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Books about the History of Jewelry

In addition to the following books, here are links to my favorite gem and jewelry magazines:

Lapidary Journal Magazine
Metalsmith Magazine
Ornamnet Magazine
Mineralogical DigestBook

The Book Shop

Gemology, Gemstones and General References

Buying and Pricing Gemstones

Gems:Myth, Legend and Metaphysics

Jewelry Making and Metal Working

History of

Jewelry Appraising


Individual Gems


Sapphires and Rubies






The Master Jewelers
by A. Kenneth Snowman

Featuring work by: Boucheron; Bulgari; Cartier ; Castellani; Falize; Fabergé ; Fontenay ; Fouquet ; Giuliano ; Hancock ; Lalique ; Tiffany ; Tillander ; Van Cleef & Arpels ; Verdura ; Vever



The Secrets of Lalique
By Yvonne Brunhammer

A wondrous volume of one of the greatest jewelers who has ever lived!



Understanding Jewellery - 3rd Editioncover
By David Bennett

This is one of the most complete and well illustrated books available on the history of jewelry. It is a volume that I personally refer to often. Highly recommended.



Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830cover
by Ginny Redington

Georgian Jewellery is a celebration of the quality and style of the eighteenth century and of the endless ingenuity in design and workmanship that produced such a wealth of fabulous and wearable pieces of jewellery. Heavy academic tomes have already been written about the period, so this book illuminates the subject in a more colourful and accessible way. Much disparate information about the jewellery has been gathered together and the period is brought alive by portraits and character sketches of famous Georgians in their finery, fashion tips, gossip, and some rather outrageous cartoons of the time, as well as interesting newly discovered facts.



Imperishable Beautycover
by Yvonne Markowitz

European Art Nouveau jewelry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries embraced a new aesthetic characterized by sensuous forms, dramatic imagery and vivid symbolism. Many of the designers associated with the movement sought their inspiration not in traditional jewelry, but in the work of the pre-Raphaelites and Impressionists and in the arts of Japan. Rejecting the rigid naturalism typical of European decorative arts, designers such as Rene Lalique and Henry van de Velde, and the artists of the German Jugenstil and Austrian Wiener Sezession movements, created ornaments that expressed the spirit and freedom of the era.



Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love, and Loyaltycover
by Diana Scarisbrick

Rings of all periods are covered—from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome through the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the twentieth century. The examples come from great museums and from private collections, chiefly that of the noted gem dealer Benjamin Zucker.

The author, one of the world's leading jewelry historians, draws on artistic and literary sources to make the rings' contexts come alive with paintings, drawings, and vivid quotations. 479 color photographs and illustrations.



The Jewelry and Enamels of Louis Comfort Tiffany
by Janet Zapata

This book is a wonderful display of Tiffany's "smaller" works -- not only of jewelry (which is the primary focus), but also other objets d'art. It also provides a very informative history of Tiffany's life and his creative aspirations.


History Of Jewelry
by Black

This book is the most concise and excellent guide of the history of jewelry I have come across. EXCELLENT!!! And the price is unbeatable if you can find it used.


The Power of Jewelry
by Nancy Schiffer

Hundreds of stunning color photographs of magnificent jewelry and fascinating legends associated with all the different gem stones are combined to form a fresh, new approach to antique and modern jewelry. Organized alphabetically by gem types from agate to zircon, the lively text presents the mystical powers ascribed historically to each gem. At the same time, the variety of European and American jewelry styles shown., which span 300 years, proclaim the social, political and financial power of their owners. Because these examples were carefully chosen from international private collections, dealers, and auction houses, they exhibit what is actually obtainable today. Exceptional design, exquisite workmanship, and the finest materials demonstrate the best of the jeweler's art from each era. The Power of Jewelry is a visual feast, and the accompanying stories are both interesting and informative. Jewelry lovers(and who isn't?) will be captivated by The Power of Jewelry.


Jewels: A Secret Historycover
by Victoria Finlay

Lore, legends and intrigue writen in the compelling style of the
DaVinci Code!