4 Stunning New Coffee Table Books About Jewelry

Perhaps the second-best way to enjoy fine jewelry (after wearing it, that is) is through stunning photography.

This month, there are several new ways to get an eyeful of beautiful jewelry design in print, with publishing houses releasing a host of jewelry-centric books, including more than a few lush-feeling coffee table tomes.

Here are a few of my favorite April releases.

Jewelry designer Temple St. Clair—who was first discovered by a Barneys New York buyer in Florence—and her enduring artistic inspirations (mainly animals) are the subjects of this glossy, oversized coffee table book. St. Clair’s twin loves of gobstopper-sized gemstones and Florentine craftsmanship in her one-of-a-kind pieces are spotlighted in the heavy volume—as are her lovely watercolor paintings. $195


Oscar Heyman: The Jewelers’ Jeweler
Founded in 1912, Oscar Heyman & Brothers is one of America’s seminal fine jewelers. In its early years, it created show-stopping pieces for Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany & Co., along with its own memorable designs. This lavishly illustrated book tracks the firm’s growth from its origins as a small, Russian-immigrant family business to its rise as an influential atelier in New York and beyond. New and vintage pieces and full-color design drawings from the firm’s archives are shown in dazzling color.

Hidden Gems: Stories from the Saleroom
Jewelry experts, authors, and veterans of auction house Christie’s jewelry department, Sarah Hue-Williams and Raymond Sancroft-Baker have spent decades assessing historical gems and selling some of the most important and rare pieces of jewelry in the world. This fascinating book includes 40 true stories from their time in the industry, all illustrated with beautiful photos. The stories reveal the origins and gripping histories of some unforgettable creations—and the people involved in making, buying, and even losing them over the years. $45.76


Building on roots in the French Riviera, Jeweler Fred Samuel opened his first shop in Paris in 1936 and became famous by transforming original drawings by Jean Cocteau into jewelry. The firm is still inspired by the sea and, in this new coffee table book, their glamorous, big-gem jewelry is on beautiful display alongside a running history of the maison. $195

(Photos from Assouline and Amazon websites)

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JCK Magazine Editor