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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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