I’d like to share some of the resources where I’ve taken inspiration and learned about jewelry, so let me introduce a few of my favorite books on the subject. Of course, only reading books is not enough to make one into an expert in jewelry-making, but it has been a large part of my process.

I recently finished reading the New York Times Bestseller STONED, by Aja Raden, and it was too good to not mention here on my blog. While I find it difficult to rave openly about books I’ve loved and the reasons why without revealing "too much,” I hope that you can sense my obsession and the thrill I got from this book and become inspired to seek it out for yourselves.

When I first bought it, I didn’t know what, exactly, to expect: the truth is, I’m a superficial book shopper and often choose them only for their color, and the quality of their reproductions, paper, bindings, and so on. So actually, I bought this one just because I loved the huge vibrant green emerald and its name "STONED" on the cover – it struck me as funny with the connotation relating to being stoned in another way (hopefully, I don’t need to explain this second or third meaning of the word) ... which I believe was the author's intention :-) Between that and the gorgeous emerald - the cover and the title - I kind of knew it would have to be funny and written by someone who is not dusty and boring. And this impression was confirmed to after I read the first few pages.

What I didn’t realize was that this book is packed PACKED with so much valuable information that is not just entertaining, but draws from a wealth of scholarly research. Oh yes, it was also funny and written with a slightly humorous tone in author's pen/voice, but it wasn't just funny: it was damned intelligent and educational.

I cannot believe how Aja Raden made me digest so many different topics ranging from "How Manhattan was bought for glass beads," through the Spanish Inquisition, to the "discovery" of modern men’s watches (of course there were women behind it!) I learned so much about how the value of things is created and how unpredictable and absolutely illogical the process sometimes is. On the one hand, it is even scary to realize how our minds are tricked by professionals who just want to sell their goods and from fabricate complete fairytales to support their business. Did I stop loving diamonds after learning how their real value was set by few dudes from De Beers? For a second, I actually felt embarrassed by being caught in their web. But no ... I accept the fact that they got me too ... and I continue to prefer diamonds over anything cheaper.

There were so many chapters which could have easily have been expanded into entire books. And as a jewelry designer there are many pieces of information that I’d prefer the broader public not know about ;-) especially the truth about diamonds ... But I can’t keep this book a secret for myself.


Go and get yourself some intellectual candy:

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