Amber is the tears of prehistoric trees. Peridot falls to earth from space. You can grow opals in your back garden. One gem links Queen Victoria and a transvestite skeleton. Cleopatra drank a pearl to win a bet. A man has turned into a diamond. From the bestselling author of COLOUR - an intrepid journey to uncover the secret histories of precious stones. Victoria's search takes her to Egypt to find the lost emerald mines of Cleopatra, to the Australian opal fields with their underground towns, to Burma where she is spied on by the military junta, and to a secret location to meet the world's best diamond cutter. She reveals the wealth of human stories behind gemstones, and discovers, with the advent of synthetics, an industry on the brink of crisis. This is a narrative travelogue as fascinating as the stones themselves.