Jewelry/Lapidary

Creating ornamental works from precious and semiprecious stones

Roman finery found under Colchester department store

Construction work at Williams & Griffin department store in Colchester, England has led to the remarkable discovery of a wealthy Roman woman's jewelry collection, considered to be "one of the finest of its kind ever discovered in Britain." (photos)

Extraordinary finds at "Pompeii of the north"

Archaeologists marvel at discoveries from the Binchester Roman Fort near Bishop Auckland in northern England, a 2nd century site which has been dubbed the "Pompei of the north." (photos)

Sutton Hoo brooch replica added to exhibit

In the 1840s, a ploughman in Suffolk, England discovered what remained of an Anglo-Saxon gold brooch, and traded it for a set of teaspoons. Recently, as part of the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial, a replica of the brooch, complete with gold, silver, bone and garnet stones, has been included in the exhibit. (photo)

Medieval invention still ticking

Since the early 16th century, watches have been an elegant fashion statement. David Thompson, former Curator of Horology for the British Museum, looks at the history of the watch in a feature  article on the British Museum blog. (photos)

Roman intaglio re-used by medieval jeweler

Metal detectorist Philip Jackson made a rare and interesting find recently when his equipment pinpointed a silver pendant in a South Derbyshire field constructed around a Roman intaglio (a carved stone). (photo)

Runed Thor's Hammer found in Denmark

Archaeologists from the National Museum of Denmark have declared a small torshammere (Thor’s Hammer Amulet) found recently on the Danish Island of Lolland, the only such amulet with a runic inscription. (photos)

Treasures of Scotland revealed

2013 was a "magnificent" year for archaeologists in Scotland. The recent annual Scottish Treasure Trove report, covering 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014, by Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (QLTR) Catherine Dyer shows a variety of items including gold jewelry, coins and a Roman wine dipper. (photos)

Viking amulet features detailed dress

Experts in Denmark are intrigued by the recent discovery of a Viking Age amulet/figurine by a metal detectorist in a field near Revninge. The small silver figurine, possibly representing Freya the goddess of fertility, wears a marvelously-detailed Viking dress. (photo)

The Great Audley's mourning ring found in Norfolk

In his will, Hugh Audley, known as The Great Audley, 16th century philosopher, land owner and money lender - and owner of the land where Buckingham Palace now stands - left 11 mourning rings, designed to be worn by his mourners. Such a ring, linked to him, has been discovered in a south Norfolk field. (photo)

Master Ark's Jewellery

Master Ark has been creating authentic Medieval jewelry for over 25 years. His cloak clasps, pennanular brooches, fibulas, Thor's hammers, brooches, and pendants are worn throughout the Known World.

You can now keep current with what Master Ark is doing by following his Facebook page.

"Stunning" Roman bracelet on display in Furness

Trade between the Roman and the British locals may be enbodied by a single silver bracelet, dating to the second century, discovered recently by a metal detectorist near Dalton-in-Furness, England. Probably traded by a Roman soldier visiting the town, the "stunning" bracelet is now on display at Barrow's Dock Museum in Furness. (photo)

Illegal metal detectorist tears Roman gold from ground in Germany

Investigators in Germany are untangling the case of a metal detectorist who illegally dug up more than EU€1 million worth of Roman gold in a forest in southern Rheinland-Pfalz. The perpetrator may already have sold some of the pieces on the Black Market. (photos)

Anglo-Saxon artifacts discovered near Maidstone

A metal detectorist from Medway History Finders has uncovered a collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts dating to the 6th century near Maidstone, Kent, England. The hoard, valued at more than UK£40,000, includes silver brooches with red garnets and hairpins. (photos)

Maiden crown artifacts found in Danish church

The discovery of the remains of a "maiden crown" in Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark have shed new light on women's fashion of the time. A maiden crown was worn by an unmarried woman in the Renaissance. The recently-discovered headpiece consisted of small flowers made of copper wire and silk thread. (photos)

Yorkshire Museum covets Bedale Hoard

In 2012, a "nationally significant" Viking hoard, including a gold sword pommel and silver neck ring, was discovered in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Now the Yorkshire Museum hopes to buy the collection which is valued at UK£51,636.

Metallurgy conference to focus on personal adornment

The Historical Metallurgy Society AGM will hold its annual conference May 31 - June 1, 2014 at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England. The them of this year's conference will be Metals used in Personal Adornment.

"Staggering find" links British Isles and Norway

Curator Barry Ager of the British Museum discovered a rare Viking artifact lately in an unexpected place: the storeroom of the British Museum. The ornate, gilded brooch, spotted by Ager "in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway," turned out to be a rare piece of jewelry. (photo)

BM's Sutton Hoo gallery receives facelift

Room 41 of the British Museum has received a facelift in order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial. The room, which houses the museum's early medieval collections, was refurbished with new flooring, roof and internal architecture renovation thanks to a gift from Sir Paul and Lady Jill Ruddock.

"Organic lump" holds rare Celtic brooch

In 1891, the British Museum acquired a lump of organic material found at a Viking burial site in Lilleberge, Norway. The material had metal pieces in it, but no one took the time to examine it further - until recently when Curator Barry Ager took a second look and ordered the material x-rayed. (photo)

Might Roman ring have inspired Tolkien?

The history of a stolen Roman ring and its discovery in the 18th century are the subject of a recent feature article in History Today by Lynn Forest-Hill, fellow of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton, theorizing that the ring may have been the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien. (photos)

Cheapside Hoard scores dedicated exhibition at the Museum of London

In 1912, a tenement building in Cheapside, in the heart of London, was demolished, unearthing one of the rariest treasures in the city's history. Vivienne Becker, of the Telegraph, offers a feature on the Cheapside Hoard, currently on display at the Museum of London. (photos and video)

The jewels of the saints

After the Reformation, many Catholics were depressed about the loss of relics of their saints. In the 16th century thousands of skeletons were taken from the catacombs in Rome, bedecked with jewels, and distributed throughout Europe. A slideshow of jeweled saints, photographed by art historian Paul Koudounaris, is online.

Early medieval grave finds "quite a surprise"

Until recently, archaeologists believed that the site of a dig in northern Poland was "considered quite poor," but then more than 40 graves, containing a wealth of early medieval artifacts, were discovered in Burdąg, Warmia and Mazury. The experts were "surprised." (photos)

Technology traces Roman beads to Egypt

A team of scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany has analyzed glass beads found in former Rhaetian settlements in Bavaria, and concluded that the beads, dating from the 1st through 4th centuries, must have originated "somewhere near a soda lake like those in Wadi El Natrun in Egypt." (photo)

Technology of Cheapside Hoard amazes modern researchers

Researchers from Birmingham City University have used modern technology to re-examine the Cheapside Hoard - "the world's largest collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery discovered in a London cellar in 1912" -- and were "stunned at the advanced technologies" used to craft the items.

Shropshire ring declared treasure

The coroner in Shropshire, England has declared 6th century gold ring, found by a metal detectorist, treasure. The ring, which weighs 8.21g (0.3oz), probably belonged to an individual of high status. (photo)

"Spectacular" Viking jewelry puzzles experts

Archaeologists working with volunteers have discovered several spectacular pieces of Viking-made jewelry on a farm in Zealand, the largest island in Denmark. The finds include a "heart-shaped animal head with rounded ears and circular eyes," and a "central wheel cross in relief, with inlaid gold pressed into a waffle form." (photo)

Viking Shield: Viking Age replicas and gifts.

Viking Shield specializes in all your Viking needs. They offer a full range of weapons, clothing, armor, jewellry, games, feasting gear, and art.

Treasures from a Byzantine garbage dump

Early Byzantines in Tel Aviv, Israel probably thought themselves very clever when they buried a hoard of "400 coins, 200 intact Samaritan lamps and gold jewelry" in a garbage heap somewhere between the 5th-7th centuries. Perhaps they were, because the hoard was only found recently by a team of archaeologists from Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority. (video)

Vikings "stole by the armload"

Sometimes Vikings are just Vikings. Studies of jewelry created by Viking artists show that objects gold and jewels used in the objects originated in the churches and monasteries of Ireland. Now Dr Griffin Murray of the Department of Archaeology at UCC asks that Irish loot be returned - in the form of a temporary exhibition.