10 Incredible Jewelry Museums And Exhibits

Jewelry exhibits can be remarkable. Looking at huge and extremely exaggerated pieces of jewelry that belonged (or still belong) to kings and queens can be fun and perhaps invoke some jealousy. Some jewelry museums and exhibits put on display raw diamonds and precious stones to show the transformation they undergo from being mined from the ground till they crown a king’s head, or a woman’s neck. Before you is a list of museums that display collections of jewelry belonging to either a person, an organization, a state or a monarchy.

If you have your own jewelry collection (perhaps a bit humbler than those listed here), and you want to get your precious stones evaluated, there are great places online where you can evaluate and sell them

1. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England – The Victoria and Albert Museum, or V&A is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. Its jewelry collection contains more than 6000 items and is one of the most comprehensive jewelry collections in the world. The collection includes items from Ancient Egypt as well as modern jewelry created by world renowned jewelers. Some of the most unique items are a diamond dress ornaments made for Catherine the Great, bracelet clasps that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, the Beauharnais emerald necklace presented by Napoleon to his adopted daughter and much more. Admission to the museum is free. Click here for the official site

Displays at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Displays at the Victoria and Albert Museum (source: Junho Jung)

Jewel House, Tower of London, England – The Crown Jewels of the British monarchy are not part of the V&A museum. They are kept in the Jewel House in the Tower of London and are on display. Click here for the official site of the Jewel House

The Imperial State Crown at the Jewel House, Tower of London

The Imperial State Crown at the Jewel House, Tower of London

 

2. Iranian Crown Jewels, Tehran, Iran – The Jewelry Museum of Iran is located inside the Central Bank of Iran, on Ferdowsi Avenue. It is the world’s largest state owned collection of displayed jewels. The items were collected by the Iranian monarchy from the 16th century and moved to state ownership in 1937. The amazing collection includes crowns, tiaras, thrones – all designed with the utmost care and splendid, swords and shields decorated with jewels, plates made of precious metals also decorated with gems. The collection also includes unset gems, as well as many other peculiar items which all have in common one thing – an incredible value

Jewels of Nader Shah at the Iranian Crown Jewels, Tehran

Jewels of Nader Shah at the Iranian Crown Jewels, Tehran

 

3. Imperial Treasury, Vienna, Austria – The Imperial Treasury is located in the Hofburg Palace. It holds an extensive collection of treasures compiled over centuries. Among the items on display are the Imperial crown, orb, and scepter of Austria, the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, various valuable gems – including one of the world’s largest emeralds, and more

 Imperial crown, orb, and scepter of Austria, on display at the Imperial Treasury, Vienna

Imperial crown, orb, and scepter of Austria, on display at the Imperial Treasury, Vienna (source: Bede735c)

The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, on display at the Imperial Treasury, Vienna

The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, on display at the Imperial Treasury, Vienna (source: Bede735c)

4. Kremlin Armory, Moscow, Russia – Established in 1808, the Kremlin Armory is one of the oldest museums in Moscow. The museum includes the Diamond Fund, a large and unique collection of gems and jewelry, as well as natural unhandled nuggets. Some of the items on display are the Orlov Diamond (a famous 189.62 carats (37.924 g) diamond), the Imperial Crown of Russia, the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible, a collection of 10 Fabergé eggs, and much more

The Orlov diamond, on display at the  Kremlin Armory

The Orlov diamond, on display at the Kremlin Armory (source: Elkan Wijnberg ; wiki)

The Imperial Crown of Russia, on display at the Kremlin Armory

The Imperial Crown of Russia, on display at the Kremlin Armory (source: Stan Shebs)

 

5. Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Wattens, Austria – The Swarovski Crystal Worlds is one of the most popular attractions in Austria. The museum (sometimes claimed to be a theme park) opened in 1995 at the 100th anniversary of Swarovski, the world famous crystals company. The 7.5 hectares park offers different attractions and carefully designed chambers presenting the breathtaking crystals of the company, and is most recognizable by the famous waterfall at the entrance. Click here for the official site

Swarovski Crystal Worlds entrance

Swarovski Crystal Worlds entrance

Items on display at the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Austria

Items on display at the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Austria (source: Zairon)

 

6. H.Stern Workshop Tour, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The luxury jewelry company H. Stern started in Rio de Janeiro in 1949, and the company’s headquarter and the workshop that produces all its jewelry are still in Rio today. The tour of the workshop is a very popular attraction in Rio. The guided tour will show you all the phases of creating ready to wear jewelry: the rough stone at the Gemological Laboratory, the craftsmanship, the design, and the final product at the spectacular showroom. Click here for the official site

H.Stern Workshop Tour

H.Stern Workshop Tour (source: hsterninrio.com)

 

7. Regalia of Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden – Located underneath the Royal Palace in Stockholm, the museum that holds Sweden’s Royal Regalia has on display many spectacular items, many of them are centuries old: crowns, scepters, orbs and more, all covered with the finest metals and stones

Crown used by Queen Christina, on display at the Regalia of Sweden museum

Crown used by Queen Christina, on display at the Regalia of Sweden museum

 

8. Gold Museum, Bogotá, Colombia – The Gold Museum or Museo del Oro is dedicated to Pre Hispanic gold work, and holds a collection of around 55,000 items, 6,000 of which are on display. Naturally, many of the gold items are jewelry items. The most famous item in the museum is not a jewelry item, but the Muisca raft, or El Dorado raft – a pre-Columbian figure of size 19.5 cm x 10.1 cm (4 in x 7.6 in), made mostly of gold

The Muisca raft, on display at the Gold Museum, Bogotá

The Muisca raft, on display at the Gold Museum, Bogotá (source: Andrew Bertram)

9. Diamond Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands – Founded in 2007, the Diamond Museum Amsterdam is dedicated to diamond jewelry. The museum holds a large and diverse collection of jewelry and gives an extensive background on diamonds and the history of diamond mining. Some famous pieces on display are the Katana diamond, the Rembrandt Diamond and the Ape Skull. The museum is located at the heart of Amsterdam. Click here for the official site

The Ape Skull at the Diamond Museum Amsterdam

The Ape Skull at the Diamond Museum Amsterdam (source: diamantmuseumamsterdam.nl)

 

10. Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, Ramat Gan, Israel – This diamond museum was established in 1986 and is located in the Diamond Exchange District of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. The museum displays a collection of both rough and finished diamonds and gemstones, including some rare stones, along with information on the history of diamond mining, the different mining methods, the different stages of cutting and polishing the diamonds, usages of diamonds in the industry, and more

Entrance to the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, Ramat Gan

Entrance to the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, Ramat Gan (source: Dr. Avishai Teicher)

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