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Matlins, Antoinette L.

Matlins, Antoinette L.

(Antoinette Leonard Matlins)

PERSONAL: Daughter of Antonio C. Bonanno (a gemologist and writer).

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, GemStone Press, P.O. Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091.

CAREER: Gemologist, writer, lecturer, and consumer advocate.

MEMBER: Accredited Gemologists Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, Accredited Gemologists Association, 2005.

WRITINGS:

(With Antonio C. Bonanno) The Complete Guide to Buying Gems: How to Buy Diamonds and Colored Gemstones with Confidence and Knowledge, Crown (New York, NY), 1984, 2nd edition published as Jewelry and Gems: The Buying Guide; How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Precious, and Other Popular Gems with Confidence and Knowledge, GemStone Press (South Woodstock, VT), 1987, 5th edition published as Jewelry and Gems, the Buying Guide: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold, and Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge, 2001.

(With Antonio C. Bonanno) Gem Identification Made Easy: A Hands-on Guide to More Confident Buying and Selling, GemStone Press (South Woodstock, VT), 1989, 2nd edition, 2002.

(With Antonio C. Bonanno and Jane Crystal) Engagement and Wedding Rings: The Definitive Buying Guide for People in Love, GemStone Press (South Woodstock, VT), 1990, 3rd edition, 2003.

The Pearl Book: The Definitive Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Pearls, GemStone Press (Woodstock, VT), 1996, 3rd edition, 2002.

Diamonds: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Diamonds with Confidence and Knowledge, GemStone Press (Woodstock, VT), 2001.

Colored Gemstones: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide: How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies, and Other Colored Gems with Confidence and Knowledge, GemStone Press (Woodstock, VT), 2001.

(With Jill Newman) Jewelry and Gems at Auction: The Definitive Guide to Buying and Selling at the Auction House and on Internet Auction Sites, GemStone Press (Woodstock, VT), 2002.

Editor of National Jeweler. Contributor to books by others, including Encyclopedia of Investments, 2nd edition, Warren, Gorham & Lamont (Boston, MA), 1990.

SIDELIGHTS: Gemologist Antoinette L. Matlins learned her craft from her father, Antonio C. Bonanno, founder of the Accredited Gemologists Association and, for forty years, president of the National Gem Appraising Laboratory and director of the Columbia School of Gemology in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a consumer advocate, Matlins has appeared frequently on television and radio shows to educate the public about precious gems and jewelry and raise buyers' awareness of fraud. She also acts as an agent for clients who seek unusual or rare gems and jewelry.

For many years Matlins was an editor for National Jeweler magazine. In 1984 her first book was published, The Complete Guide to Buying Gems: How to Buy Diamonds and Colored Gemstones with Confidence and Knowledge, which she cowrote with her father. The second edition was published as Jewelry and Gems: The Buying Guide; How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Precious, and Other Popular Gems with Confidence and Knowledge. By the fifth edition, more small title changes had taken place, and it was published as Jewelry and Gems, the Buying Guide: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold, and Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge.

Each edition of Matlins' guide has become the standard for consumers, offering advice on choosing a jeweler, appraiser, and insurer and providing the most recent information on fraudulent practices and values. The book also describes settings and metals and includes charts and diagrams that demonstrate various cuts and how to identify flaws. It also gives advice on selecting less-expensive alternatives that share the color and characteristics of more-expensive gems. In a review of the first edition, Anne E. Prentice, a contributor for American Reference Books Annual, noted that "a gemstone chart giving gem family, popular name, color(s), retail cost per carat, brilliance, wearability, and availability of the better-known gems provides a useful quick reference tool."

Matlins and Bonanno worked together again to write Gem Identification Made Easy: A Hands-on Guide to More Confident Buying and Selling. The gemologists offer advise on setting up a lab and the lighting and tools necessary to accurately determine the authenticity of gems. The book includes information on identifying blemishes and techniques used to enhance antique and estate jewelry and gems. For their next volume, Engagement and Wedding Rings: The Definitive Buying Guide for People in Love, the father and daughter collaborated with fashion writer Jane Crystal. The book explains everything there is to know about choosing a diamond ring, or one of the many colored gems that have become popular for engagement rings. As in previous books, consumers can find advice on quality, price, and how to detect fraudulent merchandise.

In The Pearl Book: The Definitive Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Pearls Matlins not only writes about evaluating, buying, and wearing pearls but also notes the history of the pearl in curing disease and depression. Powdered pearls continue to be used medicinally and as a beauty enhancer in contemporary Asia. A chapter on quality explains that unlike diamonds, which can be evaluated based on universally accepted standards, pearls are judged subjectively. Lapidary Journal contributor Anna M. Miller noted the author's "thorough research, vivid writing style, ability to distinguish between necessary and superficial information, and a unique talent to combine these elements into a book that is valuable to the gemologist, interesting to the jeweler, and an asset to the jewelry appraiser."

Matlins concentrates on a single stone in Diamonds: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Diamonds with Confidence and Knowledge and covers a range of colored gems in Colored Gemstones: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies, and Other Colored Gems with Confidence and Knowledge. Stephen Allan Patrick noted in Library Journal that both books "include extensive appendixes that cover the information needed for investing and purchasing gems of all types."

Jewelry and Gems at Auction: The Definitive Guide to Buying and Selling at the Auction House and on Internet Auction Sites explains terms unfamiliar to the novice who wishes to buy through auctions or online. The second half of the book includes much of the information regarding quality and value available in previous books by Matlins, but as Booklist critic Barbara Jacobs observed, "given the current auction fever, it makes dollars and cents to cool down by reading her very practical recommendations."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Reference Books Annual, Volume 16, 1985, Ann E. Prentice, review of The Complete Guide to Buying Gems: How to Buy Diamonds and Colored Gemstones with Confidence and Knowledge, p. 607.

Booklist, November 15, 1983, review of The Complete Guide to Buying Gems, p. 461; October 1, 1990, Sue-Ellen Beauregard, review of Gem Identification Made Easy: A Hands-on Guide to More Confident Buying and Selling, p. 236; October 15, 2002, Barbara Jacobs, review of Jewelry and Gems at Auction: The Definitive Guide to Buying and Selling at the Auction House and on Internet Auction Sites, p. 375.

Jewelers Circular Keystone, July, 1988, Steven C. Hofer, review of Jewelry and Gems: The Buying Guide; How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Precious, and Other Popular Gems with Confidence and Knowledge, p. 222; July, 2005, Gary Roskin, "AGA Awards Jobbins and Matlins," p. 54.

Lapidary Journal, April, 1990, review of Gem Identification Made Easy, p. 223; November, 1990, Jane Culp Zeitner, review of Engagement and Wedding Rings: The Definitive Buying Guide for People in Love, p. 108; January, 1994, June Culp Zeitner, review of Jewelry and Gems, p. 137; June, 1997, Anna M. Miller, review of The Pearl Book: The Definitive Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Pearls, p. 115.

Library Journal, May 15, 1984, Marian S. Setterberg, review of The Complete Guide to Buying Gems, p. 977; September 1, 1990, Stephen Allan Patrick, review of Gem Identification Made Easy, p. 220; May 1, 1994, Therese D. Baker, review of Jewelry and Gems, p. 100; March 15, 1997, Stephen Allan Patrick, review of The Pearl Book, p. 59; February 15, 2002, Stephen Allan Patrick, reviews of Diamonds: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Diamonds with Confidence and Knowledge and Colored Gemstones: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide; How to Select, Buy, Care For, and Enjoy Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies, and Other Colored Gems with Confidence and Knowledge, p. 140.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 11, 1984, Charles Solomon, review of The Complete Guide to Buying Gems, p. 6.

MBR Bookwatch, March, 2005, Diane C. Donovan, review of Jewelry and Gems at Auction.

National Jeweler, May 1, 2003, Barbara Green, "Book Smarts: Offer Bridal Buying Guides to Customers," review of Engagement and Wedding Rings, p. 28.

New Technical Books, September, 1990, Patricia Ann Sarles, review of Gem Identification Made Easy, pp. 1407-1408.

ONLINE

GemStone Press Web site, http://gemstonepress.com/ (September 18, 2005), profile of Antoinette L. Matlins.

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