Good books - $100 to spend

One of my students asked me a good question the other day. IF you
had $100 to spend, what would be your top books to purchase for your
library on metals and jewelry.

I know my recommendations, but I would like to hear from others,
because there is always something somebody else suggests that I
wouldn’t have thought of.

Don’t forget the great bibliography site on Ganoksin if you need an
easy reference.


Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

If the purpose of the books is to help the student become a more
proficient goldsmith and to further develop the skills necessary to
make jewelry, my first choice would be Professional Goldsmithing, by
Alan Revere,

Michael David Sturlin

The textbook 'Complete Metalsmith, professional edition, by Tim
McCreight. I just bought it and am looking forward to having it as a

Marketing your Arts and Crafts, by Janice West. A great idea sparker
for places and ways to market your jewelry.

I know the second one is not specific to jewelry making, but if you
want to sell what you make, you need some guidance, right?


I’ve found the Jinks McGrath books to be very good. They have a wide
range but give you enough info on each subject to actually do
something with the

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286

My vote would be for Charles Lewton-Brain’s translation of Erhard
Brepohl’s “Theory & Practice of Goldsmithing”. With a second choice of
the old standby Oppi Untract’s “Metal Techniques for Craftsmen”.

Mark Chapman

My approach to trade oriented books has always been one of seeking
absolutely anything that might be relevant to our craft. Books on
metal crafting, gemology. metalurgy, silver/gold smithing, jewelry
making…etc… They all have merit and each has some unique insight
into our endeavours. I acquire any and every thing that alludes to
the subject. In every case, ( almost ) I find something that I have
not learned ! I do have favorites such as Sinankas, Ontracht, Gubelin
and others, but I think that there is a collective assemblage of
highly qualified contributors who merit ackowledgement and I don’t
think that this medium has the time or space to encompass it. The
point is that one ought to seek any and every venue of information
pertaining to the subject !

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


I am familiar with Oppi Ontracht (actually met him too, nice guy),
but I am unaware of Sinankas and Gubelin. Can you elaborate on their


Hi Mark,

I have the Brepohl book and it certainly contains a wealth of
but I find it makes a good bedtime read when you really
need to get some sleep. :wink: The Revere book is much more readable,

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286

I have a good selection of books, mostly showing past goldsmith’s
fine work, when you consider that some of our most beautiful museum
pieces of goldsmithing were made when electricity was only used as
lighting, I think we all should consider our hands as our most
valuable tools.

Here is a couple of books that I can recommend, they are both
written by Oppi Untracht, “Metal Techniques for Craftsmen” and
"Jewelry, concepts and technology"

James Miller FIPG, an English goldsmith

Guess my two picks beside any of Tim McCreight books would be

“The Jeweler’s Directory of Decorative Finishes” by Jinks McGrath

and “The Penland Book of Jewelry” lark books



I am unaware of Sinankas and Gubelin. Can you elaborate on their

I know you asked Ron the question, and I hope you don’t mind my
answering Ron.

To those of us in lapidary, Dr. John Sinkankas is legendary, there
are few in the world of lapidary who stood much taller. He and his
wife dedicated their lives to a hobby I have enjoyed since childhood.

Nice article on his life can be found at this address; As well as the multitude of
articles at the GIA home page.

Dr. John Sinkankas, Dr. Edward Gubelin and Dr. Fredrich Pough, three
legends in the field of mineralogy, gemology and the lapidary arts.

Should you ever find your passion for jewelry taking you to the
hands-on approach in the lapidary arts or gemological certification,
I doubt you will find a book that at some point does not reference or
is based on the work of these people singularly or in aggregate.


There are so many excellent books to choose from this is a hard
question to answer. Back when I started the only book I was aware of
was Murray Bovin’s “Jewelry Making For Schools, Tradesmen,
Craftsmen” It is still a classic for under 25 bucks!

With the left over cash I would highly recommend
"The Art of Jewelry Design" by Elizabeth Olver
"The Jeweler’s Bench Reference" by Harold O’ Connor
"Jewelry; Fundamentals of Metalsmithing" by Tim McCreight

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228

"My approach to trade oriented books has always been one of
seeking absolutely anything that might be relevant to our craft.
Books on metal crafting, gemology. metalurgy, silver/gold smithing,
jewelry making...etc.. They all have merit and each has some unique

I have books on bookbinding, making wood marquetry, industrial
design, mechanisms, birds, nature, science, chemistry, foundry…
Not just because I am interested, but because they all contribute to
the whole…

Hi Orchidland,

I would suggest Alan Revere’s Professional Goldsmithing it’s a well
written, photo illustrated book that includes all the projects that
Alan had to complete during his apprenticeship in Pforzheim. The
projects are explained step by step and the mini lessons that are
embedded in each reveal all the skills necessary to fabricate
jewelry. I had the pleasure of attending the Revere Academy while he
was shooting the photos and learned a tremendous amount doing a
couple of the projects for the book.

Bruce J Morrison

Hi Folks…

Saw this post…and dithered on it…

I got into stones first, and the jewlery secondly…

I think understanding something about the stones is part of much of

Jewelry and stone books are most of the time pricey…It’s not
that they are not worth it…

But the budget target is $100…

Mr Wise’s “Secrets of the Gem Trade”, whilst a fantastic book, would
blow most of the $100 budget… And if you like it’s
worth it, in IMHO…

For three you could get for under $100…

“Gemstones of the World” by Schumann…I’m going to have to get a
new copy, mine is so beat, and it’s a hardcover…

“The Complete Metalsmith” by McCreight Or maybe the new upgrade…

And… If you can find a copy of it somewheres… “Practical Gem
Knowledge for the Amateur” by Parsons… This is absolutely the
ugliest book I own, but for stone stuff is worth it’s weight in

You’d even have some $$ left to hit the used book stores…You’d be
surprised what turns up sometimes…

The other thing…and not to sound ghoulish… If you run across
an estate sale of a jeweler, or advanced amateur jeweler…

There will be books… A lot of folks into stones or jewelry seem
to be into books, also…

That’s where I got my McCreight and Parsons…and even a
beginner’s beading book… Also my first Rio catalogs…

If the kin are not jewelers per se…and they weren’t… Stuff
might have gotten deep sixed…or…?

I’m not even talking about the tools, either…

So…in a way…Carlo’s love and passion for jewelry in life…has
been passed on…

OK, OK…I dropped $150, but I got a great bunch of tools also…

I owe this guy I’ve never met…

So…I’ll make him proud…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)…

Hi all

My all time fav has got to be Oppi Untracht Jewelry Concepts and

I bought this book over 20 years ago and I refer to it nearly every

Also my other is I Alan Revere’s Professional Goldsmithing. Good
clear pictures and projects to suit all abilities.


Lucky Me! I recently purchased a like new copy of Metal Techniques
For Craftsmen by Oppi Untracht at a garage sale for 50 cents.

John Spiech
Juneau, Alaske