Jewellery from outer space

Our marketing co-ordinator (and tutor) Bronagh recently met stand-up comedian and mathematician Matt Parker and ended up talking about space jewellery because he revealled his wedding ring is made from a meteorite. This set her on a journey to find out more about meteorite jewellery and other intergalactic bling.

A lot of space jewellery features plain slices of meteorite but Jacob Albee’s Blue Moon pendant catches the eye because it uses the meteorite piece to evoke a lunar landscape.

meteorite jewellery

Jacob Albee’s Blue Moon Pendant with blue zircon and diamonds (black, white and champagne) set in Gibeon meteorite and 18kt gold.

 

 

meteorite jewellery

Seamless Domed Gibeon Meteorite Ring with a Widmanstatten finish by Space Gems

You can find quite a lot of jewellery featuring slices of meteorite but the selection of rings by US company Space Gems are cut whole from iron-nickel meteorites and then lined with platinum or gold – they even offer a service where a pair of wedding rings can be cut from the same 4+ billion year old meteorite as symbol of lasting commitment.

Both the above meteorite pieces are quite plain but some are much more colourful. Pallasites are a very rare type of stony-iron meteorite that contains the semi-precious gemstone Peridot (olivine), embedded in an Iron-nickel matrix. When cut into thin slices and polished the efect is rather like a stained glass window – I can certainly imagine the one pictured below as a pendant. It you want to know more about how these “space gems” are formed, you can find the science bit here.

meteorite jewellery

 

Meteorite jewellery is not a new thing though – the ancient Egyptians used meteoric iron beads.

meteorite jewellery

The dark beads in the centre of the picture were carved from meteorites in ancient Egypt. Credit: UCL Petrie Museum/Rob Eagle

 

Meteorites aren’t the only way space features in our jewellery. Space travel has definitely taken hold of the imagination and while there is little chance of you getting into space, some people have wedding rings that have made the trip. SpaceWed produces wedding rings from gold that was sent into outer space in a suborbital rocket on May 20, 2011. Each ring has a unique serial numbers and comes in a “Space Capsule”, which includes a Certificate of Space flight and the documentary of the rocket launch.

 

 

 

 

And space can be very inspirational for designers. The 2012 exhibition Out of this World featured a range of pieces influence by the space age including the next two items shown below. We are particular fans of the time traveller’s cuff.

space jewellery

Satellite Earrings, by Chuck Dimotrovich

 

 

space jewellery

Time Traveler Constellation Cuff, Jason Mcleod, gold, platinum, turquoise

 

But if you don’t have the means for a one off designer piece or to send your jewellery into orbit, why not make your own space inspired jewellery such as these galaxy cuffs (tutorial here).

 

There’s also plenty of Dr Who jewellery out there but we’ll save that for another day.

 

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