Tag Archives: Pearls

Madrid: Museum of the Almudena Cathedral, The Treasury

Too good to give up?

You are NOT supposed to take photos in the Treasury at the Museum of the Almudena Cathedral.

But I couldn’t help taking a sneak pic of these beautiful pearl and diamond brooches. One shot was all it took to get the guards running and I wasn’t able to take any more. But a little telling off was worth it to be able to bring you this picture and this story.

Read more…

Tbilisi: Museum of Fine Arts, Treasury

The exquisite 12th century cross of Queen Tamara: front and back views

Back in the 6th century BC, when Anglo-Saxons were working in iron and bronze, Georgians were making the most extraordinary jewellery in gold. If you’re in Tbilisi you must, must, must see the superlative results of their labours.

Read more…

Belfast: traditional jewellery

Sorry about the picture, but very difficult for an amateur like me to get a good quality shot of this Belfast institution. Isn’t it a striking shop-front, though? Or maybe I just can’t resist a beautiful clock. Apparently its Edwardian and listed – and well-deservedly so.

Fred J Malcolm is slap bang in the city centre at 18 Chichester Street. And what is really striking about this shop is the sheer numbers of people who stop to look at the window display. There is no such thing as a  quiet moment here. Read more…

A riotous romp with rocks

Stoned by Aja Raden


This distinctive book makes for a fascinating read. In a heady mix of history, psychology and insider knowledge of the jewellery trade, Raden sets out “to understand history through the lens of desire”. The result is a collection of  jewellery-related historical vignettes loosely strung together along a psychological thread: why humans want, why they take and why they possess. Read more…

Journey to the centre of the Earth

Jewels: a secret history by Victoria Finlay

Are you ready for a journey to the centre of the earth? Spanning five continents and millions of years, Victoria Finlay traces the history of eight precious stones in a well written book that combines scholarship with journalistic reportage. Read more…