Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World

Book - 2015
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An account of how eight jewels shaped the course of history shares insights into the role of precious gemstones in triggering cultural movements, political dynasties, and wars, while exploring how jewels reflect darker aspects of human nature
Publisher: New York : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2015
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780062334695
Characteristics: xii, 356 pages, 8 unnumbered pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm


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Sep 16, 2019

Stoned- a delightful romp through history with gems, conquest, vanity, geography, and regency as tools to explore humans' obsession with things that sparkle.
"Apparently the only thing more devastating to your brain than thinking you can't have something is the knowledge that -someone else can- ."

Jan 24, 2018

Greed, envy, & how to sell a good story on Jewellery affected economics, states & kings.
Angered that DeBeers used artificial scarcity to prop up billion dollar industry.
Chuckled that diamond will slowly turn back to graphite, it goes "poof!" by fire & it could be shattered by a hammer. Hard, but brittle. Just ask author's father as a kid on grandmother's ring.
I'm shocked that plot of James Bond 1983 Octopussy movie of selling fake Faberges to raise hard currency was actually done by Soviet union in 1920s & 1930s thanks to Armand Hammer so called "citizen diplomat" aka soviet agent & international fencer.
Went hmm on wristwatch were ridiculed by pocket watch industry as effeminate just like people on smartphone early adopters. Took Boer & World war I to change attitudes.

TheBookWitch Aug 16, 2017

A fascinating insight into why humans value pretty gems. From the beads that bought Manhattan, to the necklace that Marie Antionette didn't want anything to do with, to the modern wristwatch - this books covers such a wide range of subjects in a really accessible manner. A thoroughly enjoyable read, and I feel so much wiser now! The only thing that would have made it better would have been more photos. I feel I needed to have a lovely big coffee table book of jewellery as a companion volume.

Jan 09, 2017

Fascinating read with a swirling mix geology, history, and psychology all centered on gems and jewelry, and the human desire to possess them.


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