Books & Films


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Raden is the senior designer of the Los Angeles jewelry company Tacori. According to her author profile on Amazon “her expertise sits at the intersection of academic history, industry experience, and scientific perspective.” At the University of Chicago, she studied ancient history and physics while also working at The House of Kahn as the Head of Auction Division. The research for this project draws upon the diversity of the author’s experience as it focuses around her life-long passion for jewels and jewelry. This is her attempt to link the various disciplines of her profession and studies.

Motivating issues for the research of this title include:

· Connections of mind and beauty.

· Symbolism of objects.

· The effects of desire on the history of civilization.

The pop culture appeal of this writing lends itself to consideration of the politics of value systems and the ways in which desire and power are shaped through symbolic representation. This title has the potential to encourage readers to question their motivations and think seriously about, as the author states in the introduction to Part IV, “how mankind’s obsession with beauty and our endless pursuit of precious jewels and whatever we deem scarce or valuable has led, not only to violence and chaos but to surprising developments in science and in social infrastructure” (271). Although the scope of this book does not directly reach issues of environmental impact, the author does touch on animal rights/vegan issues through a conversation about pearls, and many of the concepts of this book could be applied to other aspects of the fashion industry such as fur, leather, and ivory.