Jewellery houses are compiling their best pieces into coffee-table books, taking readers on a sofa-side exhibit into their finest works of art. French house Christian Dior and luxury diamond jeweller De Beers have released coffee-table books teeming with vivid photography and insight written by jewellery experts, bringing together the history and craftsmanship of their designs. Victoire de Castellane, who joined Dior as creative director of its jewellery division 14 years ago and is the only person to have held the role, is hailed as a trailblazer for bringing bold and playful design to fine jewellery. 'When I joined the company the first thing I did was go to the archives,' says de Castellane. 'The feminine spirit, the superstitious side of Monsieur Dior, his taste for gardening influenced me a lot.' Her designs revived haute joaillerie for the younger generation. Diamond-studded gothic skulls, fantastical mythical creatures and candy-coloured pieces straight from Bollywood screens are some of the pieces documented in the book, Dior Joaillerie, which is a 300-page tome to the designer and her prolific creativity. De Castellane selected the images herself and jewellery historian and gemologist Michele Heuze writes the accompanying text, giving readers an insight into the history of Dior and the designer's work. De Beers Jewellery, published by luxury publishing company Assouline, is a silk-bound homage celebrating 120 years of De Beers Diamonds. The book documents the history and power of diamonds, and their symbolic meaning, beginning with the coining of the phrase, 'a diamond is forever'. Greek and Egyptian myths surrounding diamonds are captured by jewellery critic Vivienne Becker, who then chronicles De Beers' role in creating some of the world's most iconic pieces of jewellery. Striking photography captures the brilliance of raw diamonds and contemporary works by artists such as Darren Almond help reinterpret the designs into artworks. Jennie Farmer, global communications director at De Beers, says the book brings to life the mystery and magical presence surrounding diamonds. 'The book fuses the diamond's dualities of science and poetry and melds its rich history and long traditions with the contemporary creativity of De Beers,' she says. Many of the jeweller's celebrated pieces appear in the book including the iconic Talisman collection, which pioneered a modern era of rough diamonds in high-end jewellery. Compiled by Becker and De Beers' own experts and designers, the book reminds readers why De Beers is one of the world's most celebrated diamond jewellers.