Secrets to Collecting Jewelry: How to Buy More for Less Paperback – 2005
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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
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!
Interestingly written, photographed and organized; I specifically find the section dedicated to "Periods and Styles" indispensable. It clearly defines and gives tips to allow the user to narrow down the period a jewelry piece comes from. Loaded with other tips regarding determining the materials used, hallmarks, and findings helps any beginner jewelry collector make well informed choices.
Examples of specific types of jewelry, material and styles make this the text book reference of choice. The perfect size of this book allows this to be used in the field where it is needed. Leigh Leshner draws upon her extensive knowledge and allows everyone to benefit from her experience. She delivers with Secrets to Collecting Jewelry, How to BUY MORE for Less!
Secrets to Collecting Jewelry: How to Buy More for Less