Space Age Jewelry

March 14, 2013 Cheryl Kremkow Jewelry Design Tags: , , , , 5 Comments

In 1835, Halley’s Comet appeared, right on schedule, in the night sky. Jewelers celebrated with comet-inspired brooches and launched a new era of jewelry design that continues to this day. Jewelry inspired by space is celebrated in a new exhibit at the Forbes Galleries that opens March 16 and runs until September 7, 2013.

Curated by Elyse Zorn Karlin, co-director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts,  Out of this World: Jewelry in the Space Age features pieces from over 100 designers, luxury brands, collectors, and even a few astronauts.

Stars, moons, satellites, rockets, meteorites, orbits, and other cosmic themes dazzle in diamonds, pearls, gems, and space-age materials like titanium, polymer, and fiber optic glass. The exhibit includes a wide range of both fine and costume jewelry with a smattering of space memorabilia.

Curator Elyse Karlin was inspired to research the topic when she realized that two brooches she owned from the sixties were inspired by the quirky shape of the 1957 Sputnik satellite. Sputnik-shaped jewels are one of the more interesting design motifs explored in the show.

One of the exhibit’s highlights is an 18k gold model of the lunar module from Apollo 11: created for each of the three astronauts by Cartier as gifts from the readers of French newspaper Le Figaro to celebrate the lunar landing.

The exhibit also includes contemporary styles, including the intricate Tampa Necklace created by Van Cleef & Arpels in 2010 to celebrate Jules Verne’s Voyage to the Moon.  Contemporary jewelers included in the show include Steven Kretchmer, Lisa Krikawa, Gina Pankowski, Kara Ross, David Yurman,

Cartier 18k Lunar Module replica celebrating Apollo 11's moon landing
Tampa Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, 2010: diamond, sapphire, onyx, garnet, spinel and beryl
Tiffany & Co clips, 1962, gold and coral
Donna Distefano ring, 22k, meteorite, and diamond
Star Map Cuff, Genvieve Yang, 18k, oxidized sterling and diamond
Time Traveler Constellation Cuff, Jason Mcleod, gold, platinum, turquoise


  1. Suzana Doncic 2 years Reply

    Hi there,
    Beautiful work. How much is the constellation cuff?
    Is it for sale?
    Thank you,

  2. 6 years Reply

    Time Traveler Constellation Cuff is very nice. Its design is so uncommon and complicated. I love it.

  3. visit 9 years Reply

    Excellent article. I certainly love this site.
    Continue the good work!

  4. Birthstones 10 years Reply

    These are amazing! I especially like the necklace!

  5. Francesca 10 years Reply

    Hey, now granted I am a nut for astronomy, but I LOVE this stuff! Just fascinating…I have to go smash some old piggybanks methinks! Beautiful, thanks!

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