Sourcing

Jewelry Expert Helen Molesworth to Release First Book

SourcingJun 20, 2024

Jewelry Expert Helen Molesworth to Release First Book

“Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time” will be available on Sept. 17.

Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time
Helen Molesworth’s new book, “Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time,” is a blend of gemology, history, pop culture, and her own story.
New York—Gemologist and jewelry expert Helen Molesworth has penned a new book, set to release this fall.

“Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time,” is a blend of gemology, world history, pop culture, and memoir. 

The book traces gems from ancient Egyptian records and “forgotten hiding spots” to the high-stakes auctions of today, according to Random House Publishing Group’s Ballantine Books. 

Molesworth, who currently works as the senior jewelry curator at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, has also been a professor of jewelry history at HEAD, an art and design school in Geneva, as well as managing director of the Gübelin gem academy in Hong Kong. 

She spent 10 years as a jewelry specialist for Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London, where she led the sale of Princess Margaret’s private jewelry collection in 2006, as well as in Geneva, where she was responsible for “business-getting” for biannual multi-million-dollar Magnificent Jewels sales. 

Throughout her time with the auction houses, she handled, researched, and valued many world-class gems and important collections.  

In the book, she dives into the history of important gems—some of which she has personally handled—such as the Cheapside Hoard Emerald, the Graff Ruby, the Poltimore Tiara, and the Cullinan Diamond, among others. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

The narrative also includes stories of famous pieces, such as Lady Diana’s famous blue sapphire, Jackie Kennedy’s pearls, the curse of the Hope Diamond, and more. 

“Beautifully written and superbly interesting, Helen Molesworth tells a compelling, global story of gems—their unending allure and continuing impact on human history,” said Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.  

Having travelled extensively to gem shows and mine sites across the world, Molesworth also weaves the tales of her own travels into the book. She recounts her journeys to African diamond mines, Colombian emerald mines, and the sapphire-rich rivers of Sri Lanka. 

While Molesworth has co-authored and published several works throughout her career, “Precious” is her first book for general readers. 

The hardcover is $30, and it will be available for purchase on Sept. 17. 

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