Jewelry of Carnet

For any gemstone lover or collector this will be a book to add to your collection.

The words above belong to master jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal (aka JAR) and, appearing as in a poem, are from the concise but evocative foreword he has written for Carnet by Michelle Ong, a forthcoming title from Thames & Hudson. Waiting till next week is just too long, but we will have to anyway.

Tourmaline with blue and pink sapphires and Amethyst

Set to publish next week, it’s required reading for the most passionate and gem-savvy of jewelry professionals, enthusiasts, and collectors. Not that there’s much text—the supersized compendium of the Hong Kong-based high jewelry designer’s work is dominated by the most luscious and luminous full-page photos of her resplendent jewels, whether it’s a pomegranate glistening with plump ruby seeds, a pair of diamond-stemmed mandarin oranges, or a carved jadeite dragon ensnared in tendrils of pink and blue sapphires and diamonds. There are several pictures from the book in this article and it is hard to choose which ones to show, after all, I have limited space.

cleopatra earrings with emeralds, diamonds and white gold

These are magnificent pieces and just when you think a gemstone has been used all it can be used in a design, we get these pieces.

Opal allure, fire opals, red spinel, orange sapphires, and yellow and white diamonds.

Even so, author Vivienne Becker’s storytelling in the book’s introduction and at the beginning of each section deftly puts all of these tantalizing images in context, explaining how Carnet—Ong’s boutique jewelry house helmed in tandem with partner and gem dealer Avi Nagar—came to be, and how the designer herself has risen to acclaim as one of the greatest names in high jewelry.

Seashell brooch, purple sapphires, emeralds and white diamonds

Becker, a noted jewelry expert, and historian and the author of many books, suggests that it has something to do with Ong’s “light and lyrical creations” beginning as a “hazy idea, somehow just beyond our grasp… turned into a superbly crafted, silkily fluid, contemporary work of art.” Get this book when it is released and add to your collection. Thank you JCK magazine for making us aware of this book.