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

The best jewellery books should be showcased in the most beautiful of libraries.

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

(Last updated 9 January 2018. Thank you to the British Academy of Jewellery‘s incredible teaching staff for adding a large number of new books to this best jewellery books guide.)

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 Amazon.co.uk 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 Amazon.co.uk page where they can be purchased. Note that some of the out of print books cannot be found there any more. But they might be available through some other out of print booksellers.

Also 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. Jewellery Business Development Books
  4. More Advanced Jewellery Manufacturing Books
  5. Best Jewellery Designer Sourcebooks for Inspiration
  6. Best Contemporary Jewellery Theory Books for Art Jewellery Designer-Makers
  7. Best Jewellery History Books
  8. Jewellery CAD/CAM and 3D Printing Books
  9. Books on Alternative and Experimental Materials for Jewellery
  10. Best Out of Print Jewellery Books
  11. 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

 Introduction to Precious Metals by Mark Grimwade

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

Jewellery Business Development Books

Of all the categories on this list, this one seems to have a lot of variation in quality among the books currently available in print. I’ve kept this list narrowed down to only the ones consistently rated by colleagues as the most useful and well written on all aspects of building a jewellery business.

Setting up a Successful Jewellery Business by Angie Boothroyd. Written for the UK jewellery market, but still useful elsewhere.

How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line by Emily Shapiro. Written for the US market, but with insights which work anywhere.

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


The Sourcebook for Contemporary Jewellery Design by Macarena San Martin

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

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


21st Century Jewelry (Best of 500 Series) by Marthe Le Van

21st Century Jewellery Designers by Juliet Weir-de la Rochefoucauld
Bling: the Hip-Hop Jewelry Book by Reggie Osse & Gabriel Tolliver

Best Contemporary Jewellery Theory Books for Art Jewellery Designer-Makers

Books which talk about the philosophy of jewellery craft deserve their own section. While these books certainly aren’t for beginners or those who like light reading, they are excellent books for people who focus on the artistic angle of contemporary jewellery craft.


Thinking About Craft by Glenn Adamson

The Craftsman by Richard Sennet
 
Contemporary Jewellery in Perspective by Damian Skinner
 
Thinking Jewellery (Schmuck Denken) by Wilhelm Lindermann

On Craftsmanship by Christopher Frayling
 
Why We Make Things and Why It Matters by Peter Korn
 
Real Thing: Essays on Making in the Modern World by Tanya Harrod

The Case For Working With Your Hands by Matthew Crawford

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


7000 Years of Jewellery by Hugh Tait
 
Fashion for Jewels: 100 Years of Style and Icons by Carol Wooton

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

Digital Handmade: Craftsmanship and the New Industrial Revolution by Lucy Johnston

3D Printing for Artists, Designers and Makers by Stephen Hoskins

Books on Alternative and Experimental Materials for Jewellery

The choice of material is a crucial one for any jewellery designer. But for both contemporary art jewellers as well as innovative product designers, they do not limit themselves to precious metals and gemstones. These are books which discuss alternative materials others are already using, or materials you can potentially use.

 
Material Matters: New Materials in Design by Phil Howes & Zoe Laughlin

The Materials Sourcebook for Design Professionals by Rob Thompson

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

Africa Adorned by Angela Fisher

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

Lensman

The Jewel of the Nile – Sequel of Romancing the Stone

The Maltese Falcon

 

Definitely NOT for Kids

Cronos

Hellraiser

The Cell

Tetsuo: the Iron Man

 

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