TO THE NEW EDITION
More than twenty years since the first edition have gone by. We have awkwardly entered into a new millennium; the Kalijuga arrogantly advances towards its end; New Age has become a little middle-class affair, and is a bargaining chip in the markets and on the web. Gemstones have never been treated so badly as in the end of last century. Their colors are increasingly mystified in the laboratory. Their business is in the hands of obscure political and economic powers. Their beauty is concealed by so-called magicians who use them for their frauds. Their value is dictated by harsh marketing laws. Information about how things really are do not pass on. Jewelry, which should be a hymn to freshness and light, is slave to by trends and market laws. Ecology is the unknown in textbooks and in more or less official gemology courses. The most beautiful and bright stones are mixed with the remains of vivisected animals throughout their lives, like pearls, and coral pendants and necklaces, obtained by ransacking the most beautiful of the seabeds. We are not in a hurry. We continue to reprint this book, to propose new editions, and we back it up with a broader editorial program. For this we thank our readers, who are our main distributors, and who helped us with true affection and participation. A professional life dedicated to stones to emphasize only one thing: “We are on the side of the Stones!” And we believe that, starting from the stones, we can improve our future. Precious stones are the quest for beauty in small things. It is a wonderful research that enables us to share the intimate beauty and harmony of nature, and begets us more bright and beautiful. These are emotions too exquisite to be lived alone, for this reason we thank and salute those who, reading us, keeps us company, and who, having read us, looks at the stones with a more attentive and involved eye.
Paolo Severi, gennaio 2000
It’s been over ten years since the first edition. A long time for a book, an insignificant time for a precious stone. Maybe that’s why ” Pietre non ordinarie” has not aged and, in all feasibility, just like the stones, will never grow old. However, something has changed in the world of gemology. Treatments to “embellish” natural stones have become increasingly more serious, while the manufacture of false stones in labs, very similar to the natural ones, though, continues to haunt the market. The boundaries between jewelry, goldsmith’s trade, imitation jewelry, schlock fallalery, are extremely blurred. Remains of living beings, though surely not for long because they are endangered species, continue to be freely passed off as “precious stones”. But enough sorrow: we have officially entered in the “New Age”, and stones are at the forefront to deliver messages of freshness, internalization, participation, positivity, freedom, beauty; tidings of the widening of spiritual horizons. Stones, at last, are also searched for characteristics that go beyond the “quantitative”. Today, with the precious stones you meditate, you take care of yourselves, you make mild spells, you read the future with the book of ‘”King”. These are the signs of a new culture that, despite everything, is a growing among young people, among the not so young, among the ageless who do not mind that time passes by. These are positive signs: you must not live with hope, resignation or pessimism. We have to live with joy.
TO THE FIRST EDITION 1980
We’ll talk about stones, crystals, precious stones, gems; of colors and physical properties that are the sensitive part of species and luminosity of other systems. We’ll debate about the Philosopher’s Stone, the Holy Grail, the first stone cast by the sinless, of man who is dust and will return again to dust, the bricks used instead of stones as foundation to erect the Tower of Babel. We will tell fairy tales, dispute on ecology, delve into symbolization. Stone, a heavy element and almost an “emblem” of matter and of materialism, is not all that “material”. And, speaking of crystals, we’ll consider ice, water, organic crystals, stones that become men, stones that live and talk, a possible togetherness with Nature at vaster degrees than the present. And we’ll deal with microcrystals deducible at the microscope, and with those crystals that are a little bigger than constellations and galaxies. And from here, zodiac relationships between precious stones and constellations, with frequent passages from micro to macrocosm, from metaphysics to ecology, from scientific argumentation to love songs for nature. In the gold age, precious stones could be found anywhere with great ease. It’s up to us to find precious stones concealed in our gardens, the hidden treasure at the rainbow’s end, enclosed within gnomes’, elves’ and forest nymphs’ treasure chests that have always been there, abundantly available for anyone who knows how to see them and desires them with love.