Jewellery Classics: Top Jewellery Books to Gift This Holiday Season

The art form that is creating fine and high jewellery is a historic craft that dates back centuries. The intricacies of design, gemstone selection, setting, and finishing are all crying out for beautiful coffee table books that tell stories and delight aficionados. Let's look at some of the jewellery tales immortalised in books for the holiday season, including tomes on painting techniques, floral blooms and jewellery history.

With the holiday season right around the corner, consider giving the gift of knowledge this Christmas. Below are a selection of the best books to buy the jewellery lovers and admirers in your life. So let's take a closer look.

If you guys didn't know, I am a huge book collector

For Jewellery Designers: Karpov Gouaches

Parisian jewellery brand Karpov is relatively new to the jewellery scene. At just two years old, its fine jewellery designs are receiving international attention. Created by twins Hélène and Jeanne Karpov, of Russian descent, these two entrepreneurial women gained experience by sketching and drawing high jewellery pieces at various Maisons on La Place Vendôme. 

Gouaches by Karpov Paris contains 57 of the brand's most beautiful gouaches, many of them total exclusives, meaning that we have never shown them anywhere!

Hélène says: "When we started working at big Parisian jewellery houses, we worked on some extraordinary pieces that we knew only a few people in the world would ever see. When we painted the gouaches for these pieces, we thought how nice it would be if people could at least see these gouaches. They were, after all, works of art in their own right".

This dream has come to fruition in the book, Gouaches, containing 57 original gouache high jewellery paintings by the sisters. The book takes you on an educational journey by exploring the complexities of the art of gouache jewellery paintings, as well as presenting the beautiful final results. This is the perfect gift for the jewellery designer in your life.

For Jewellery Historians: Tiffany & Co. and Cartier & Co. The Story Behind The Style

This year, jewellery editor, journalist and now author Rachael Taylor released two mono-brand-focused books: The Story Behind the Style of the legendary American jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. and another for the Parisian house of Cartier. Both works cover the vast history and epochal growth of these two iconic brands through a series of behind-the-scenes photographs, facts and a special section focusing on their most famous pieces. Beautifully illustrated and the perfect size for a person on the go to slip into their handbag, these works are what any fashion or jewellery lover needs.

For Jewellery Enthusiasts: Jewelry Guide -The Ultimate Compendium

For those who admire jewellery and are looking to learn more on the subject, I highly recommend French editor and author Fabienne Reybaud's Jewelry Guide - The Ultimate Compendium. Full of Atelier images, breath-taking sketches and gouache drawings of the world's most beautiful fine jewellery creations, this coffee table book walks readers through all the facets of jewellery making and the need-to-know information.

Jewelry Guide -The Ultimate Compendium by Fabienne Reybaud and published by Assouline

The book also includes record-breaking gems, from the Hope Diamond to Elizabeth Taylor's La Peregrina pearl, to explain how jewellery has mirrored the human journey across the centuries. It also includes an essential glossary of jewellery-associated terms and the best jewellery museum collections worldwide. This glossary is especially informative for budding collectors wishing to invest in antique and vintage designs.

For Floral Fans: Botanical Chaumet

This spring, Paris was graced with the Végétal – L’École de la Beauté exhibition in partnership with Chaumet. The event at the Palais des Beaux-Arts showcased high jewellery creations, haute couture garments, and paintings inspired by the natural beauty of plants. Nearly 400 works were included in this short-term exhibit, including 80 pieces of high jewellery that were literal and figurative interpretations of floral blooms. Although the exhibit has concluded, the House of Chaumet has created a book that chronicles the entire installation. It's well worth purchasing if you have a green-fingered jewellery enthusiast in your life.

Coffee table book Botanical - Observing Beauty by Chaumet and published by JBE Books, alongside two inside shots displaying pieces of jewellery inspired by nature

For Antique Jewellery Fans: The Modern Guide to Antique Jewellery

Who doesn't love antique jewels? You can tell each piece is full of history and stories just by looking at it. If only they could talk! Well, thanks to jewellery historian and author Beth Bernstein, they can. Bernstein takes the reader on a jewellery tour through time, from the 1700s to the early 20th century in her book The Modern Guide to Antique Jewellery. Part travelogue, part educational guide, Bernstein explains the best places to shop for vintage jewels, how to make the most out of wearing them, and deep dives into identifying the most popular materials and collectable pieces today.

The Modern Guide to Antique Jewellery by Beth Bernstein

In her own words: "In this book, I interview some of the expert dealers and store owners I have met in the 25 years since I have been writing about jewellery and collecting antique jewellery. I think its conversational tone allows the book to be less intimidating and academic and more interactive. I want to teach people everything from how to define their collector's style to mixing antique, vintage and modern jewellery".

 The book also offers an in-depth look at some of the best jewels of each period. Full of fun and witty facts, this is truly a must-read for all collectors who have an affinity for the jewels of the past.

Gems, Colours and Wild Stories by Constantin Wild

For Gem Lovers: Constantin Wild - Gems, Colours and Wild Stories

Founded in Idar-Oberstein in 1847, the company Constantin Wild has left its mark on the world of gemstones in a way that very few others have. In Gems, Colours and Wild Stories, the grandson of the brand's founder takes the reader on a magically detailed journey through the history of the company's jewellery adventures to celebrate its 175th anniversary. Full of page-turning tales of their origins in stone cutting and rare gemstone trading, remote mines, mysterious gem dealers and the quest for the most beautiful and rarest stones, this book takes a closer look at a selection of the best gemstones to ever hit the market. There's also a little surprise in this book – a chapter written by me! For those who are passionate about gemstone cuts, colours and origin, this is the book for you.

For Industry Types and Trend Followers: The Jewellery Trendbook

If you enjoy staying up to date on the progress of the jewellery industry and the various trends it traverses, look no further than The Jewellery Trendbook 2024. This trend forecasting guide explains how recent geo-political changes, the pandemic, the rising voices for new civil rights, and the environmental crisis have affected the jewellery industry. Divided into themes, the Trendbook describes how jewellery consumption has changed in the luxury world. By researching hashtags and other data points, specialists can identify the various global movements that have affected the purchasing behaviours of communities worldwide. Fascinating stuff!

The Jewellery Trendbook 2022 published by the Italian Exhibition Group, along side an image by designer MALAKAI

As you can see, there is a jewellery book for every jewellery lover. Send us an email using the form below if you have questions about any of the books.

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