Today I took a short course about jewellery at my favourite museum in London, the Victoria & Albert Museum. Talk about bling - I got to handle some gems that would make any gansta rapper say 'daayaam!'
I learned a few practical tips for caring for your own sparklies:
a. most metals can be cleaned simply with mild soap and water, away from a drainhole of course, and even a bit of saliva will do!
b. do not store your metals and gems in oak or beech boxes - the gases from the woods will ruin them eventually. Instead store them in something polyester or in special bags you can purchase at jewellery shops.
Did you know:
That even real gold tarnishes?
That pearls do not get shinier with more wear?
That most rubies are naturally a purplish colour but are heated to give it the pink/red shine we normally see in the shops?
Don't quote me on these since I can barely decipher my handwriting from the notes I took and I have an awful memory. Check the V&A jewellery website for more info.
If you are ever in London and want to see some of the most beautiful jewellery ever made, then come to the V&A. The William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery is absolutely stunning. Below are a few of my favourite pieces. They aren't really my style, meaning I wouldn't seriously wear any of them, but I appreciate their history and they sure are fun to look at.
Brooch Gold and enamel brooch in the shape of a flower and hornet / Designed by Charles Desrosiers / Made by Georges Fouquet Paris, France1901
Pendant with ship / Aachen, about 1860 / Made by Reinhold Vasters (1827-1919) and Alfred André (1839-1919) Gold with enamel and pearls
Bodice ornament / Probably England, about 1850 / Brilliant-cut and rose-cut diamonds set in gold
Top of entry / Breast ornament / Probably France, about 1620-30 / Gold with enamel and table-cut and faceted point-cut diamonds