Hitherto published only in Dutch, the text was for a long time only accessible to a small group of people. Theo Smeets, professor at the Trier University of Applied Sciences specialising in gemstone and jewellery design, was keenly aware, however, that this is a ‘must read’ and had made great efforts during Marjan Unger’s lifetime to produce an English edition, now available in its entirety – and with her permission. In her work, she endeavours to formulate a general definition of jewellery. Yet above all she also analyses to what extent jewellery is associated across the globe with different, sometimes contrary issues: in that all human fears but also desires have, in a sense, materialised around the world as objects of adornment. This comprehensive approach aimed not least to develop a solid theoretical framework to aid the study of jewellery. Thus the text can already be seen as an outright standard reference work, indispensable for all prospective jewellery artists, and experts too will also discover while reading new perspectives on the phenomenon of jewellery.