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10 Book Recommendations For Jewelry Lovers

December 21, 2015 3 min read

Got a jewelry lover you’re looking to get a gift for? Perhaps hundreds of pages full of jewelry will satisfy as much as a velvet box of jewelry. We’ve chosen a selection of titles for the jewelry collector, historian, and maker.


 Jewels By JAR book

Jewels by JAR




$40 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store

If you believe that jewelry is wearable art, you’ll be dazzled by the flora and fauna-inspired creations of Parisian jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal. Each piece (signed JAR) is a small, intricate, and immensely precise work of art. This book from the Metropolitan Museum is the first authority on the man called the greatest living jeweler of our time.

Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry

$44.65 on amazon.com

Any aspiring jewelry collector will be curious about Elizabeth Taylor’s story as told through jewels. Her pieces, like her, were larger than life. Peppered with commentary and remembrances from the woman herself so you can make your own conclusions.

Jewels: A Secret History

$17 from Penguin Random House

A perfect choice for someone who craves a deep read with an anthropological bent. Victoria Finlay takes the reader on a world tour, tracing the history, culture, and psychology behind humankind’s long fascination with precious gems. You’ll learn as much about human nature as you will about gemology. 

25,000 Years of Jewelry

$75 from Random House

Written in chronological order, 25,000 Years of Jewelry will take you to unexpected, even obscure places, from the 13th-century Islamic court to the workshop of Rene Lalique. Four editors present peeks into jewelry’s role in important rites of passage in various cultures. 


$30 on amazon.com 

Full of gorgeous photographs, this dedicated study from the Victoria & Albert Museum provides a excellent overview on the use and symbolism of pearls. Trace the rise of this humble aquatic gem throughout the ages. 


The Art of Silver Jewellery: From the Minorities of China, The Golden Triangle, Mongolia and Tibet

$55 at amazon.com

A jaw-dropping volume of varied and elaborate silver specimens from the Asian tribes that wield enormous skill in working with silver. An excellent companion to this title would be authorRene Van Der Star’s “Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands.”

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World

$27.99 from Harpers Collins 

Part economy, part anthropology, “Stoned” consists of a series of stories when a gem changed the course of culture. It touches upon a surprisingly wide range of topics from politics to marketing to colonialism.

The History of Beads: From 100,000 B.C. to the Present

$50 on amazon.com

A solid reference for anyone with a deep appreciation of craft and the origins of materials. With trade route maps and an eight-page foldout timeline, this is an invaluable resource for seasoned makers and aspiring historians.

Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing

$72 on amazon.com

As a gemstone, jade has had an uncanny way of capturing the imaginations of people from all around the world, from the Confucian scholar to the Maori tribesman. Jessica Rawson’s work is still the definitive guide to Chinese jade, not only in its decorative role but also its spiritual one.

The Interweave guides to jewelry making

Varied pricing at the Interweave Bookstore

Any guide by Interweave, a craft education community, will satisfy the serious hobbyist jeweler. Confounding terms and instructions are explained with clarity and easy-to-follow layouts, along with glossaries and tutorials. We especially like “The Jewelry Maker's Field Guide: Tools and Essential Techniques.” 


Liked that? Check out 10 Movies for Jewelry Lovers

What are some of your favorite jewelry books? Share in the comments!

Produced and edited by Christine Lin. 

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