Best Jewellery Books Purchasing Guide – Jewellery CAD, Design, Manufacturing, or History

If only a jeweller’s library were as beautiful as the contents of the books… (the Klementinum National Library in Prague)

(Last updated 29 May 2017)

Even though the best jewellery books guide started out as a separate section of the blog, it is related to my Frequently Asked Questions series, so I will link it through to there.

Since we started this blog in 2010, I’ve kept an Amazon reading list of best jewellery books for helping up and coming jewellers to build their personal libraries, linked directly to the site. However, with Amazon changing their online services again and again, they phased out my entire reading list section, so I’ve now moved the list back here to my blog.

Where possible, all books are linked to the page where they can be purchased. Note that some of the out of print books cannot be found there.

Note that these aren’t meant to be exhaustive lists. I’m sure there are many good books I haven’t discovered yet, and new ones continue to get released every year. Therefore, if anyone wants to add anything to these lists, please let me know, and I’ll have a look.

Best Jewellery Books Purchasing Guide

Browse by Section:

  1. Basic Books for Jewellery Manufacturing
  2. Jewellery Design Drawing
  3. More Advanced Jewellery Manufacturing Books
  4. Best Jewellery Designer Sourcebooks for Inspiration
  5. Best Jewellery History Books
  6. Jewellery CAD/CAM and 3D Printing Books
  7. Best Out of Print Jewellery Books
  8. Movies About Jewellery

Basic Books for Jewellery Manufacturing

To get new jewellers started, I’ve compiled a list of books which are excellent value for those starting out learning the craft, while remaining useful references later on as you build your skills.

The Complete Metalsmith: Illustrated Edition by Tim McCreight – Easily the most indispensable basic guide for jewellery techniques

Jeweller’s Directory of Gemstones by Judith Crowe

The Rings Book by Jinks McGrath

Jewellery Making Techniques Book by Elizabeth Olver

Hot and Cold Connections for Jewellers by Tim McCreight

The Guide to Gemstone Settings by Anastasica Young

Setting up a Successful Jewellery Business by Angie Boothroyd

Making Silver Chains by Glen Waszek

The Art of Soldering for Jewellery Makers by Wing Mun Devenney

Stonesetting for Contemporary Jewellery Makers by Melissa Hunt

Modelling in Wax for Jewellery and Sculpture by Lawrence Kallenberg

Best Jewellery Books for Learning Design Drawing

There are a few jewellery specific design education books out there, but some are far more useful than others.

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards – Frequently cited as the single best method for teaching people the basics of drawing from scratch

Jewelry Illustration by Dominique Audette – Likely the best jewellery technical drawing book ever written

Drawing for Jewelers (Master Classes in Professional Design) by Maria Josep Forcadel – Excellent rendering and shading advice for metal

The Art of Jewellery Design: From Idea to Reality by Elizabeth Olver – One of the best primers on design development included in any textbook

The Art of Jewelry Design: Principles of Design, Rings and Earrings by Maurice P. Galli

Drawing Geometry: A Primer of Basic Forms for Artists, Designers, and Arhitects by Jon Allen

Basics Fashion Design 10: Jewellery Design by Elizabeth Galton – One of the only books to mention contextual influences

More Advanced Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Books

For those who have the basics covered in the categories above but still want more, these books are for you. The following include some of the most useful books ever published on the subject of jewellery making, even though none of them would be of much help to technical beginners.

Jewellery Concepts and Technology by Oppi Untracht – Called “the Jeweller’s Bible”. It’s a doorstop of a book, but some people claim no textbook is more comprehensive

Jewellery Design and Development by Norman Cherry – Very academic, but useful insights into the design development process.

The Workbench Guide to Jewelry Techniques by Anastasia Young

Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths by Heikki Seppa

Metalsmithing for Jewelry Makers by Jinks McGrath

The Jeweller’s Directory of Decorative Finishes by Jinks McGrath

Color, Texture & Casting for Jewellers by Carles Codina

Best Jewellery Designer Sourcebooks for Inspiration

More so than any other category of jewellery book, coffee table books which showcase beautiful jewellery design are very easy to find. Indeed, this category could have hundreds of entries. But what I’ve tried to do here instead is provide the ones which would be the most useful to jewellery designers and manufacturers.

The New Jewellers: Desirable, Collectable, Contemporary by Olivier Dupon

Collect Contemporary Jewelry by Joanna Hardy, Malcolm Cossons

Showcase: 500 Rings (500 Series) by Marthe Le Van, Juror Bruce Metcalf

New Rings: 500+ Designs from Around the World by Nicholas Estrada

New Earrings: 500+ Designs from Around the World by Nicholas Estrada, Noel Guyomarch

Pearls by Beatrix Chadour-Sampson, Hubert Bari

Best Jewellery History Books

Rather than simply being beautiful sourcebooks for design inspiration (which these are as well), these provide useful historical insight into the history of jewellery making.

Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love, and Loyalty by Diana Scarisbrick, James Fenton

Jewellery CAD/CAM and 3D Printing Books

Surprisingly, there aren’t many Jewellery CAD instruction books out there. This is probably due to how fast the software changes. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few. And we’re also now seeing a few other amazing 3D printing for jewellery books appear as well.

Rhino 5.0 for Jewelry by Dana Buscaglia

Designing Jewelry with Rhino with Eliania Rosetti (link goes directly to publisher, may be out of print soon)

Digital Crafts: Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists and Designer Makers by Anne Marie Shillito

Best Out of Print Jewellery Books

There are many books which even now remain seminal resources for jewellers even though they’ve long been out of print. If you are a jewellery book collector, buy these when you find them.

Drawing Jewels for Fashion by Carol Woolton

Jewelry Design: The Artisan’s Reference by Elizabeth Olver

Jewelry Wax Modeling: A Practical Guide by Adolfo Mattiello

The Complete Book of Jewelry Making by Carles Codina

The Techniques of Master Stonesetting by Gerald L. Wykoff

The Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes and Lockets by Tim McCreight

Techniques of Jewelry Illustration and Color Rendering By Adolfo Matiello

Rhino for Jewelry by Dana Buscaglia

Movies About Jewellery

There are several movies in which a jewel or jewellery played a critical role in the story. Should you be interested in these yourself, or if you wish to gather your jewellery geek friends together for a movie night, I present a list here:

Relatively Family Friendly Viewing

The Lord of the Rings

The Golden Compass


The Jewel of the Nile – Sequel of Romancing the Stone

The Maltese Falcon


Definitely NOT for Kids



The Cell

Tetsuo: the Iron Man


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