Image: Wedding and Marriage Beads, Ethiopia. Collection Mingei International Museum, The Bead Museum Collection. Digitization made possible by Ann Craig. Photo by Tim Siegert. 2011-69-02894

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

Highlights

Choker

20th century Mexico

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

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

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 (Marangga)

unknown date Indonesia

This body ornament is an iconic representation of wealth.

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

early 20th Century Yemen

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