Make some room on the coffee table. There’s a new batch of jewelry books just waiting to be showcased, starting with Chanel: High Jewelry, a truly dazzling deep-dive into the history of Chanel’s most iconic pieces. To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the fashion house’s first-ever fine jewelry collection — which was designed by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1932, when the London Diamond Corporation called on the founder to give diamonds a new image and, in turn, reinvigorate the high jewelry market — authors Julie Levoyer and Agnès Muckensturm present a stunning journey through the brand’s archives in Chanel High Jewelry.
Brimming with photographs taken by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Patrick Demarchelier, and Mario Testino, as well as sketches and illustrations that depict the creativity and craftsmanship behind each work of art, the book is, quite simply, a high-fashion lover’s dream. (It’s bound to leave readers dreaming about shopping for a new sparkler or two of their own; don’t say we didn’t warn you). Among the treasures spotlighted, standouts include the 1932 Constellation du Lion necklace, a majestic piece that was inspired by Chanel’s zodiac sign (Leo) and went on to become a signature motif of the brand; the Plume brooch from 2010’s feather-focused “Plumes de Chanel” collection; and the 55.55 necklace from 2021’s “No 5 Collection,” which celebrated the 100th anniversary of Chanel No.5 with a whopping 55.55-carat diamond at the center of its perfume bottle-shaped design.
Nothing, however, compares to what just might be Chanel’s most resonant piece of all time, which also happens to be from the house’s very first collection. Inspired by the stars in the sky for her opulent “Bijoux de Diamants” designs, Chanel brought the celestial theme to life with white and yellow diamonds mounted on platinum and yellow gold. Perhaps the most iconic item from the 1932 collection is the below Mète necklace: A game-changing open design that coiled around the neck, it allowed for movement as a shooting star leaves dazzling diamonds in its wake. Glamorous, indeed.
That first collection, at its core, was meant to give women a new kind of freedom — one where they could celebrate individuality and a world of possibility through style. Reflecting on the symbolism behind Chanel’s early jewelry designs as well as the enduring, fabulous spirit of Gabrielle Chanel herself, each of the four chapters in Chanel Fine Jewelry serves as an ode to the timeless allure of high jewelry. Page after page, it’s a diamond-filled dream — and if you can’t own these one-of-a-kind archival pieces yourself, a book about them might as well be the next best thing. Buy it here, and read on for 6 more of the best new jewelry books to check out right now.
A Bit of Universe: The Jewelry of Luz Camino
This monograph celebrating the 50th anniversary of Spanish jewelry designer Luz Camino has it all: an otherworldly galaxy set in diamonds, a jellyfish brought to life with moonstones, and colorful butterfly wings crafted from watermelon tourmaline, plus a foreword by Carolina Herrera. Over 250 incredibly detailed and innovative creations by Camino — who was the first woman in Spain to qualify as a goldsmith — are featured in this visual exploration of her most captivating work yet, inspired by everything from the cosmos to pencil shavings. Rizzoli, $85; rizzolibookstore.com
Windows at Tiffany & Co.
The new Icons Edition of this Assouline title celebrates the history of Tiffany & Co’s stunning storefront window displays at the jeweler’s New York City flagship. The updated text includes an epilogue by Christopher Young, the creative director who’s dreamed up the magical diamond-adorned displays since 2011, as well as previously unseen sketches, photos, and more. It’s a treat for anyone who enjoys window shopping, or, of course, a little blue box. Assouline, $85; assouline.com
Cartier: The Tank Watch
In his ode to Cartier’s iconic Tank watch, author Franco Cologni walks readers through the history of the timepiece dating back to its creation in 1917. From Louis Cartier’s original masterful design that remains instantly recognizable today, to more recent reinterpretations with models like the Tank Cintrée and the Tank Française, Cologni chronicles both the technical and design aspects of the Tank in a photo-packed volume. It’s a timeless read that any watch enthusiast will enjoy. Rizzoli, $85; rizzolibookstore.com
Cora Sheibani: Jewels
Known for her whimsical, delightful pieces, Cora Sheibani is celebrating 20 years of her brand in a book that features her most stunning work to date. Among her imaginative designs are a collection inspired by a Zurich café (standout pieces include a bundt cake brass ring with diamond sprinkles, a pretzel necklace, and a puff pastry brooch), cloud-shaped earrings and brooches that boast diamond raindrops, and eye-inspired pinky rings with gemstone “irises.” With colorful photos and detailed text by author William Grant, it’s a literary treat. ACC Art Books, $55; accartbooks.com
India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination
This book covers Indian fashion on the whole, but the jewels aren’t to be missed. From the importance that Indian royals placed on decorative ornaments while under colonial rule, to Chanel’s Indian-inspired costume jewels of the 1930s and Jeanne Toussaint’s “tutti frutti” designs for Cartier — not to mention, the many pieces that Indian princes commissioned from the jeweler — author Hamish Bowles shares an insightful exploration of the culture’s style traditions, accompanied by dazzling colorful photos. Rizzoli, $65; rizzolibookstore.com
Royal Oak 39: The Book
One of the most coveted watches of all time, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is a true collector’s item — and so is this volume, in which authors Paolo Gobbi and Adrea Mattioli explore the significance of the sporty yet stylish model. They trace the history of the Royal Oak back to its creation in 1972, when its steel case, octagonal bezel, and 39-millimeter dial set a new precedent for the future of watchmaking, with photos of over 100 rare iterations of the prestigious timepiece. Rizzoli, $195; rizzolibookstore.com