7 book Reviews about Pearls
Pearls are one of the most precious jewelry items and how they are formed has fascinated people for as long as we have been fascinated by the pearls themselves. How they grow, how they are harvested and what they can be turned into has created more than a passing interest and the subject matter has been used for documentaries, academic works and numerous books on the topic of “Pearls”.
Here we will review several titles and the kind of treatment they give the subject; some titles are suitable for anyone and everyone while some are academic and for the very discerning enthusiast.
The Book of the Pearl
George Frederick Kunz, A.M., Ph.D. & Charles Hugh Stevenson, LL.M., D.C.I.
This is probably the seminal work on pearls and was first published in 1908, over 100 years ago. It provides a fascinating though dry look at the history of the pearl though it is very Victorian in its outlook and especially the treatment of pearl divers, the “natives” who made their living by diving for dangerously long periods of time in deep waters.
The volume has many old photographs and illustrations which are very interesting for those who are keen on understanding how they were originally and commercially gathered.
The Pearls Book
Antoinette Matlins is an internationally famous expert on gems, jewelry and of course, pearls. This guide provides an in-depth look at pearls and their use in jewelry, packed with numerous illustrations and color photographs. This guide is indispensable for those buying jewelry and looking to gain a deeper understanding of the pieces they already own. It is written for the lay person and while some of the treatment of the subject does go into great detail, these are well written and simple to understand.
Well written and a good read – indispensable if you are considering buying pearls or pearl jewelry.
Pearls and Pearling Life
This is another old text but very well written and an interesting read whether you are buying pearls or not. This is a didactic text on pearls and the lives of those who harvest them as seen from a journalist turned world traveler from the turn of the 20th Century. The illustrations are also exquisite and very detailed. Be warned, this is a rare volume and you are unlikely to find it at your local library so try going online and seeing if there is a copy scanned and available online (there are several available complete with illustrations).
Pearl Buying Guide
Renee Newman G.G.
If you want an up-to-date guide on how to buy and care for pearl jewelry this is the book for you. Simple to read and understand, this is a practical, no-nonsense guide to what to look for and what to do with your pearls. This book is highly recommended for those who want a basic education; simply read the opening chapters and you will vastly improve your pearl buying knowledge (this book is worth the price for the three opening chapters alone).
The book is well laid out with chapters specializing in flaws, evaluating pearl shapes and sizes, nacre thickness and color amongst many other features.
Top recommendation for beginners or those needing an all round education on what to look for when investing and how to look after them.
Fred Ward is well-known for the series of gem guide books and this is a worthy edition to the series. This is heavily illustrated with color photographs and diagrams while coming in a handy, compact size suitable for your pocket when you are out shopping and yet detailed enough to give you a thorough understanding of how to evaluate pearls.
It is also a fascinating read in its own right and is used regularly by professionals as well as laymen.
The designs shown are simple enough to accomplish, simple to inspire but not so unusual as to stunt your own creativity. I particularly liked the green garnet and pearl strand, but the pearl chip earrings had me wondering if it wasn’t time I got out a pair of pliers and some jewelry wire. There are interesting combinations of pearls and briolettes and pearls and other beads. Advanced jewelry makers will probably not find a lot new in this book, but newer jewelry makers will find this is a great basic text for learning about making bead jewelry that features lustrous pearls, whether round, flat, irregular or seed.
The Pearl Book, 3rd Edition: The Definitive Buying Guide: How to Select, Buy Care for & Enjoy Pearls
The Pearl Book is the definitive buying guide for pearls either as jewelry (pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets) or collectible investments. The Pearl Book features everything necessary to become an expert in an practical, comprehensive, easy-to-read, easy-to-understand, format answering all the questions on how to select, buy, care for, and enjoy the “oyster fruit”. The Pearl Book is for anyone wanting a reliable source of information to guide them, filled with “insider tips” and advice. Especially on what to do after you’ve acquired your pearls.
- Pearls: The Ideal Wedding Gemstone (myweddingideas.net)