Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour

Image of Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour
Release Date: 
October 15, 2019
Thames & Hudson
Reviewed by: 

The very first aspect that must be acknowledged with regard to Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour is that Thames & Hudson has raised the bar for books within this segment of the genre. A second thank you is to Diana Scarisbrick for providing this meticulously and exhaustively researched/illustrated volume on the history of diamond jewelry.

“This is the story of how the diamond has been acknowledged as the ultimate and visible sign of wealth and political power from the fourteenth century onwards.”

Both parties need to be congratulated, if not lauded, for the reproduction quality and sourcing of the images, whether actual jewels or images extracted from paintings or tapestries, but most of all to Ms. Scarisbrick for this paean to the subject.  This reader does not believe there is a single prospective reader who can honestly say that they will have not learned anything new from this extraordinary chronicle.

Do not be deceived into thinking that Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour is a breezy easy read. This book requires an unrelenting quest for knowledge on the subject as well as the patience to wade through the historical examination/dissection and retelling of the diamond and the jewelry that encompasses their history. Unequivocally, this reader can say there are few books that combine history to this extent with images that perfectly exemplify the written word.

Any prospective reader who is a jewelry aficionado or possesses both a historical and visual esthetic will undoubtedly praise this book. As an avid reader, my personal tastes usually don’t allow me to get lost in the minutiae of history and yet Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour kept me rapt from cover to cover.

If you believe “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” you will soon discover that this, meaning girls only, was certainly not the case throughout history. Diamond Jewelry proved to be one of those glorious reading experiences that afford a reader both the visual and mental stimulation that few books of this genre can boast.