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Secrets to Collecting Jewelry: How to Buy More for Less [Paperback]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Beginner & Intermediate Collector Needs This Book Oct. 10 2005
By Tammy Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
What a fabulously comprehensive book. Perfect size to carry with you too! Being somewhat of a beginner in the true "collection" of vintage jewelry, I have of course been burned. I am forever learning and have found this book so helpful. I learned about pieces I currently have that I didn't know the names or era of and found on my first thumbing! I have all of this authors' books. I think she is so great with information. So many of the vintage jewelery books have pretty pictures and prices but no information. This is definitely an instructional book as well as a source for beautiful photographs of vintage jewelry. Write More Soon!
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Textbook perfect Oct. 12 2005
By Ann M. Pitman - Published on Amazon.com
This book is THE textbook you would use if you took a course in collecting vintage jewelry. Leigh gives a definition and then shows you exactly what she is talking about, and she has made this learning interesting and easy. It is great for novice collectors, but even better for brand new collectors.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book for beginners has great photographs July 8 2007
By Manon Kavesky - Published on Amazon.com
This is a good book for beginners. It is really an overview. The information is well organized with a table of contents and index so the reader can find the answer to most queries. This book is similar to How To Be a Jewelry Detective although, Secrets has better photography and higher production values. The title promises Secrets and How to Buy More For Less. I am not sure that these claims can be supported.

There is good section on findings. For example, did I buy a fur clip or a dress clip? Secrets to Collecting Jewelry includes clear photos of findings so the curious reader can discover the difference. Another question that pops up monthly on one of the online jewelry forums I belong to is answered here with more clear photos, "What are those quirky ear findings, they can't possibly be for pierced ears!?!". Yes, there is a photo of those quirky wing back ear findings.

There is a section is called Examples of Specific Types of Jewelry, Materials and Styles or what I would call an illustrated glossary. It is thorough from applejuice bakelite to watch pin. There are some really interesting and unique inclusions such as Prison Rings, Book Chains, Kum-a-Part cufflinks, Negligee Necklaces and more. But some inclusions are silly such as a photo of leather and satin and suede cord! Not really necessary even for a rank beginner.

Secrets to Collecting Jewelry has a notable section on Bakelite and Plastic Jewelry the photography is compelling and the pieces selected are lovely.

This review also appears on Jewelry Ring an on-line community for costume jewelry collectors
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Basic Jewelry Reference Aug. 11 2008
By Sheryl Backman - Published on Amazon.com
This book is one that I normally wouldn't have purchased because I already have a large library of jewelry reference books. It doesn't have a lot of pretty pictures. It has just enough. It's not big and heavy and it doesn't make me look like an intellectual. It just clearly and simply pictures and defines all those little parts and pieces (or findings and settings, for the purists) of jewelry. And it's small enough to fit in my purse. I constantly find myself running back to this particular book for the correct term or the correct spelling. Why?

Well, there's a very simple reason why Leigh Leshner's Secrets to Collecting Costume Jewelry has become the most useful book in my library. It's simply the fact that the book so well laid out and so easy to use that it's always the first thing I reach for.

Leshner begins with a general discussion of collecting costume jewelry, including where to buy, tools, and some helpful hints and secrets. She manages to wrap up her expertise of years of collecting in less than 40 well written and easily read pages. If you know absolutely nothing about collecting costume jewelry you can't go wrong with her advice.

She spends the next portion of the book delineating the era's of costume jewelry beginning with Victorian times. Although she only illustrates these era's with one or two pieces of jewelry, she has somehow managed to select the most perfect and typical example of each.

From the discussion of eras she moves on to the discussion of manufacturing and techniques used to create different types of jewelry. She gives excellent examples of enameling techniques, shapes of rhinestones and types of findings that our commonly (and uncommonly!) used in costume jewelry. Each has item has one of two small pictures that make identification easy.

The final portion of the book include definitions "Specific types of Jewelry, Materials and Styles". There she defines and gives examples of such items as duettes, sautoirs and prison rings. It's most useful when you come across that oddball piece and you'd love to know what it is.

There's lots more in the book to enjoy, but as a basic reference book it can't be beat!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Introduction to Vintage Jewelry Collecting June 28 2009
By Jewel Gal - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book is refreshing in that not only does it have photos of various periods and styles of jewelry, but it includes a nice glossary that contains photos and descriptions of settings, styles, materials, findings and rhinestone cuts. A real plus is that most of the pictures are large enough to see the items clearly and additionally the author has provided some great tips for the beginning collector.

The negatives are:
1/ Some glossary items are not pictured, e.g. fruit salad stone, tapered baguette, cartouche, alpaca, gutta percha, intaglio.
2/ There are a few errors, the most notable is that the photo on page 36 is not a clipmate by Trifari.
3/ Most prices are quite high, even for retail.
4/ Some glossary descriptions would have been been better left out, e.g. satin cord is described a "cord made of satin."

Overall, even with the negatives this book is quite well done and a great buy.

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