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21 museums for jewelry lovers

21 museums for jewelry lovers

1) Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

More than 40 centuries of jewelry history – the MET boasts a vast collection of a couple of thousands of pieces of jewelry, from ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian pieces dating back to 20th centuries B.C. to the works by Lalique and Tiffany (20th century). Jewelry, jewelry elements and boxes – the best place to go if you want to grasp the history of this art at one place.

Before going to the museum you can check in advance on the MET’s site the numbers of the galleries where the pieces are presented.

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R.Lalique

2) The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C., USA)

This museum has a great collection of famous stones, such as earrings of Marie Antoinette or Napoleon diamond necklace.

Photograph of the Napoleon diamond necklace (G5019) mounted

There are special galleries – Gemstone Collector’s Gallery, Tiffany Gallery, The Allure of Pearls and others. Aside from the jewels of the rich and powerful people throughout all human history I found interesting this unique object – the earliest known shell beads, dating back to 82 000 years ago.

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3) Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Pittsburgh, USA)

Carnegie Museum has a gallery fully dedicated to jewels. Wertz Gallery: Gems & Jewelry is a 2,000-square-foot addition to Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems dedicated to gems, the crystals from which they come, and jewelry comprised of these precious stones. Wertz Gallery opened in 2007 as part of a year-long expansion and renovation of Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. The expanded gallery gives the collection its own space and many new gems and pieces of jewelry that have never been on exhibit are on display. Approximately 500 gems, crystals, jewelry and other pieces of gem art are on display in the permanent collection of Wertz Gallery. In addition, Wertz Gallery also hosts special exhibitions from collectors around the world.

The current exhibition is called “Small Wonders” (about cryptocrystalline quartz), but my attention was more attracted by the previous one – “Out of This World! Jewelry in the Space Age”. You can give a glance to the objects at the museum’s site.

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Designed by Van Cleef & Arpels

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Designed by Pol Bury

4) Louvre (Paris, France)

Louvre is, first of all, the place to look for the French Crown Jewels. But it also has ancient pieces from Egypt and Rome. The site of the museum presents a selection of some beautiful jewelry objects.

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5) Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA)

From ancient Egyptian broadcollars to contemporary studio jewelry, the MFA has an exciting collection of jewelry from almost every culture.

Pay attention, a new exhibition “Past Is Present: Revival Jewelry” will be presented from February 14, 2017 up to August 19, 2018.

Whether copying or choosing motifs to reinterpret, jewelers have always looked to the past for inspiration. The practice became popular in the 19th century, as designers like Castellani, Giacinto Melillo and Eugene Fontenay began reviving examples of ancient ornaments, newly unearthed in archaeological excavations. Examine more than 4,000 years of jewelry history through about 70 objects—both ancient and revival—tracing the revival movement from the 19th to the 21st centuries. The exhibition focuses on four types—archaeological, Classical, Egyptian, and Renaissance. Highlights include a 1924 brooch, on loan from Cartier, paired with an Egyptian winged scarab (740–660 BC) with a similar design; an 1850s embellished gold brooch by Castellani; a Renaissance revival neck ornament (1900–04) designed for Tiffany & Co.; a 1980s Bulgari necklace adorned with Macedonian coins; and a 2002 Akelo pendant that emulates an ancient Etruscan granulation technique.

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Designed by G. Paulding Farnham for Tiffany & Co.

6) Gemological Institute of America (Carlsbad, CA, USA)

There are 12 exhibitions currently ongoing. Among them “Variations on a Theme: 25 Years of Design from the AJDC”, “Zoltan David Jewelry” and others.

Note, that the museum is opened to the public by appointment only.

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Designed by Zoltan David

7) Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (San Francisco, USA)

This museum, aside from a vast collection of ancient Asian arts and crafts features many adornment pieces.

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8) Museum of Arts and Design (New York, USA)

MAD champions contemporary makers across creative fields, presenting artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work. The museum boasts a great collection of jewelry and often features jewelry exhibitions. Around 95% of the collection is available online, you can check out to inspire to visit in real!

Besides, MAD organizes Annual Exhibition and Sale of Contemporary Art Jewelry. In 2016 it was in April.

BTW, I like the nme of the museum! MAD & jewelry – that works well together!

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9) The Victoria & Albert Museum (London, England)

The V&A has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of jewellery in the world. Over 3,000 jewels tell the story of jewellery in Europe from ancient times to the present day.

Collection is presented online, as well.

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10) Jewel House, Tower of London (London, England)

The Crown Jewels, part of the Royal Collection and still regularly used by The Queen, include some of the most extraordinary diamonds in the world. It is not only jewels, it is the history!

For example, the most famous diamond in the Crown Jewels, the 105.6 carat Koh-i-Noor diamond is set today in the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1937). It is said to be unlucky for men to wear this diamond as it has a long and bloody history. This legendary diamond, originating in the Golconda mines in central southern India, has passed through the hands of conquering Mughal princes, Iranian warriors, Afghan rulers and Punjabi Maharajas before coming to Britain as the spoils of Empire. The Koh-i-Noor, (meaning ‘Mountain of Light’ in Persian), was surrendered in 1849 to Queen Victoria’s representatives following the Anglo-Sikh wars in the Punjab.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's Crown

11) National Jewelry Museum of Iran (Tehran, Iran)

The Jewelry Museum of Iran is located inside the Central Bank of Iran, on Ferdowsi Avenue. It is the world’s largest state owned collection of displayed jewels. The items were collected by the Iranian monarchy from the 16th century and moved to state ownership in 1937.

Make sure you don’t miss the Darya-ye Nur (Sea of Light), a pink diamond weighing 182 carats and said to be the largest uncut diamond in the world!

iran

12) The Imperial Treasury (Kaiserliche Schatzkammer) (Vienna, Austria)

In the oldest part of the Imperial Hofburg Palace (13th century) you will find not only the Emperor’s Crown of the Holy Roman Empire (circa 962) and the Austrian Emperor’s Crown (1602), but also the Burgundian Treasure from the fifteenth century and the Treasure of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

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13) The Kremlin Armory Chamber (Moscow, Russia)

The Armoury Chamber, a treasure-house, is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex. It was established in 1808 and is one of the oldest museums of Moscow. The museum collections were based on the precious items that had been preserved for centuries in the tsars’ treasury and the Patriarch’s vestry. Some of the exhibits were made in the Kremlin’s workshops, others were accepted as ambassadorial gifts.

The Armoury Chamber preserves ancient state regalia, ceremonial tsar’s vestments and coronation dress, vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church’s hierarchs, the largest collection of gold and silverware by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial weapons and arms, carriages, horse ceremonial harness. The State Armoury presents more than four thousands items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the 4th – early 20th centuries.

The museum includes the Diamond Fund, a large and unique collection of gems and jewelry, as well as natural unhandled nuggets. Some of the items on display are the Orlov Diamond (a famous 189.62 carats (37.924 g) diamond), the Imperial Crown of Russia, the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible, a collection of 10 Fabergé eggs, and much more.

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14) Swarovski Crystal Worlds (Wattens, Austria)

Swarovski Crystal Worlds was opened in 1995 to mark the centennial anniversary of the company’s founding. Multimedia artist André Heller designed a unique and magical place. This beloved attraction has brought moments of wonder to over thirteen million visitors from all around the world. Visitors are surprised, touched, and perhaps even transformed by crystal in all its facets.

This museum is something special. You simply need to see.

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swarovski

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15) Diamond Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

The Diamond Museum has a very rich permanent collection consisting of world famous pieces, such as the Katana, the Rembrandt Diamond and of course The Ape Skull. Classical as well as contemporary pieces.

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16) Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Birmingham, England)

In this museum you can discover the story of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.  Hundreds of pieces from the hoard are on show, along with hands-on displays exploring how these intriguing items were used, before they were buried some 1400 years ago. Visitors can find out about the exquisite craftsmanship used to create the items in the hoard, and learn how the designs of the objects can be linked to many regions across Europe.

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17) Chicago Art Institute (Chicago, USA)

Art Institute of Chicago features a rich collection of jewelry pieces and designs for jewelry.

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Alexander Calder, 1940

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Christian Engelbrecht (German, 1672-1735)
after Friedrich Jacob Morisson (German, active 1693-1697)

Designs for Jewelry, before 1697

18) The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (New York, USA)

The jewelry collection refers to the Product Design and Decorative Arts department of the museum. Overall this duratory department features over 28,455 objects, many pieces of jewelry among them.

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19) The Morse Museum (L.C. Tiffany) (Orlando (FL), USA)

The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall.

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20) The Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

The Hermitage Diamond Room is a breathtaking museum, famous for priceless gems that used to belong to the Romanov family as well as diplomatic gifts to Russian court. The Diamond Rooms showcase masterpieces of Russian and European jewelry art and private family collections, as well as pieces of church art and some works by Fabergé. It is an absolutely fascinating collection of snuff-boxes, watches, pendants, pins, mirrors, earrings, rings, bracelets and medallions, decorated with precious stones. Numerous royal gifts and a fabulous collection of Western European jewellery crafted by the most prominent jewellers of the time!

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When you go there, don’t miss Hermitage cats! Around 70 animals are residing at the museum. This tradition dates back to the 18th century.

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21) Providence Jewelry Museum (Cranston (RI), USA)

The PJM is dedicated to preserving the history of American Jewelry. From famous designers to unknown artisans, the collection and archive encompasses all works from America’s jeweled past.

The City of Providence is the birth place of the American jewelry industry and home to some of America’s greatest artisans. By 1890, there were more than 200 firms with almost 7,000 workers in Providence. A demand for inexpensive jewelry and a growing immigrant labor force fueled that growth for another 100 years. By the 1960s, trade magazines were calling Providence “the jewelry capital of the world.”

This nonprofit museum, with an office in Providence, houses a big part of the state’s industrial past: 50 Providence-made machines, 200 pieces of jewelry and 20,000 company samples spanning more than two centuries of jewelry making.

Opened by appointment only.

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Information and photos are taken from the official resources of the museums

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