We have a wonderful collection of research books at Weldon’s, including some of the most beautiful publications in the world. Here is a quick look inside some of our favourites! They cover everything from the technical aspects and nuances of diamond grading, to the art and beauty of jewellery as fashion items. A few are out of print, but most can be easily found online, and are highly recommended for jewellery fans.
High Jewelry by Cartier
A simply sumptuous book, with a behind the scenes look at some of Cartier’s finest creations, showing the creative process from a mere sketch to the finished piece. It shows the classic Cartier style through exceptionally detailed photos, and is a joy to flick through.
Diamond Cuts in Historic Jewellery 1381-1910
Tillander’s book is an essential research tool for antique diamonds, taking us from the very earliest of cuts all the way up to the modern cut. What is especially exciting is that is shows every developmental step in between, with examples from historic pieces over the centuries. Featuring fantastically precise line drawings of every different cut, the book links old contemporary paintings showing the the jewellery of the time with explanations and discussion of the diamonds contained within.
20th Century Jewellery and the Icons of Style
A terrific book, which shows the jewellery from the point of view of the collector rather than the jeweller. Taking eleven famous icons such as Maria Callas, Merle Oberon, Barbara Hutton, their personal jewellery is looked at, with photos of the pieces being worn and archive images of the pieces. A great book to look at how different pieces work together, and how a unifying style can be found in most collections.
Famous Diamonds by Ian Balfour
An essential book for research, this is an alphabetical list of dozens of the world’s most famous and important diamonds, with background of each stone, its owners, history, value if known and location. Also features some great information on antique cutting procedures.
Paulding Farnham – Tiffany’s Lost Genius
Paulding Farnham is one of Tiffany’s less known designers, but was an award-winning designer who played a key role in the development of the company’s style and reputation in the early 20th century. This book shows his sketches alongside the finished articles, as well as a biography of Farnham.
Boucheron – the Secret Archives
This book is a real treat; it has two main sections, the first a visual tour of Boucheron through individual chapters each featuring a famous style icon, such as Rita Hayworth or Colette Colbert, and their jewellery, and the second section with colour facsimiles of Boucheron’s archive, showing some of the rare and beautiful gemstones that they have handled.
The Microworld of Diamonds
John Koivula has worked for many years with the GIA, and has assembled the most incredible and beautiful collection of microscope photos of diamonds, showing inclusions, growth patterns, surface features, etc. An incredible voyage through diamonds and their inner structure.
A more technical book than Koivula’s book, this shows the different type of inclusions that can exist in a diamond, and also talks through the cutting process and the decisions that are made through the process to maximise the potential of the stone.
Gems and Gemology – Coloured Diamonds
The most technically-minded book of all on the list, this is a collection of every article on coloured diamonds ever published in Gems & Gemology, the GIA’s peer-reviewed journal. Featuring everything one needs to know about coloured diamonds, this will take you from the very basics up to the cutting edge of research. (I think this is available on a flash drive from the GIA’s online store, www.gia.edu)
The Crown Jewels – Blair et al
The figurative and literal jewel in our collection, this is an incredibly rare find, as only 650 copies were ever published. Volume one is the complete history of the British Crown Jewels, covering various coronations, social and societal influences, and the Jewel House where they are stored. Volume two is a catalogue of the entire collection, covering the highest profile items such as the State Crown, (analysed stone by stone and rivet by rivet), but also some of the lesser known items such as the 12th century Coronation spoon, the Royal trumpets, the four State sceptres, the Lily font which is used to baptise members of the Royal family, and the various silverware and jewellery in the Tower of London. A detailed history of each piece is given. An entire gemmological laboratory was set up in the Tower to assess the diamonds, and the only scientific analysis ever completed of the Cullinan diamonds is printed in full.