Manual or handbook for jewelers

Hi all

A library client is trying to identify a manual or handbook for
jewellers which he saw in the early 90’s. Evidently it gave an
extensive range of necessary in the jewellers workshop;
melting points for metals and their alloys, heating properties, etc.

He thought that the book was called “The holy bible of jewelry (or
jewellery)” but I have not been able to identify any such title. We
have a range of such manuals &/or books on the techniques of your
trade but none has the range of he found in the book

I would appreciate any suggestions list subscribers are able to make.

Please send responses direct to and I will
summarise the answers for the list.

Brian Bingley
General Research Team
State Library of South Australia
12 November 1999

Aloha, This is an excellent book “Jewelry Making” by Murray Bovin and
Revised by Peter M. Bovin. It is a book for schools, tradesmen and
craftsmen. It was first published in the 60’s and my copy was its 29th
printing in 1995. Karran, @karran_uhr

Dear Brian, there are a number of books which might deserve the title
of “Jewellers’ Bible”. The first one that springs to mind is Oppi
Untracht’s massive tome, “Jewelry, Concepts and Technology” published
by Robert Hale, London, ISBN 0-7091-9616-4.

Another oldy but goody is Herbert Maryon’s "Metalwork and Enamelling"
first published in 1912, I have a 1959 reprint and I’ve seen a more
recent reprint in soft cover (was published by Chapman & Hall,
London). This is still my favourite. It’s a little verbose in the
style of the times, but is packed full of elsewhere-forgotten

The Australian, Rod Edwards, rewrote Maryon in more contemporary
language and with profuse illustrations. He titled his book “The
Technique of Jewellery”, published by Batsford, London, ISBN
0-7134-0197-4. We used this as a major text in the Jewellery Trade
Course in Sydney for a number of years.

The trade course then switched to Sylvia Wicks’ “Jewellery Making
Manual” published by Chartwell, ISBN 0-89009-913-8 when the Edwards
went out of print.

All these are excellent and singularly practical for most beginners
and teachers and masters.

Kind regards, Rex Steele Merten

brian - being in a ‘time warp’ area of xenophobic old people who drive
(aggressively & not well) only ‘amurcan-made’ cars & buy only home
shopping network jewelry, made it impossible to find local jewelry
techniques classes when i needed them. enter the tried & true
learning fallback since i was 4 yrs old: books. BUT be aware of one
’constant’ in disseminating jewelry book contents: many of those
authors not only never spoke to each other, they seemed intent upon
refuting anything another writer has written. here’s my decreasing
choice list: bovins’; choate’s; wick’s; philip morton’s ‘contemporary
jewelry; allee sprintz’ ‘jewelry: basic techniques & design’; kenneth
bates’ ‘enameling: principles & practice’; charles jarvis’ ‘j ewelry
manufacture & repair’. if you decide to cut & polish your own stones
as i do, DO NOT WASTE $25.00 on wykoff’s ‘master gem polishing’ - it
has the worst (non)index/reference ever perpetrated on hapless (or
even happed) victims. after checking each book i stuck on a ‘use’ tab:
purple for ‘grab on way out the door during hurricane evacuation’;
red for ‘really good’; orange for ‘use only if the purple & red books
are still at the evacuation shelter’; yellow for 'see about refund
or ‘take on next backpacking trip as fire-starter’ & added tabs to
each section in each book identifying it, & when you get less than
desired results following one author, refer to another, there’s bound
to be one who gets it right. good luck - ive

Ive…your reply to brian was funky…“Xenophobic old people who
drive only amurcan cars” In our town the king of the road is the
yuppie beamer driver who rarely slows down at stop signs and flips
off old pharts doing the speed limit ! Ya just can’t win!..more to
the point, your literary criticisms are well directed. Most American
non fiction and academic treatises are based on the law of
compounding assumptions. Ergo, if something has been published you
can probably lift it after minor cosmetic concealment…don’t worry
about whether it is valid…if the other guy got by with it , you
probably can also! This is probably why academic treatises are
attended with so many references to other authors…it is a great
way to obfuscate and dilute responsibility. On a more positive plane,
if you read everything with some healthy skepticism and follow
through with your own experimentation you can actually learn
something now and then. I buy every book on a subject of personal
interest that I can because if you are perceptive and experienced it
seems that you can always glean something from just about any book.
This is just as true with reading the Orchid Digest each day. There
are usually several letters worth saving and sometimes there are real
jewels. Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA