Review – The Chatham Legacy: An American Story

Gary Roskin
Roskin Gem News Report

Are you looking for a fun gem industry book to read this summer?

Look no further!

The Chatham Legacy: An American Story, is not only an enjoyable read, it is one that you will not want to put down.

Every chapter is yet another amazing story, told first-hand by Tom Chatham, the son of Carroll Chatham, the first person to grow emeralds. This is a true saga of Chatham created gems, the failures and successes all along the way, whether it’s more details of the story you have heard where Carroll Chatham blows up his family home’s basement, or losing production because of an earthquake, or working with family (and you get the no-holds-barred candid details of hirings, firings, and buy-outs), handling competition the Chatham way in the created emeralds, created rubies, and created diamonds sectors, working with and then incorporating some of the competition, the failed attempts at trying to grow diamonds in Russia, then Ukraine (with all of the dangerous and hilarious traveling challenges of the times), and then success with the Japanese, the marketing fiascos with the Federal Trade Commission and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, not to mention the wrath they endured from the jewelry industry.

It is an amazingly candid first-hand account of the challenges in growing gems, the business of selling created gems, the partnerships that were great and those that went sour, or sideways. You finish one chapter and wonder what in the world is going to happen in the next?

I promised I would not give away the details, but what I can tell you is that it is a great history of the Chatham family business. It is packed with incredible inside information that every gemologist will want to know. Everyone in the created business should absolutely read this so they know the history of the man who first created emerald. They will also learn about the son who built not only the Chatham created gems business, but the global created gems sector, and what he went through to give them a huge head start.

It’s enjoyable! It’s fun! It made me laugh out loud – several times! And it made my jaw drop!

It’s a detailed insider’s history for which the industry will be grateful to have for many long years to come.

I think it’s a terrific book. I thoroughly enjoyed every page!

To reserve or order a copy, call Chatham at +1 (800) 222-2002 or email

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