Truly Vintage Jewelry

Beth GilmoreVintage

An article a few years ago in the Smithsonian magazine examines the discovery of a 3,500 year old tomb found near Pylos on the southwest coast of Greece in May of 2015. The grave of the “Griffin Warrior,” a Bronze Age warrior, is the first major archaeological discovery in Greece in more than fifty years.

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Photographs by Myrto Papadopoulos | Smithsonian Magazine | January 2017 | Read more here

The archaeologists uncovered bronze basins, weapons and armor and a trove of gold and silver cups, hundreds of beads made of gold, amethyst, carnelian and amber, 50 stone seals intricately carved, four beautiful gold rings and an almost intact skeleton. This discovery is one more puzzle piece in the history of the Greek civilization. Researchers believe this grave could possibly represent the transfer of the Minoan influence from the island of Crete to the Mycenaean civilization on mainland Greece.

I am curious and fascinated by the items that were included in this man’s grave. I understand the armor and weapons. I get why the seals were included—he was probably an important person and would need to handle contracts and such in his next life.

The spectacular gold rings made from multiple layers of gold sheet soldered together decorated with carved scenes; how did they have the ability to make these things? It seems impossible for that kind of craft to have been made at that time.

And hundreds of beads—gold, amethyst, carnelian and amber. Were the beads used as jewelry decorating the deceased? Were they supposed to be used as a form of money to buy or trade for things he might need going forward? That all of these items were still with this man…

It seems that most ancient cultures and civilizations valued jewelry and personal adornment as important things to be included in a person’s long last journey.

I understand the desire to have the pieces that have been worn, loved and treasured on a daily basis by someone you cared for who has passed on. It’s a memory of someone or a special event in one’s life.

One of the first things a client will tell me about their jewelry is who it belonged to and the history of the piece. Sometimes they hold it and look at it and I have to gently ask if I can look at it more closely. They are hesitant to let someone else touch it. It’s as if the actual person inhabits the metal and stones.

I believe jewelry is more than the sum of its parts; jewelry carries a piece of those who have worn it. I see it every time I work with a client. Whether we help repair or refurbish your existing jewelry, or use it to create a new custom piece, it’s an honor to have someone trust us with such an important part of their life.

Please contact The Gilmore Family when we can help you repair your jewelry or create a new custom piece.

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