If you’d like to look good in your jewelry and be a smart buyer, consult the Jewelry Handbook. It’s like a Jewelry 101 course on the fundamentals of jewelry metals, settings, finishes, necklaces, chains, clasps, bracelets, rings, earrings, brooches, pins, clips, manufacturing methods and jewelry selection and care. Written for professionals and lay people, the Jewelry Handbook outlines the benefits and drawbacks of the various setting styles, mountings, chains, and metals such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium, titanium, stainless steel and tungsten. It also provides information and color photos on gemstones, birthstones, and fineness marks and helps you select versatile, durable jewelry that flatters your features.
Jewelry Handbook: How to Select, Wear & Care for Jewelry
by Renee Newman
ISBN 978-929975-38-2 / 6" x 9" (15 x 23 cm) / 177 pages
International Jewelry Publications / $19.95 / Paperback
297 color and 47 b/w photos, pub date: March 31, 2007
Jack Ogden, CEO, Gem A (British Gemmological Association)
"A great introduction to jewellery and should be required reading for all in the industry."
Gem Market News, reviewed by Richard B. Drucker, GG
"I have to admit, when I first see a “handbook” written for consumers, my expectations for trade interest are low. This book surprised me. As you will see from the review, I felt that not only did it serve some valuable advice for consumers, but it also offered valuable information for the trade, specifically those in retail sales and perhaps even more for jewelry appraisers.
The first chapter defines jewelry in its basics including fine,
costume, and antique. From there, the book moves into jewelry metals. The
comprehensive list includes the newer metals now being used for jewelry
such as titanium, palladium, and tungsten. Advantages and disadvantages
clarify why someone would opt for one of these. So, early on in this book
I could see how appraisers would benefit. Most appraisers are not jewelry
manufacturers, nor have they experienced retail selling of all these
metals. Yet, consumers are buying these metals and need appraisals.
Understanding the differences is key to accurate descriptions and
The first chapter defines jewelry in its basics including fine, costume, and antique. From there, the book moves into jewelry metals. The comprehensive list includes the newer metals now being used for jewelry such as titanium, palladium, and tungsten. Advantages and disadvantages clarify why someone would opt for one of these. So, early on in this book I could see how appraisers would benefit. Most appraisers are not jewelry manufacturers, nor have they experienced retail selling of all these metals. Yet, consumers are buying these metals and need appraisals. Understanding the differences is key to accurate descriptions and valuations.
Basic gem facts, birthstones, and anniversary stones, along with cutting styles are next for this book. Newman does not cover a great deal of detail here, though the cutting styles are great to see in color photographs. She does mention that her other books cover this topic in greater detail.
Manufacturing methods again made me think of the appraiser in me as I read this chapter. There is a difference in manufacturing methods and they do have differences in durability and cost. Here again this chapter serves as a nice primer for appraisers and salespeople to learn and understand the importance of manufacturing. For example, many in our industry probably do not know the differences in die-stamping and lost wax casting. Did you know that a die-struck ring of 14K is harder than a cast ring of 14K, and therefore will wear better? Another valuable lesson is the difference between hand fabricated and handmade. Yes, there is a difference.
Among the other chapters are valuable lists and photographs that will help consumers and trade regarding chain styles, finishes, and decorative techniques. Advantages and disadvantages are covered again for these. Clasps are also described and photographed.
The rest of the book is primarily a “how-to-select” book. It covers rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, pins, and clips. A chapter also exists on tips for men with their jewelry. The last chapter accordingly is on care of jewelry. Basic cleaning tips are good for consumers. Newman also includes a Gem Reference Guide chart that she has compiled from information in an earlier Gems & Gemology article and an article published by Howard Rubin. The chart covers ultrasonic uses and other comments on care and durability. While charts such as this are readily available, some jewelers might like to have this one, too. Consumers will find it interesting, especially since some have purchased ultrasonic cleaners (mild strength and industrial strength) so having this information is helpful for them.
The Handbook does well to cover its topics in concise chapters. It is not a long book in total text due to the great volume of photos that compliment the text. This makes it an easy read and easy to find those valuable lists and details. I am sure that we will reference this book in our appraisal library.
Table of Contents
1. Why Wear Jewelry? 1
2. Jewelry Metals: Key Facts 7
Terms Related to Gold and Platinum Content 7
Platinum Content and Notation 9
Terms Related to Metals and Imitation Gold 10
Weights, Measures, and Marks 14
Silver Jewelry 16
Other White Metals Used for Jewelry 21
3. Basic Facts about Gems 29
4. Manufacturing Methods 45
5. Selecting the Setting 57
6. Finishes & Decorative Techniques 67
7. Choosing Flattering Jewelry 79
8. Selecting Necklaces 83
9. Chains and Other Neckwear 91
Chain Lengths 92
Advantages and Drawbacks of Various Chains 92
Other Neckwear Options 100
Tips on Selecting Clasps 103
10. Selecting Rings 109
Selecting a Flattering Ring 110
Practical Tips on Selecting Rings 111
Selecting a Ring Size 115
11. Selecting Earrings 121
Earring Types and Styles 121
Selecting Flattering Earrings 124
12. Selecting Bracelets 127
Bracelet Types 128
Tips on Selecting Bracelets 128
13. Brooches, Pins and Clips 133
14. Making Jewelry Versatile 139
15. Jewelry Tips for Men 149
16. Caring for Your Jewelry 153
Cleaning Metal Mountings 154
Cleaning Gemstones 157
Cleaning Pearls 160
Miscellaneous Tips 161
Newman Gem & Jewelry Series Book Links