Book Reviews of Exploring and Mining Gems and Gold.

1. "Gold and gems have fascinated men since time immemorial, and few men have hunted, mined and cut them over such a long and adventurous period of time as has Fred J. Rynerson. Here is told in intimate and often humorous detail how treasures were found and lost, how rattlesnakes, desert thirst, and road-destroying floods were met and conquered, and many another thrilling and sometimes violent encounter with nature or with man. It is a tale attractively told of an era of western pioneering and adventure long past, but preserved in this book for our enjoyment and knowledge. The amateur prospector will find useful hints on how to locate valuable minerals and gems, the gemologist will deepen his understanding of the development of gem mining and of cutting and polishing techniques, while the lost treasure hunter will be able to add a few more prospective places to hunt for his dream of lost riches. Fred J. Rynerson, one of the last of the great western prospectors and miners, passed away in 1960, but the sharp mind that saw both into human character and the hidden secrets of the earth, his wry wit and his bluff and keen enjoyment of the out-of-doors and the hunt for earth treasures, marches on with the words he has written for us in this book." (Alice Prevost, The Southern California Rancher, March-April, 1970)

2. "This is an interesting and often amusing account of the experiences of Fred J. Rynerson during his fifty-four years of gem mining, prospecting, and lapidary work in Southern California. The story is concerned primarily with the well-known gem deposits--tourmaline, spodumene, beryl, etc.--of San Diego Co., California, and, to a lesser extent, of Imperial and Riverside counties in the same state. It will be of more interest to those who are already familiar with this famous gem-producing area. Mr. Rynerson begins the book in 1895, when he was thirteen years of age and when gem mining was in its early stages in the San Diego Co. region. His stories relate the discovery of fabulous deposits of kunzite, tourmaline, morganite, and other gem materials, and tells of his experiences as a mine owner and cutter of the beautiful gems. Much of the early history of the mines, many of which are still productive, is revealed for the first time. All of the stories, according to the author, are true, except for the 'lost-mine' stories he interjects in the book." (Gems & Gemology, Spring 1968)

3. "It's always refreshing to read the first-hand accounts of a man who truly enjoyed what he did in life, and who has much to share with a wide reading audience. Such is the case with the late Fred Rynerson and this book. Rynerson had over 54 years of prospecting and gem cutting experience, and the high points of that time are presented here in a clear, natural style. Rynerson started mining with his father at the tender age of 14. From the early turn of the 20th century on, he hunted and mined for all types of gems, much of the time in the San Diego, California area. In addition, he sought and found such items as silver, nickel, gold, petrified wood, and oil. At a moment's notice, he would join a friend, often with his wife Beulah at his side, for another adventure. Besides his personal experiences, this book is also an exciting recounting of many lost mines that he knew of, yet which he could not pursue.

"Besides all the good, useful knowledge you'll gain about mining, you'll also learn some invaluable tricks of the trade about gem cutting; the man definitely knew his stuff! Rynerson brings to life the time in the West when gems and minerals were more plentiful, and his experiences and insights created a definite nostalgia about that time and place. There'a a passage in chapter 31, 'What is Progress,' that is especially apropos: 'New usage of metals hardly known or used in the past have found a place in industry. Some of the minerals we now have in abundance may probably change our mode of life. Most new scientific discoveries open doors to other discoveries. I believe there will always be something to find for those who love to hunt for them. Let us hope so! This old world has seen untold ages, only a few of which we know. This is without doubt the "Man Age" for he holds the power to destroy almost every living thing, including himself.' "  (Treasure Magazine, vol. 2, no. 8, August 1980)