I’ve been asked to recommend a good book for identifying vintage jewellery. I’m not sure there is just one which is more useful than all the others so I  thought it would be useful to put together my top ten Vintage Jewellery Books. These are in no particular order as their usefulness depends on what you are wanting to know:

Title -publisher- Author

1. Starting to Collect Antique Jewellery – John Benjamin – Antique Collectors Club

Good overview of what can be found in today’s market for items from the 18th Century to the 1920s.  Meant to be read not just a picture book


2. Antique and twentieth-century Jewellery – Vivienne Becker – NAG

A book which was recommended reading on the Retail Jewellers course I attended. Good on the history of Jewellery a few pictures


Lots of big pictures of lovely jewellery, designer profiles for main costume makers


Introductory book – perhaps a good one to start with

5. How to be a Jewelry Detective – C. Jeanenne Bell – A.D. Publishing

Examination of the detailed parts of vintage jewellery – how to test, read registration numbers. A practical but not pretty guide. Lots of information to read.

6. Collecting costume Jewellery 101 – Julia C Carroll – collectors books

In depth on designer signed costume Jewellery bit American

6a. Collecting Costume Jewelry 202 – Julia C  Carrol – collectors books

Pattern numbers, patent numbers to help you date costume Jewellery from 1935 to 1980. Not  a beginners book

7.  Collecting Victorian Jewelry – C Jeanenne Bell – KP Books

Identification guide – pricing a bit out so ignore that bit. A lot about clothing fashions and the jewellery which went with them

8. Questions and Answers about Old Jewelry – C Jeanenne Bell – KP Books

Black and white photos rather than colour which would have been more useful but lots of detailed pictures to help with dating 1840 to 1950

9.Warmans Jewelry Identification and Price Guide – C Romero – Warmans

I like this one – a good read and good pictures. Lots of silver artist made jewellery

10. Bradburys book of Hallmarks – Bradbury – Sheffield assay office

No collector of silver or gold jewellery can be without at least one good hallmark book.

I hope this helps – I have a list of more specialised Vintage Jewellery Books eg cameos, silver jewellery which I will be compiling soon.

Anne x