• by Aja Raden
  • Narrated by Justine Eyre
  • 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What makes a stone a jewel? What makes a jewel priceless? And why do we covet beautiful things? In this brilliant account of how eight jewels shaped the course of history, jeweler and scientist Aja Raden tells an original and often startling story about our unshakeable addiction to beauty and the darker side of human desire.
What moves the world is what moves each of us: desire. Jewelry - which has long served as a stand-in for wealth and power, glamour and success - has birthed cultural movements, launched political dynasties, and started wars. Masterfully weaving together pop science and history, Stoned breaks history into three categories - want, take, and have - and explains what the diamond on your finger has to do with the GI Bill, why green-tinted jewelry has been exalted by so many cultures, why the glass beads that bought Manhattan for the Dutch were initially considered a fair trade, and how the French Revolution started over a coveted necklace. Studded with lively personalities and fascinating details, Stoned tells the remarkable story of our abiding desire for the rare and extraordinary.


What the Critics Say

"Stoned is an intriguing take on world history with plenty of adornment and anecdote to entertain us along the way." (Self Awareness)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book- bad narrator

What made the experience of listening to Stoned the most enjoyable?

So many interesting facts,history, great research. I was always interested in " stones of value" I love everything author Aja Raden has put together.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Stoned?

History,interesting facts and how some things got connected through circumstances. Great point of view.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Narrator is not very good. She has some kind of her own pace and almost sings some of the words ,in some kind of her own rhythm. Her accentuating of certain words has nothing to do with the story. She finishes sentences in some kind of tone..I don't see that she is interested in what she is reading, she is doing it - but in an annoying way. After listening Ms.Sastre narrating Gods and Kings- I am so annoyed with Ms.Eyre. I was looking forward to enjoy this book, but narrator has ruined my ultimate experience...I'll put up with her this time, but I will not listen to her again. I just can't stomach her uninterested and strange reading style.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, narrator is really bad.

Any additional comments?

I hope author knows how narration of this book can ruin overall experience. Book is great.

Read full review

- Maja Wiggins


very well articulated history of gems and the desire that has driven our species since creation.. or at least since cleopatras time.
Read full review

- S. Broadwater

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-16-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio