Authoritative gemological encyclopedias and charts don’t have to be restricted to print. Interactive media can put vast amounts of information at the click of a mouse (or the tap of a finger) for professional gemologists and novice gem collectors alike. Here are gemology interactive media reviews for three fine CD-ROMs and eBooks.

Gem Dealer’s Secrets: Handbook for The Gem Buyer. Sondra Francis, GG. CD-ROM.

Written for the novice gem buyer, Gem Dealer’s Secrets is close to perfection. All the basics of gemology are covered, from the properties of gems to gem varieties. The information is well organized and summarized. Of course, the CD-ROM contains a myriad links that allow the reader to pursue particular topics of interest very easily. If you’re reading about diopside crystals and want more information about gemstone cleavage, you can go quickly to that topic and then use the back button to return to your starting point.

The author’s attitude is refreshing, and the information is presented in a straightforward manner without bias. This is especially important in gemology reference works for novices.

If you are looking for a good beginner’s reference, without too much technical information, this is one of the best.

Beyond the