de Boodt, Anselmus Boetius. Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia. ,
Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia (1609) by Anselmus Boëtius de Boodt (ca. 1550-1632) is one of the landmarks in lapidaries. It deals with gems from the New World and compares them to those available in Europe and Asia. De Boodt lists five degrees of hardness in stones and speculates concerning the existence of a distinct atomic structure in minerals. His treatise gathers together information which demonstrates the best scientific knowledge of the day. He cites material he borrowed from other writers and adds new observations. His position as physician to the royal court of Rudolph II of Prague gave him the opportunity to study numerous gems first-hand. He also expresses skepticism over the mystical and medicinal virtues of gems and minerals. His writings demonstrate advances in the science of gemology and show a greater understanding than writers who preceded him.