new from jen altman: gem and stone + cisthene

Please say hello to the new coffee table book that people will be clamoring to get in their homes. Ever since I got a sneak peek of Jen Altman’s Gem and Stone, I have been dying to see the finished piece. Last week it arrived, and it lived up to every (high) expectation I had for it.

Gem and Stone: Jewels of Earth, Sea, and Sky (Chronicle 2012) is a truly gorgeous book that looks at 50 gems ranging from peridot and amethyst to malachite and chrysocolla. Each gem is beautifully photographed by Jen and accompanied by a detailed history, chemical makeup and the various folklore associated with it. Heather Smith Jones contributed beautiful illustrations to the book that make the entire piece a work of art from start to finish. Whether you’re a gem and mineral lover like I am (obsessed) or just appreciate a beautiful (and informative) coffee table book, this one NEEDS to be on your list. I can guarantee we’re going to see this popping up in magazines, home tours and on people’s inspiration boards for a long time to come. The book is officially out on August 22nd, but until then, you can pre-order your copy right here and here.

In addition, Jen is opening an amazing new store called CISTHENE (at the end of August) that is having an early pop-up shop online today! Eighteen select pieces (including Gem and Stone) will be for sale. My favorites are the amazing silk scarves Jen made using prints from the book. I love having multiple ways of satisfying my obsessive gem fix. Click here to check out the pop-up shop and stay tuned for the grand opening later in August.

Congrats to Jen on all the exciting news! Click through after the jump to see more images from the book. xo, grace

More images from Gem and Stone after the jump . . .




  1. Frances says:

    So beautiful. No better subject for a photo book. I can’t wait to see it. Great find.

  2. Exceptional. (That Pyrite scarf?!) Pre-ordered the book without batting an eye-lash. Compliments on the shop as well!

  3. Jessica says:

    Stunning. I NEED this in my home.

  4. SURFACE SCAN says:

    The shots are so….glacial.
    Very nice on a hot summer day.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for sharing! that’s weird I am having this gemstone moment! I just bought very cute Gemstone magnet from Leif. You should check those out they are fab!

  6. Amanda says:

    Holy mackrel! As a jeweler I can say that there aren’t very many new books coming out about gemstones lately yet alone something COOL like this title.
    This will be going on my bookshelf of gemstone books for sure! Thanks!

  7. Diana says:

    Absolutely stunning! Great book to have for inspiration!

  8. anne says:

    I have never ordered something online so quickly. This looks amazing.

  9. StillWithYou says:

    As a jewelry designer myself using mainly raw untreated crystals, this books makes my heart sing! This will not work as a coffee table book, this will work as a bible!

    Thanks for sharing!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.