Emeralds of the Cheapside Hoard

By sarah madden, blog editor on 12 Apr 2014
Emerald aigrette

Emerald aigrette

Some of the most stunning pieces of the Cheapside Hoard are made from emeralds, all of which come from Colombia. Revered far and wide due to their rarity, the majority of emeralds were smuggled or traded secretly by gem merchants, ending up in cities like London to be set into delicate and beautiful jewellery like that found in the hoard. Read the full postRead the full post

All salamanders great and small…

By sarah madden, blog editor on 26 Feb 2014

The Cheapside Hoard's salamander escapes onto the Museum of London rotunda

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed two big, green, crawling new additions to the Museum of London’s iconic rotunda. Measuring 10 metres across, these reptilian beasts represent one of the most delicate and exquisite pieces of jewellery found in the Cheapside Hoard – a golden brooch, set with Columbian emeralds and Indian diamonds and speckled with intricately painted enamel. Read the full postRead the full post

Unearthing the hoard: Mining for gemstones

By robert gessner on 17 Jan 2014

Coloured gemstone mining is mining like no other. This is so because all the mechanised mining and equipment that is used to strip the waste and expose the potential gem-bearing ore, is inferior to two of the greatest extraction tools in this world – a pair of hands. No piece of equipment can gently move this rock and forcefully chisel that rock to expose and extract some of the world’s rarest, most beautiful and sought-after natural objects. Read the full postRead the full post

And a partridge in a pear tree…?

By jackie keily on 1 Jan 2014
A gold, diamond and emerald hat ornament in in the form of a salamander.

A gold, diamond and emerald hat ornament in in the form of a salamander.

In Elizabethan London, New Year’s Day was the big time to give and receive gifts, particularly at court. The tradition appears to date back to at least the 13th century but under Queen Elizabeth I it reached new heights in terms of the extravagance and range of the gifts given. Read the full postRead the full post

Coloured Gemstones: Standing the Test of Time

By katharina flohr on 30 Nov 2013

Fabergé green and pink multi coloured ringsFabergé spinel, emerald and sapphire ringsGold pendant set with emeralds and pink sapphires with a spinel drop from the Cheapside HoardEmerald watch from the Cheapside Hoard

Throughout history, fine coloured gemstones (emeralds, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, etc) have been more prominent and highly revered than diamonds and it is only in the last fifty years, following an extensive marketing campaign, that diamonds have become higher in demand. Read the full postRead the full post

Printing off the Cheapside Hoard: The Art of 3D Printing

By juno rae on 20 Nov 2013

Participant art created on iPadsParticipant art created on iPadsParticipants working on their jewellery designs3D printed jewellery3D printed jewellery

Earlier in the month, as part of the programme of events to celebrate The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels, the Museum of London ran a 3D printing workshop, offering participants an opportunity to design and 3D print their own unique jewellery items. Juno Rae, Digital Learning Programme Coordinator, writes about the workshop and the range of pieces created by participants. Read the full postRead the full post

Guest blog: Shaun Leane and the hidden jewels of the Cheapside Hoard

By shaun leane on 15 Oct 2013
Shaun Leane, presenter of BBC4's 'Secret Knowledge: The Hidden Jewels of the Cheapside Hoard' © BBC

Shaun Leane, presenter of BBC4’s ‘Secret Knowledge: The Hidden Jewels of the Cheapside Hoard’ © BBC

Shaun Leane, award winning jewellery designer and presenter of BBC4’s ‘Secret Knowledge: The Hidden Jewels of the Cheapside Hoard‘ writes about London craftsmanship and the mysteries contained in the Cheapside Hoard. Read the full postRead the full post

Meet the museum: Elpie Psalti, Major Exhibitions Project Manager

By elpie psalti on 2 Oct 2013
Major Exhibitions Project Manager, Elpie Psalti, looks at an exquisite Columbian emerald watch from the Cheapside Hoard.

Major Exhibitions Project Manager, Elpie Psalti, looks at an exquisite Columbian emerald watch from the Cheapside Hoard.

Every wondered what it’s like to work in a museum? In this blog series, we introduce you to staff from all three sites of the Museum of London and various different departments. This week Elpie Psalti, Major Exhibitions Project Manager, describes her typical working day and reveals her favourite parts of the city. Read the full postRead the full post

The Cheapside Hoard: A spectacular find

By hazel forsyth on 27 Sep 2013

Gold finger ring from the Cheapside Hoard, 16th-17th centurySelection of necklaces from the Cheapside Hoard: 16th - 17th cenPendant reliquary in the form of a gold cross: 16th - 17th centuEmerald stone carved in to the form of a parrot: 16th- 17th centCheapside Hoard Copyright Museum of LondonCheapside Hoard Copyright Museum of LondonA gold, diamond and emerald hat ornament in in the form of a salamander.Jewelled scented bottle of white enamel and gold: 16th - 17th ceSelection of items from Cheapside Hoard: 16th- 17th century

Shoppers rushing along Oxford and Regent Street, bulging bags in tow, may not be aware that Cheapside was once the busiest and most renowned of all markets and thoroughfares in London. Once heaving with street traders, luxury merchants and goldsmiths, citizens flocked to its shops for everything from spices and haberdashery to silks, gold, silver and jewels.

It was here that a great treasure lay buried for almost three hundred years. Read the full postRead the full post