Explanatory Footnotes
80
INDIVIDUAL GEMSTONES
173
PEARL DJAWHAR
175
RUBY SAPPHIRE AND THE OTHER CORUNDUM VARIETIES YAQUT YAQUT ASMANDJUNI AND YAWAQEET UKHRA
182
EMERALD ZUMURRUD
192
PERIDOT ZABARDJAD
197
SPINEL BALAKHSH
199
GARNET BANAFSH also Called MAZENDJ or Almandine Garnet
201
TOURMALINE BADJADI also called BIJADI BAZADI BIZADI
204
DIAMOND ALMAS or MAS
207
MOONSTONE CATS EYE AIN AL HIRR
213
BEZOAR BAZAHR
215
JET SABADJ
236
AMETHYST DJIMASHTT
237
HEMATITE KHUMAHAN
239
JADE NEPHRITE YASHM
240
JASPER YASSB
242
ROCK CRYSTAL BILLAWR or BALLUR
243
TALC TALQ
245
ANALYSIS OF GEMOLOGY IN AL TIFASCHI
247
Fashioning Grinding and Polishing of Gemstones
249
Imitation and Synthesis of Gemstones
252
BIBLIOGRAPHY
255
INDEX
261
About the Author
273
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

\Samar Najm Abul Huda is a specialist in the translation of medieval Arabic works on gemology, and is currently researching Arab lapidaries of the 8th through the 14th centuries.

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