April Book Review by Adrienne Shivers
Title: Collectible Silver Jewelry - Identification and Value Guide
Author: Fred Rezazadeh
General description: This book focuses on silver jewelry, and is organized by country of origin, as opposed to by date or era. It's got a little bit of historical and a bit of technical info, but for the most part, its mission is to cover as many makers in as many countries as possible. Lots of pictures and a fairly wide range of type of jewelry, style and eras.
This review will cover several categories and will include a rating for that category 1-10, 1 being 'forget it, 10 being 'must have'. There will also be a short comment about each category and then a general review at the end.
QUANTITY of PICTURES:
Comments: Not only a lot of jewelry pictures, but a lot of pictures of marks as well, which is helpful.
QUALITY of PICTURES:
Comments: all the pictures of the jewelry is in color and really nice quality if not a little small in many cases. Very few back pictures, but lots of marks close-ups.
QUANTITY of INFORMATION
Comments: This book covers a LOT. My only complaint is that it's almost too packed. There's a little info about a lot of things. As opposed to a lot of info about just a few things. The upside is you get coverage of countries not really covered in any other book, such as Peruvian jewelry, and Middle Eastern Jewelry. The downside is it can be overwhelming and you tend to mostly just sift through, the info is harder to absorb, there's just so much covered.
QUALITY of INFORMATION
Comments: I haven't found any errors, but I haven't read every page. It is a LOT. I do find whole groups of picture examples missing, which is surprising considering how much he packed into this book. For example, there's very few pictures of Zuni jewelry in the Native American section and in the United States section, he's lumped all eras together, mixing Retro with mid century modern, with naturalistic, etc. It would have been better to see sub categorized by era. Also, he has a lot of some makers and not anything of others, so though he mentions the makers in that section, he doesn't have examples of pieces I'd expect to see in a book of this scope.
Comments: Values are on the low side, as compared to other books, for the most part. In fact, I find many values on the low side for current market trends as well. Mexican values are particularly out of whack, but he's better on the Scandinavian. US are too low on some pieces, for example a Mazer sterling valued at $65-95. That's definitely on the low side.
Comments: Very fairly easy to follow, really well organized as a whole, not as well organized within the chapters. The list of marks within each country are alphabetized, but the pictures are hodgepodge, and you have to read the entire little description to figure out who made what. A sub-title and sub-categories would have been more user-friendly. The layout is also a little confusing, there's a lot of pictures on each page, it can be overwhelming.
Total average rating: 7.42
I really like this book despite some of it's layout flaws. I use it frequently, especially for silver pieces not covered in other more specific books. It's a great book for people without much experience in silver, as there are just so many examples. And, it's a really good all around reference, since it covers so many topics. There's aren't many books devoted to silver, and this one covers the most territory. If you can get only 1 book on silver this would be it.
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