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Looking for jewelry books

Hi everyone, I am looking for some good books featuring compilations
of jewelry pieces from different time periods (not instruction or
design how-to books, but simply books showing photos of jewelry).
I’m interested in books with good color photos if possible, but not
required if there is just a really great book. I’m wanting them
mainly for design elements/inspiration. None of my local bookstores
have anything similar to what I’m looking for and I’m afraid to just
purchase something and pay shipping without knowing whether it is
what I am looking for.

Does anyone have any favorite books they can recommend?

Thanks so much!

Carrie Otterson, Wired Contemporary Jewelry,

Carrie, I recommend “Jewelry of Our Time: Art, Ornament and Obsession
By Helen W. Drutt English an Peter Dormer.

I think it is available through and Amazon.
Chesterbooks also has other books that fit your critieria.

Stephane in sunny (for a change) San Francisco

Carrie: I am an absolute junky for this kind of jewelry book. Here are
a few of my favorites–

"Adornment" by Michel Butor and Pierre-Alain
Ferrazzini, ISBN 0-500-01641-0

"The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry" by France Borel and
John Bigelow Taylor, ISBM 0-500-01640-2

"Maharajas' Jewels" by Katherine Prior and John
Adamson, ISBN 0-86565-218-X

"Power and Gold" by Susan Rodgers and Pierre-Alain
Ferrazzini, ISBN 3-7913-0859-9

"Ethnic Jewellery" by John Mack, ISBN 0-7141-2515-6

"Contemporary American Jewelry Design" by Ettagale
Blauer, ISBN 0-442-00362-5

"Jewelry of Southeast Asia" by Anne Richter, ISBN

"Stone, Bone and Jade" by Donn Salt, ISBN 1 86953 110
8, which (to my knowledge) is only available from

These are just a few of the many great books available. I hope my
list gets your search off to a good start. Happy book hunting!

Michael Conlin

One of my favorites is:

Jeweled Bugs and Butterflies
Authors:  Marilyn Nissenson and Susan Jonas
Publisher:  Harry N. Abrams, Inc.  (
US: $29.95 (hardcover)

I picked up a copy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) bookstore
a while ago. It’s a lovely book with 127 excellent photos of pieces
ranging from antique Egyptian to ultramodern, on the motif of jeweled
insects (a favorite of mine).

Karen Goeller

Hi Carrie,

One book I’ve enjoyed is “Jewelry 7000 Years” edited by Hugh Tait.
It has pictures and history of jewelry from the collection of the
British Museum.


Carrie-- Our local library has a book called “Rings through the ages” by Ann Ward that is a real favorite of mine. I don’t know
whether it is still in print… that’s what I love about libraries!
Good luck! --Noel

Hi Carrie.

I can suggest a couple of other books for you. For European jewelry
from 1800-2000 there is “Understanding Jewellery” by Daniela
Mascetti and David Bennett, with great pictures and descriptions.
Also try “The Master Jewelers” edited by A. Kenneth Snowman. Hugh
Tait’s book, “7,000 Years of Jewellery” (already mentioned) is
indeed a great compilation of pieces from many cultures and eras.

Charlotte Gere, Vivienne Becker, Janet Zapata, Penny Proddow, Diana
Scarisbrick and Graham Hughes are others to examine…And of course,
there are lots of coffee table books about various famous retailers
like Cartier (great books by Judy Rudoe and Hans Nadelhoffer),
Tiffany, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc. and and are all good resources with which to
search for jewelry books.

Have fun,

Meg Steward, GG, jewelry historian

All, Since no one has mentioned it, I will share a little treasure
that I found at a used book store recently. THE RETAIL JEWELER’S
HANDBOOK by A .Selwyn, London, 1945. Published by Heywood and Company
Ltd. Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmiths. This book contains a
little over four hundred pages of text, 300 illustrations and ten
color plates of Some of the content is as follows; repair,
manufacturing, gemology, appraisal, design, hallmarking, window
display, law, and mining. There are copious illustrations of designs
from the pre world war II era and there are about fifty pages of
advertisements in the back, many of which illustrate designs from
that era. The most interesting aspect of this book is that nearly all
of its wisdom and technique is nearly just as applicable today as it
was over a half century ago ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.


    Does anyone have any favorite books they can recommend? 

I like this one:

Jewelry Design: The Artisans Reference
By: Olver, Elizabeth; Other Brown, Steffanie Diamond
Trade Cloth//Illustrated
80 pages
North Light Books
Language: English
ISBN: 1581800940

Carrie, this one is great, too Isabella

Jewelry Design Source Book
by Diana Scarisbrick
Paperback: 192 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.51 x 11.06 x 9.14
Publisher: Knickerbocker Pr; ISBN: 1577150473; (October 1998)