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