22 July 2019

Book Review: RUBY (2017)

Image: The Court Jeweller

As our celebration of July's birthstone continues, I've got a review of the latest addition to my personal royal jewelry library: Joanna Hardy's Ruby: The King of Gems.




Image: The Court Jeweller

The coffee-table sized book is luxurious, with a cover that feels silky and decadent, and legitimately massive, weighing in at a whopping seven pounds! The text features 368 pages of beautifully printed text and images, including super close-up views of individual rubies, showcasing their unique striations and inclusions.


Image: The Court Jeweller

The text showcases Hardy's expertise as a historian of gems and jewelry, with sections ranging from the ancient use of rubies (and spinels) to contemporary designs featuring the gemstone. There's also a lot of royal ruby content here, including familiar sets like the Mellerio Ruby Parure that belongs to the Dutch royal family and the ruby suite worn by Queen Sofia of Spain. Above, you'll see that ruby jewels belonging to French royals past are also included.


Image: The Court Jeweller

The text is informative and engaging, and the photography is quite good, ranging from full-color portraits of collectors wearing their ruby pieces to beautiful portraits of the jewels alone. Sketches and other archival images are included, too.


Image: The Court Jeweller

If you're a ruby lover, or if you're just looking for a new bejeweled coffee table book to add to your interior decor, I'd highly recommend Ruby. (Hardy also has another book devoted to emeralds that's on my to-buy list.) Amazon is currently selling it for more than 50% off the list price, if you're a buyer there, but as it's been on shelves for over a year, used copies are probably beginning to pop up on the market as well.

Note: Some links on this website are Amazon affiliate links. I put all money that I receive from these affiliate links back into materials for review on the site (including the book discussed in this post), so if you want to read more reviews, please consider purchasing items through the affiliate links in this post and throughout the site. Thanks, everybody!