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by Ruby Lane Social

All Wired Up by Mark Lareau. Interweave Press, Inc., October 2000. Easy-to-follow instructions on exciting wire-work design techniques. Of the dozens of books I’ve purchased on beading and wirework, this one by far has been my favorite. It’s also one of the first ones I ever bought! Stacy of Ruby Lane Shop Staliza Jewelry

Gemstones of the World, Revised & Expanded Edition, by Walter Schumann. Sterling Publishing, December 1997. Purchasing beaded gemstones at gem shows can be daunting because there is usually little or no labeling and you’re left taking somebody’s word for what you’re buying. I’ve spent a lot of time reading up on various gemstones in this book and it’s helped me to identify not only what I’m looking at, but what the quality is as well. One of my favorite features of this book is that several examples of the stones are shown in photographs. Often you see the stone in its natural state as well as the cut and polished gem. Seeing several examples of each stone helps identify that type of gemstone in person since so many variances occur in nature. Stacy of Ruby Lane Shop Staliza Jewelry


American Costume Jewelry by Carla & Roberto Brunialti. Mazzotta, 1997. This is one of my favorites. Although the book is in Italian, it has the best illustrations, descriptions, patents representing the best of the best vintage costume jewelry from 1935-1950. Marianna of Ruby Lane Shop Sweetie’s Memorable Gemz


A Tribute to America, by Carla & Roberto Brunialti. EDITA, Milan, January 2002. This is one of my other favorites. Although the book is in Italian, it has the best illustrations, descriptions, patents representing the best of the best vintage costume jewelry from 1935-1950. Marianna of Ruby Lane Shop Sweetie’s Memorable Gemz





Antique Enameled Jewelry by Dale Reeves Nicholls. Schiffer Book for Collectors. Little current information is available about enameled jewelry and this book, is, by far the best in print. It covers a wide range of types of enamelling and a beautifully illustrated sampling of jewelry items from Victorian to contemporary. It also provides values for most of the items. How it does that is my least favorite thing about this lovely hardcover book (at the end of the chapter is a compilation in rather small print that refers back to the page where the item appears and as such is awkward. I’m sure it was done this way to make future editions easier to edit and print). Additionally, as a long-time dealer in enamel jewelry I find much of the pricing vastly difference from my personal experience. I’m sure this has much to do with regional differences, etc. but as a collector, I would not pay too much attention to the pricing information except as a very rough guideline. The book does contain photographs of some rare and gorgeous pieces that you will not see on the open market and just for those this book is a "must have" for anyone interested in or already collecting enameled jewelry. Recommended by Barbara Jokel

Jewels of Fantasy. Edited by Deanna Farnetti Cera. Sept 1992. In the early 1990’s Daniel Swarovski sponsored an exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Jewels of Fantasy documents the finest and most significant exhibit of 20th century costume jewelry created by American and European designers from Art Nouveau to 1960’s. Marianna of Ruby Lane Shop Sweetie’s Memorable Gemz.


Inside the Jewelry Box: A Collector’s Guide to Costume Jewelry: Indentification and Values by Ann Mitchell Pitman. 
Collector Books, April 2004. Marianna of Ruby Lane Shop Sweetie’s Memorable Gemz.



Inside the Jewelry Box: A collector’s Guide to Costume Jewelry, Identification and Values: Volume 2 by Ann Mitchell Pitman. Collector Books, May 2007. Ms. Pitman wrote these two very informative books in 2004 and 2007 and i find her price ranges current and accurate – not too low and not unreasonably high. Both books are very well organized and cover famous designers and not so famous designers with many illustrations. Marianna of Ruby Lane Shop Sweetie’s Memorable Gemz.



Answers To Questions About Old Jewelry 1840-1950, 4TH Edition by Jeanenne Bell. KP Books. January 1996. This book is hands down, my favorite "go to" book! Again…I think that I have bought every edition that has ever come out. (And actually there is a newer addition out there…I have it as well but I just had this one by my side!) I love this book because there are front and back pictures of the jewelry. Very important because you can learn about the construction of pieces. Dates of pieces. Jeanenne Bell has a way of explaining terms that everyone can understand. She is a GIA certified gemologist and an authority on antique  jewelry. (You may have seen her on the Antiques Roadshow.) There are so many pictures in this book! Great pictures! Each chapter is a timeline of fashion, events in history and jewelry. She has an extensive glossary of terms and also a  special section on makers marks. Each piece is priced as well. I do not use my books for pricing a piece as the market can fluctuate greatly. If you are a  collector, this is a must have reference book. You will never regret the purchase of this book! It is an invaluable tool! Pam Hoffman of Ruby Lane Shop – Love & Honor

Collecting Victorian Jewelry. Jeanenne Bell. KP Books. September 2004. Once again…One of my favorite "go to" books! For the collector of Victorian jewelry, this is a must have book. There are prices in this book as well…but the pictures and history timelines are the best reason to purchase this book. The pieces and timelines covered in this book range in date from 1806-1901. Ms. Bell understands the need to see close up pictures. The front and back of a piece of jewelry. To see exactly how a piece is constructed…which is so important in dating a piece. She explains why a piece of jewelry was made…the needs of the jewelry wearer during specific times. There are explanations of different materials such as jet, vulcanite, gutta percha…etc. Just a marvelous and beautifully executed book! Ms. Bell’s books are my favorites! You don’t just read them…you study and enjoy them. I have been an antique jewelry collector for many, many years…but I learn something new every  time I pick up one of her books. Pam Hoffman of Ruby Lane Shop – Love & Honor

The Official Identification And Price Guide To Antique Jewelry by Guy Kaplan. Random House Publishing Group, October 1990.This is a great book for anyone who is looking to start an antique jewelry collection or for someone who has an extensive collection! (I think that this is my fifth copy of this book. I read them and study them constantly!) Pictures…pictures…pictures! Almost 1,000 pages! There is an extensive glossary that explains various jewelry terms. Also, there are prices. I don’t use my reference books for pricing. To me books are a learning tool. Pictures and terms are important to the collector because it is the next best thing to actually holding a piece of jewelry. Jewelry construction is key to knowing how to date a piece! I highly recommend this book! Pam Hoffman of Ruby Lane Shop – Love & Honor

Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks: Hecho de Mexico by Billie Hougart. T B R International, Inc., September, 2006.
Hougart’s book is my one of my favorites. I use it  for research. Most Mexican jewelry is signed and this book is wonderful for finding the maker. It is comprehensive and easy to use. Also reasonably priced! Linda Farrell, Ruby Lane Shop Artes-Trouveaux



Do you have a favorite resource book you would like to recommend for The Library collection? If so, please send an email to and include the book title, authors name, publisher, publication date, your name, your site url (if applicable) and a brief statement describing why you like the book .

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