Bejeweled: The World of Ethical Jewelry

Image of Bejeweled: The World of Ethical Jewelry
Release Date: 
September 10, 2019
Reviewed by: 

Fashion, including fine jewelry, has its own set of sound bytes, catch phrases, and talking points that highlight and speak to a specific time frame in fashion as well as being the au courant topic of the moment.

The language of Bejeweled is not the language one encounters in so many books of this genre; instead it speaks to synthetic diamonds, lab created gemstones, responsible sourcing and mining, fair trade mining and environmentally friendly processes. The vernacular of the text and the entire premise of the book, featuring 15 designers, is what sets this volume apart from its companions within this genre.

That said, Bejeweled is a monograph that supports and demonstrates what the previous paragraph clearly states. In fashion and current events, suddenly sustainable is the topic du jour, but in jewelry ethically mined materials cannot equal or surpass that subject due to so many mitigating factors. Whether clothes or jewelry, both are very much impulse buys, no matter the price, and it would be stretching the imagination to think that the majority of consumers are or would be concerned or for that matter even sufficiently educated to enquire about any of these qualities.

Nevertheless, Bejeweled is a fascinating exploration within the world of jewelry, its products, detailing each designer’s paths, their choice of raw materials, and their inspirations and influences. Bejeweled offers the opportunity to see jewelry in a much broader sense than that of just carats and karats. The monograph does not focus on one particular brand but proffers a diverse cross section of those who create fine jewelry with all of these manufacturing and sourcing elements as part of their DNA.

Bejeweled is not for the casual jewelry reader and much more for those whose knowledge stretches far and beyond that of the great legendary and fabled brands. What is most interesting is that the reader is able to ascertain just how much of the past influences the future of this genre of 21st century jewelry. Many of the group have drawn upon influences and inspirations from the Middle East and from the ancient history of each area.

Needless to say, Bejeweled requires a reader who has unquenchable thirst about jewelry and the environment in general, accompanied by a great amount of patience. In my estimation, the readership of such a monograph caters more to the minority rather than the majority of jewelry lovers.