If These Jewels Could Talk: The Legends Behind Celebrity Gems

Image of If These Jewels Could Talk: The Legends Behind Celebrity Gems
Release Date: 
November 29, 2015
Antique Collectors Club Dist
Reviewed by: 

Ahhh, the holidays. At this time of year there is a minor flood of glossy coffee table books that deal with fine jewelry, travel, art in its many manifestations, and timepieces. Make no mistake that not all of these books are solely for visual stimulation as there are some that actually educate and entertain.

One of the great successes and joys of this season is If These Jewels Could Talk. Bernstein is a gifted storyteller who offers history, gossip, and biographical information on the jewelry itself, its various owners, and possibly even the provenance of a particularly large stone.

Another reason for this book’s exceptional qualities has to do with the individual approach taken by Bernstein in how she has attacked the subject matter and the way in which the stories are told. The general timbre of the book is almost intimate as a conversation among friends, fluid in terms of time spent chatting as well as offering the who, what, and where of the fabulously extravagant jewels.

As could be safely assumed and proven correct by most readers versed on the world of great jewelry brands and the haute joallier of each house, the usual suspects (owners) inhabit the saga but there are so many “fresh faces” that are peppered in and create a newness for even those stories and personalities that you have read about over and over again.

Along with these fresh faces, there are bits of gossip and fabulous anecdotes that accompany the exquisite photos of the jewels, which offer a great new vitality to the subjects. Unquestionably, to get the most of out of this book, it must be read even though the visuals and just the captions are quite enough to satisfy the most casual of readers. The text, if you will, sort of ices the cake.

If there is a negative to speak of here, it would be the inclusion of certain designers as well as personalities who own supposedly fabulous jewelry of this ilk and lastly some very forgettable pieces especially given the majority of what is offered. Some of the names stretch the limits of the subject, but this is minor when speaking of the totality of the book.