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Little Gems

Hair jewellery on display
Hair jewellery on display

Hair jewellery on show

The "Little Gems" bulletin board is filled with weird and wonderful snippets about the world of jewellery.
Hair jewellery on show

A collection of Victorian jewellery made from human hair between 1840 and 1880 was recently part of an exhibition at a Texas museum.

Hair jewellery was popular during the Victorian era, bestowed as symbols of love or friendship, or worn to remember a late relative. According to the museum, the trend apparently originated with the art of Swedish hair plaiting and was made stylish by Scandinavian craftswomen in Europe, who created embroidered landscapes of hair. 

Over time, the weaving styles became more intricate, with pearls and jewels added.

Brooches, necklaces and bracelets were fashioned from hair, and experienced increased popularity when Queen Victoria presented a bracelet of her own hair to the Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III.

All pieces of display were handmade and professionally crafted.

Usher’s jewellery stolen 

US pop singer Usher was recently the victim of a car burglary in which more than $US1 million in jewellery, furs and electronics was stolen from his vehicle. 

According to reports, Usher parked his car near a shopping mall in Atlanta on December 14, when the theft took place.

A witness claimed to see a man emerging from another car to open the door to the pop star’s SUV. Police are still investigating.

Unwanted jewellery to aid homeless pets

The RSPCA Animal Centre in Birmingham, UK recently ran a charity appeal that involved people donating their unwanted jewellery to help homeless pets. 

Local families who participated had their old gold and silver jewellery and scraps recycled for cash, and turned into a donation for the animal shelter.

Neanderthals first to wear jewellery? 

A recent discovery has revealed that Neanderthals may have had the first cognitive thinking required to see the beauty in jewellery. 

Professors at Bristol University, England have been studying marine shells found in the Murcia province of south-east Spain that feature pigment stains and perforations indicating they may have been pendants. 

According to a report on, jewellery and body ornamentation is traditionally accepted by archaeologists as evidence of modern behaviour, indicating “symbolic thought” among early humans, but this is the first time such thought has been linked to Neanderthals.

GIA to relocate to International Gem Tower

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently announced that it would relocate its New York laboratory to the new International Gem Tower (IGT) – currently under construction in New York City.

GIA will purchase an entire floor.

The International Gem Tower will be New York City’s only commercial building designed specifically for the international diamond, gem and jewellery trade. It is set for completion in 2012.

Sex and the City jewellery 

A new jewellery collection inspired by the latest Sex and the City movie has been created with official licence from the HBO network.

Dogeared Jewels and Gifts designed the collection of charms to represent themes from the series, and shapes include a diamond, a stiletto and the Eiffel Tower.

Prosecutor: super-model received blood diamond 

War crimes prosecutors have alleged that former Liberian president Charles Taylor gave a “blood diamond” to supermodel Naomi Campbell following a dinner in South Africa in 1997.

Charged with several counts of war crimes including the use of child soldiers to support rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone, and the trade of weapons for diamonds, Taylor is on trial in an international court in the Netherlands.

During the trial, prosecutor Brenda Hollis alleged that Taylor had given a “blood diamond” to Campbell following the VIP dinner.

The diamond was among gems given to Taylor so that he could purchase arms for the Sierra Leone rebels from South African armament manufacturers.

“Bling ring” goes to court 

A group of six Hollywood youths have appeared in court, charged with stealing jewellery and other valuables from the homes of stars including Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. 

Prosecutors claimed that the “Bling Ring” cased celebrity houses on the internet before robbing them.

In total, the gang is believed to have bagged more than $US3m worth of loot, mainly jewellery.

The group has appeared in an LA court for preliminary hearings on the evidence against them, according to a Guardian report.

Police said the Bling Ring used gossip websites and tabloid magazines to check what jewellery the victims were wearing. 

Golden Globes jewellery 

Red-carpet jewellery at the recent 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards was both classic and surprising, according to National Jeweler.

Golden Globe winner Sandra Bullock wore grey-diamond earrings and a white and yellow diamond and blackened-gold ring. 

Nicole Kidman wore a 19th-century diamond bow brooch with diamond and emerald bracelets.

Winner Toni Collette wore diamond and platinum drop earrings, diamond and platinum bracelets, and three coloured diamond and platinum rings.

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