The story of the purchase of Manhattan is one of the most contentious and oft-disputed stories in American history. That modest sale has gone down in history as the biggest swindle ever perpetrated.... But what may be the most surprising fact about the whole transaction is that in 1626, and for a long time afterward, both parties were very happy with it.The complexities of navigating the economics of desire, an excerpt from Aja Raden's Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World [Amazon].
Become a tattoo. Be a pencil. Reside in a creepy 3-D bust. These are some of the things you can do with your cremated remains.
Australian writer Marise Williams' essay "Mourning Half Begun" begins with "I’m thinking of having my cat stuffed when she dies,"† proceeds through Barthes, Sontag and the OED and arrives at the taxidermy work of artist Julia deVille. [more inside]
Secret Wood, a Vancouver-based design studio, makes wood and resin rings that look like tiny forests and landscapes: snowy woods; misty woods; trees under a midnight sky; an underwater plantscape.
In the Daily Dot, Jaya Saxena profiles Stimtastic, a company that sells jewelry and toys for adults with autism who engage in stimming, or self-stimulatory behavior. People with autism are often encouraged to suppress these behaviors, which include rocking, hand-flapping, and humming, among many, many other things. Stimtastic's products do the opposite: they provide opportunities to stim. Founder Cynthia Kim, who also runs the blog Musings of an Aspie, says that “[m]y goal for Stimtastic and for the products we sell is to help adults and teens who stim feel not just comfortable but celebrated.” [more inside]
Jewelry ad starring Gwyneth Paltrow, or the greatest and most enigmatic 2-minute horror suspense film of our time? Tumblr user rave sashayed thinks it's the latter. [more inside]
April 2015: The vault at the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit of London's Diamond district is ransacked by thieves. They score an estimated £14 to £35 million in cash, jewels and other valuables. The media calls it "the greatest heist in British history" and speculates about the acrobatic feats the gang must have used. London’s newspapers are filled with artists’ renderings of the heist, featuring hard-bodied burglars in black turtlenecks doing superhuman things. Experts insist that a foreign team of navy-SEAL-like professionals must have masterminded the theft. Nope. [more inside]
How Many Men Did The Golden Girls Sleep With, Exactly? Refinery 29 claims to have tallied up the numbers. (A quick summary courtesy of Jezebel.) [more inside]
I came by my own dishonest trade honestly. By the time I was sixteen, I had been kicked out of high school three or four times—I never managed to graduate—and my mother, fed up, sent me down to Texas to live with my older brother, who had recently been released from prison. He was briefly Calgary’s most successful cocaine importer, before getting busted and sent off to Spy Hill, and he had found employment as a sales manager for a hugely successful jewelry store owned by a brilliant, wildly charismatic man named Ronnie Cooper.- Clancy Martin (previously) in Lapham's Quarterly
Beautiful jewelry from Japan's Albion Art [note: autoplaying music] with high resolution pictures and information. Start in Mesopotamia and scroll through to the 1930s or use the Age List on the right to find your favorite era. [more inside]
"Even my own diamond-business owning, non-millennial father is turning away from jewelry when it comes to gift giving. Sure, he’s made my mom a handful of statement pieces over the years, but at the same price point, he’s more likely to gift something that has actual purpose, aside from aesthetic value. The last few birthdays and Christmases have yielded vacation getaways, iPhones of every generation, even a smart home thermostat. What hasn’t shown up under the Christmas tree in the last five years? Diamond anything."
Fordite, also known as Motor Agate or Detroit Agate, is a relic from the old technique for painting cars: spray enamel paint and bake it on, layer after layer, car after car. The resulting overspray on the tracks and skids that carried the cars and parts would build up over time, and eventually need to be removed to allow everything to move smoothly. That enamel waste product is now valued to make colorful jewelry, seen here, here and here. This spray enamel process is outdated, with electro coating (or more formally, electrophoretic deposition) prevailing as a much more efficient process. Sure, it looks modern, but where's the fun in it?
The Vikings, pillagers and plunderers that they were, were the possessors of quite a bit of metal that needed to be used in some way. So they made jewelry. By the 8th century they had created a technique that is called trichinopoly or more commonly "Viking knitting", although it is really a type of weaving. If the Viking style of adornment appeals to you, you can learn this technique and make your own Viking-style jewelry. It's less complicated than it looks, and you don't even have to know how to knit in order to learn. You can learn to make a necklace or bracelet like this with this tutorial, or by watching a YouTube video. Once you master the basic technique, you'll be able to start improvising by adding beads and findings and semi-precious stones. It's possible that such jewelry was used as currency on those occasions when the Vikings actually paid for their acquisitions, like some sort of wearable bank account. Ostentatious types, those Vikings, but I suppose when you're known for your ferocity and lawlessness, you don't have to fear being mugged or looking nouveau riche.
Looking to print your own house, jewelry or dessert? Then check out Engadget's Consumer Guide to 3D printers.
It's Tiara Thursday at The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, where each week the provenance & history of a different royal tiara is highlighted. You could start browsing from top 15 readers' favorite tiaras or the top 10 ultimate tiara collection, featuring such sparkly as the Danish Ruby Parure Tiara and the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara. [more inside]
Remarked by her contemporary Coco Chanel as "That Italian artist who makes clothes" Elsa Schiaparelli (New Yorker - Janet Flanner) bought Surrealism to fashion. She was one of the most influential creators of Parisian haute couture in the era between the two World Wars. [more inside]
Sandusky, Ohio is probably best known for its roller coasters (and maybe the wineries in the area), but one of the most interesting places--a tiny little island in the Sandusky Bay called Johnson's Island--is very often overlooked. Once the home of a prison camp for confederate soldiers, daring (and not so daring) escapes, convoluted espionage schemes, poetry, and eating rats. [more inside]
Tuesday at Christie's, Elizabeth Taylor's collection of jewelry brought $115.8 million most of it earmarked for her AIDS and other charities. [more inside]
Cedric Laquieze is a sculptor specializing in unusual creatures like fairy flowers and goddesses made from organic materials.
Melanie Bilenker documents quiet moments in a unique way. Precious metals, ebony and epoxy resin are the canvas, and human hair is the material used to delicately capture life's simpler things. [more inside]
When athletes are in financial trouble, they often go to high end pawn shops to get money.
Clancy Martin is the chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also an unabashed liar, a recovering alcoholic, and was once suicidal. He's surprisingly honest, and has written extensively about all three of these things. Prior to becoming a professor, he dropped out of grad school, made a small fortune in the murky world of luxury jewelry sales, and nearly became the world's leading dealer of counterfeit Fabergé eggs along the way. He occasionally writes an advice column about lying, and even wrote a few books about it. [more inside]
Super style simply strikes you? Jeweler nOir teamed up with DC Comics for a line of sparkly Superhero accessories. Wear Gotham city as a ring or just beat Diana at her own game.
On the 18th June 1912 workmen burst through the floorboards of a disused London tenement at 30-32 Cheapside and discovered "Probably the most remarkable find ever recovered from British soil." The stock of an early Stuart goldsmith - the most astonishing array of precious and semi-precious stones from around the world - hidden c.1630, The Cheapside Hoard is the finest collection of Elizabethan jewellery in the world. [more inside]
In her new book, Read My Pins, Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright reflects on choosing jewelry as a means of sending diplomatic messages.
Between 1885 and 1917, Peter Carl Fabergé and his assistants created 105 jeweled eggs, only 69 of which survive. They are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art. The Rothschild egg is the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction.
Scar Necklaces. When people ask me what my necklace is, I simply say “It’s my scar.” There is something very powerful about celebrating something that to many is ugly, and should be forgotten.
The magic of beadcraft and jewelry-making, brought to you in four parts by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The results can be purchased from her website, with all the proceeds going to Operation Family Fund, a charity which has raised over $1,700,000 for families of soldiers wounded or killed in the Global War On Terrorism. The series is notable for its complete lack of moralizing or comments on a relevant family controversy-- seriously, this is really just about beads, people!
Theives bypassed all security systems by simply posing as the security company on the phone These days as a robber dealing with high-tech security systems it seems that it's not about being a hacker or having loads of money to pull off a heist, its about making a phone call, having bear spray, and waiting for a guard to go on smoke break. [more inside]
The Maria Theresa Thaler (or MTT), a coin first minted in 1741 and continuously to this day, remained legal tender in parts of the Arabian peninsula as late as 1970, where it was much prized both as a coin and for jewelry [magazine article] Incredibly important for trade between Europe and the Middle East, the MTT had a great impact on history. For more information turn to Maria Theresa's Thaler: A case of international money an indepth article about the MTT by Adrian Tschoegl.
You talked to her father, prepared a YouTube worthy proposal, gathered all your courage.... and she said no. How will your life go on? And what are you going to do with the ring? Enter I Do... Now I Don't, an auction site that caters to broken-hearted lovers such as you. Started by a fellow who has been there. Buy if you dare. Via
Scientific esthetics- Made With Molecules. Some classy, some trashy, and some just plain cute. [more inside]
Electronic, animated tattoos [scroll down to video, which is nsfw]. The latest body jewelry, Skintile Electronic Sensing Jewelry. [more inside]
Things Gone By is an antique jewelry dealer specializing in the category of "mourning jewelry"; items worn in memory of the dead, usually involving locks of their hair & other materials. The mourning items are not limited to jewelry, as they also feature a gallery of mourning artwork, again made with the hair of the beloved deceased.
Grass rings, lace rings, rock rings, bunny rings...The Carrotbox has month after month of posts about odd and unusual rings. Alice is allergic to metal so focuses in her own collection on "glass, lucite, resin, plastic, jade, wood, bakelite and even stone — anything, as long as it's not metal!" She even provides a timeline of plastic history. [via FunForever]
Surreal Barbie and Ken jewelry art by Margaux Lange. Previously (but her work and site have evolved since then). While in China, voodoo dolls have been banned and immediately became a jewelry/accessory craze.
Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Brooch. These insects come in varied patterns and are decorated with the finest Austrian Swarovski crystal... All roaches are male to ensure sterility, and come complete with a leash set. People step on these things or feed them to other animals. We're giving them this really fabulous, beautiful life. Allegedly inspired by a joke. Product specimen shown in action here.
My post-mortem to-do checklist, so far: 1. Study marine biology. 2. Accessorize my hot, wealthy widow. 3. Relay a few spooky telegrams to my spooky new friends. 4. Try to look as suspicious as possible. And that's even before rigor mortis sets in!
The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver has an extensive online gallery featuring Artist Biographies and inspiration for many of the pieces. It focuses on First Nations art, sculpture, and jewelry from the Inuit, Northwest Coast nations, Canadian Plains nations, and the Maori. Some of these communities have a new lease on life due to the income from this market, while others are dying out and skills are being forgotten. Some favourites: Dog Team: Jobie Crow from Umiujaq, Summer Solstice: Pitaloosie Saila from Cape Dorset, Raven Releasing Salmon Transformation Mask: Tom Hunt of the Kwak-waka'wakw. (scroll sideways)
Biojewelry : Now you and your betrothed can exhange ring made of bone. Your own bone. I, for one, welcome the day when consumer biotech makes our lives.....weirder. (Some pics not safe for the squeamish.)
JewelEye. A jewel that is placed inside your eye. Ooch. [Webpage is slow because it contains two huge pictures.]
The 'nightmare' fall of Svend Robinson: Canada's first openly gay MP threw his career into doubt yesterday with a shocking revelation that he had stolen a piece of jewellery last weekend.
Oldest Jewelry Discovered In African Cave At least 75,000 years old, the find suggests that early humans had a complex sense of symbolism.
Eyeball Jewelry This just caught my eye (Sorry!). It's jewelry that is implanted INTO your EYE! I think this is pretty cool and another milestone in body modding. Discuss how long until Georgia legislators ban this.
Bob Shamey is a jewelry maker who carves small things into smaller things, including toothpicks & seeds.
Our vision is to serve all your iced out hip hop jewelry needs. At GangstaGold we offer you the finest quality hip hop jewels and watches, no gimmicks or tricks, at the right price.
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