Google, show me jewels that will make my jaw drop
August 1, 2022 1:26 PM   Subscribe

For a project I want to find pictures of particular kinds of jewellery, but I want completely over the top stunning jewellery. Like the kinds of things that come from the crown jewel collection. Gems smaller than a cherry or less shiny than the sun need not apply. How do I find these images? I've adding to my search terms "crown jewels" "priceless" "stunning" and "breathtaking", but I still get mostly very nice jewellery, but get very nice, but not jaw-dropping jewelery. What's my search term here? Here's an example of something I'd like a more extravagant version of.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
A Facebook person named Paul Ellis runs a feed there called "Attire's Mind," which is an extension of a blog he maintained up through 2016. Every Sunday he does "Sunday Shiny Sunday" and features exactly this type of thing, with wonderful commentary.
posted by nkknkk at 1:31 PM on August 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Have you seen the Court Jeweller? It covers royal jewelry in all its many glories.

Also try searching jewellery names, like Faberge, Harry Winston, Cartier, etc.

Antique is a good term, as is royal.

Also, try throwing the phrase 'parure' into your searches. That tends to get used along with some fairly lofty gems. It just means a particular kind of matching set, so you might get smaller pieces, but mostly statement things.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:38 PM on August 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

Not a search term, but the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor has TONS of pics of (and research on) jaw-dropping pieces.
posted by SaneCatLady at 1:38 PM on August 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I mean, I find the website of Van Cleef & Arpels pretty inspirational. Here are a few examples but that's just one subsection of their "high jewellery" collection.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:39 PM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Harry Winston has collections in this vein. Example.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:40 PM on August 1, 2022

Best answer: Well, if you want the actual Crown Jewels, here they are. The site has nice close-ups and histories of the largest stones. (Imperialism, theft, etc. But the Black Prince's Ruby is nice)
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:42 PM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You can find some on the Smithsonian website, though you will need to hunt a bit. They have the Hope Diamond and the Carmen Lucia Ruby, for example. Geogallery link.
posted by gudrun at 1:53 PM on August 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I’d look at museums. The Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs has an awesome permanent jewelry exhibit, for example. There’s 13,000+ items when you search for “jewelry” at the Met’s website. Try the V&A in London here, and The Louvre here.
posted by Bunglegirl at 1:55 PM on August 1, 2022 [6 favorites]

For the purposes of your project, does the jewelry have to be real? I imagine the most visually impressive jewelry out there is either fake (imitation or manufactured gems can be any size) or fictional (illustrations can be impossibly complex/intricate).
posted by space snail at 2:06 PM on August 1, 2022

Best answer: I noticed that Tiffany's uses the term "High Jewelry" -- and a quick Google search shows that "high jewelry" is indeed a term you may want to try.

This piece seems pretty jaw-dropping to me!
posted by erst at 2:07 PM on August 1, 2022

Following up on Gudrun’s Smithsonian link, if you put the type of jewelry in the search box (e.g. necklace) it will come up with results. They have some really extensively fancy pieces there.
posted by donut_princess at 2:09 PM on August 1, 2022

Best answer: Seconding the "high jewellery" suggestion from erst. Take a scroll through here for some current collections.
posted by sardonyx at 2:12 PM on August 1, 2022

Best answer: I’ve always loved JAR jewelry, which has been called “the Faberge of our time”. Here’s a guide from Christie’s and a fantastic book from his 2014 exhibit at the Met. You can see pieces which went up for auction in 2021 here.
posted by stellaluna at 2:12 PM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For some Habsburg bling, and the Habsburgs had a whole lot of bling, poke around at the Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien.
posted by humbug at 2:17 PM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Maybe searching "Largest"? It's not getting me THE largest but I'm sure getting some large ones. Largest Emerald, Diamond, Ruby, Pearl, etc.
posted by spraypaint at 3:00 PM on August 1, 2022

1) An image search for [imperial jewelry] gave some nice results.

2) There is a genre of art/coffee table books with fancy jewelry in it. Maybe try an art library for some of these, or just find some used books of this kind.

3) Try searching for picture books about particular jewelers or jewelry brands.
posted by amtho at 3:13 PM on August 1, 2022

does the jewelry have to be real?

If rhinestones are ruled in, then Butler & Wilson is the place to go!
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:28 PM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

You can look at the websites for fancy auctions, like this Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction at Sotheby's. The substack/newsletter Dearest collects notable antique jewelry listings from such auctions, so you can dive into the archive for more examples.
posted by yasaman at 4:02 PM on August 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

Pearl Tiaras
posted by effluvia at 5:23 PM on August 1, 2022

Yasaman is correct about DEaarest.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:49 PM on August 1, 2022

For something a bit left of field, try looking at the Oscar red carpet each year. The women, especially the nominees, are decked out head to toe in Bulgari and Van Clef’s finest, it’s something to see.
posted by Jubey at 5:53 PM on August 1, 2022

The jewelry houses on Place Vendôme in Paris do this stuff. You'll get a lot of goodies using the search term haute joaillerie.
posted by pendrift at 2:25 AM on August 2, 2022

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