The Museum’s 3,000-piece jewelry collection features examples of embossing, chasing, repoussé, and engraving.

Whether a gift from a suitor, part of a dowry, or a symbol of wealth and power, a piece of jewelry carries with it inherent messages that can be private or public.

Highlights

Choker thumbnail

Choker

20th century
Mexico

This exquisite necklace, featuring jelly jade, recalls Spratling’s work and shows his influence in the Taxco region.

Necklace, <em>Penca de Balangandan</em> thumbnail

Necklace, Penca de Balangandan

Late 19th century - early 20th century
Brazil

This necklace includes charms collected given by wealthy suitors, the more charms acquired the more valuable her collection became.

Belt, Five Arctic Shamans with Spirit Helpers in the Act of Transformation thumbnail

Belt, Five Arctic Shamans with Spirit Helpers in the Act of Transformation

1988
United States

Indigenous Alaskan jewelry artist Denise Wallace uses the scrimshaw technique to carve into fossilized ivory and set ink into the grooves.

Pectoral (<em>Marangga</em>) thumbnail

Pectoral (Marangga)

unknown date
Indonesia

This body ornament is an iconic representation of wealth.

Married Woman's Pendant Braid Ornament thumbnail

Married Woman's Pendant Braid Ornament

c. 1800
Turkmenistan

This ornament was worn by being attached to a woman’s hair or headdress as one component of an elaborate jewelry ensemble.

Necklace with Pendant thumbnail

Necklace with Pendant

early 20th Century
Yemen

This particular necklace employs granulation—the addition of tiny decorative metal balls onto the surface to create visual interest.

More Collections

All that glitters...

In need of some retail therapy? Visit The Collectors’ Gallery, the Museum's store, there is always something beautiful to try on, touch, read or simply admire.

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