Books about jewelry
“A good book is an event in my life” Stendhal
Take your time and enjoy reading! This is my personal list-of-the-best crystalized from numerous books that I am reading about jewelry.
P.S. You can get any of these books by clicking on the image.
“Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession and How Desire Shapes the World” by Aja Raden
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, glamor 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.
“The History of Beads” by Lois Sherr Dubin
“Gem” by DK
From diamonds and sapphires to emeralds and obsidian, Gem profiles all the key gemstones and other precious materials. Its stunning images show the jewels in their different cuts, colors, and uses. See the exquisite jewelry pieces of royalty around the world, high-society women, and Native American traditions. Visit the Russian Amber Room, study the details of a Fabergé egg, and find out what characteristics are needed for a record-breaking gem.
The stories, myths, and legends that surround the most celebrated gems and jewel-laden artifacts from around the world are revealed, from their journeys in the company of royalty, film stars, and thieves to the curse of the Hope Diamond. Follow the history of the world’s most famous jewelry houses and their designers, including Cartier, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., and more.
“Vintage jewelry design” by Caroline Cox
This beautifully illustrated book recounts more than 100 years of jewelry design history. It explores the key designers and jewelry houses, technical developments and cultural influences that shaped historic styles.
Jeweler is a stunning portrait of this fascinating niche of design, displaying the designers of today who are making the collectibles of the future.
Focusing on seventeen modern masters from around the world, Jeweler reveals the unique ideas, intricate processes, and inspiration that go into their work. Curated by Stellene Volandes, editor-in-chief of Town & Country, Jeweler introduces readers to designers like the Hemmerles, a jewelry dynasty known for molding materials like copper and aluminum into one-of-a-kind collectibles; Wallace Chan, the Hong Kong wizard of stones whose patented techniques dazzle the mind as well as the wearer; Elena Votsi, an Athens jeweler who remade the Olympic medal, and whose bold metallic pieces are like wearable sculptures; and Lauren Adriana, a London wunderkind poised to become the master of her generation.
This inspirational book features more than thirty-five master jewelry designers, hailing from across the globe. They represent a wide variety of visions and techniques, from Aida Bergsen’s flora- and fauna-inspired designs, and Anabela Chan’s exquisitely detailed laser-cut brooches of white gold and platinum with iridescent diamonds and natural gray pearls, to Elie Top’s yellow gold spheres that are a feat of mathematical precision and ingenuity. Red-carpet customers and fans include Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Madonna, and Michelle Obama.
Design expert Olivier Dupon uses his keen eye for talent and creative flair to select the most exciting of today’s high-end jewelry designers working around the globe. Each designer is introduced by a brief biography, and hundreds of images showcase a broad range of “wearable art.”
“If These Jewels Could Talk: The Legends Behind Celebrity Gems” by Beth Bernstein
During the early- to mid-20th century, a majority of screen actresses requested to wear their own favorite pieces in films. This offered a peek into some the great jewelers of the time who were designing for women who could choose anything. Actresses such as Merle Oberon, Paulette Goddard, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor as well as icons such as Jackie Kennedy and The Duchess of Windsor created signature styles for which they became known and which influenced generations of women, becoming part of our collective consciousness.
The 20s through the 50s were a time when the renowned jewelry houses were also celebrities in their own right. In films, jewelry clearly developed and defined a character’s personality – whether it be a rags-to-riches story or those that figured into the plot: for example, a Cartier bracelet in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, or a Harry Winston necklace in Notorious.
Whether on or off screen, worn by the famed and the legendary, and designed by the most revered houses of the day, all of these jewels take us on a narrative journey that provide fascinating insight into the intriguing worlds of early Hollywood and nobility from the 1920s through today.
“Maker and Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry” by Elyse Zorn Karlin
Women were not only the intended wearers of art jewelry during the early twentieth century, but also an essential part of its creation. A new perspective on woman’s role in the world of art jewelry at the turn of the twentieth century—from Art Nouveau in France and the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, to Jugendstil in Germany and Austria, Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, and American Arts and Crafts in Chicago—and the most extensive survey to date of the sheer diversity and beauty of art jewelry during this period.
Accompanying a groundbreaking exhibition at The Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago, this lavishly illustrated catalog showcases nearly two hundred stunning pieces from the Driehaus Collection and prominent national collections, many of which have never been seen by the public.
Essays by noted scholars explore five different areas of jewelry design and fabrication, and discuss the important female figures and historic social milieu associated with these movements—from the suffragists and the Rational Dress Society in England; to the Wiener Werkstätte and Gustav Klimt; and the Art Nouveau masters René Lalique and Alphonse Mucha, who depicted otherworldly women in jewelry for equally fascinating patrons like Sarah Bernhardt.