Victoria Finlay's Jewels. A Secret History is brilliant. Well-written and extensively researched, it draws you into the world of jewels. A world where amber burns with a lovely scent, where "[Colombia's] emerald barons are as powerful as the cocaine kings", and Britain's freshwater pearling was destroyed by "pearlers, power stations, and pollution". Did you know Iran's collateral for its monetary system includes a collection of jewels or that the list of birthstones for each month was drawn up by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912?