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The MuseLetter: September 2020

A website redesign is in flight. Preview the new home page and learn about the history of The Museum of Jewelry and our various brands.

Posted by Nalin Singapuri on

The MuseLetter: September 2020

A preview of whats to come

Hello Jewelry Lovers!

We've gotten a bit formulaic with the MuseLetter lately and I wanted to use this opportunity to break the mold. Items on sale are here and include emeralds this month. New items are here and theres a ton of them. The MuseLetter will segue back into its regular rhythm soon but this month we have some important things to cover.

 

 

As I've had more and more face time with Shashi over the past two years, I've heard many interesting stories. The early days - how in his 20's he transitioned from a ticket agent for Eastern Airlines to a entrepreneur and Jewelry Designer. Importing from China when they first opened to Western trade. Meeting and later bootstrapping a young Laurel Burch. The reasons he launched Facets Inc. The early days of our catalog.

In the last 56 years he's picked up many engaging tales. As a brand we're really bad about sharing these details. Our customer service team is often asked how we've acquired something, whether our vintage pieces are really vintage and the like. So I've set out to change that and better explain the origins of the treasures inside our warehouse, and showcase the craftsmanship, artistry and customer service that sets us apart as a company.

I'm working on a bit of an overhaul to our website (which with some luck should launch this month). Below are the contents of the home page thus far - on a desktop you'll see fancy text overs, the mobile version looks similar to whats shown here.

Important: Everything below is a work in progress, feel free to reply to this email and let me know what you think, or with suggestions for how we can showcase our history better.

So without further ado...

 

 

Inspired by History. Designed for You.

Our exclusive collection of jewelry is hand-made by master artists from historically inspired designs - shaped, detailed and embellished using the same age-old techniques as have goldsmiths and lapidaries through the ages. Every museum creation is an original work of art.

Earrings

Our Specialty. Drops, dangles and more than a few studs.
FREE shipping to the USA.
$10 shipping to anywhere else.

Rings

Engagement rings, wedding bands, and everyday treasures.

Necklaces & Pendants

Brooches & Pins

Bracelets


 
 

Our Story Starts 56 Years Ago

Shashi was a travel enthusiast and antique obsessed desk agent for Eastern Airlines. He took a vacation to South America and acquired several thousand dollars of local merchandise. He put a few pieces aside for his personal collection and sold the rest at a small markup. 

24k Gold Vermeil Jewelry

Silver base with think layer of gold plating. Earrings aplenty as well as brooches, necklaces and bracelets.
"The earrings are beautiful. The variety is incredible. The shipping is fast. They arrive in a beautiful wrapping. I love this store."

14k Gold Fine Jewelry

A selection of solid gold earrings, rings and necklaces.

Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver earrings, necklaces and rings.

Gold-Plated Brass Jewelry

Silver-Plated Brass Jewelry


 

1964: Shashi Inc.

During these first years Shashi predominently lived by searching the world over for vintage jewelry, antiques and ancient artifacts. Building a reputation as a renowned and prolific importer he built up collections of mummy beads (shown), tian-tsui and a sizable assortment of antique jewelry.

Antique Chinese Jewelry

Shashi was particularly fond of Chinese antiques and collects tian-tsui, rings, talons and other Qing Dynasty era treasures.
No questions asked returns. 30 days to decide. If you like a design please take it for a test drive.

Ancient Egyptian Artifacts

Shashi imported numerous lots of authentic mummy beads and assorted Ancient Egyptian artifacts.

 
 

1966: Shashi Inc.

By the late 1960s Shashi was designing and manufacturing his own pieces. Enamel worked into flowers, insects and abstract shapes echoed the flowing pieces of the art-nouveau era. He humbly attributes a series of Vogue covers featuring his designs to a fortuitous office location in New York.

Art Nouveau Jewelry

The style of Shashi's earliest pieces often reflects art nouveau era fashions.
 

Floral Jewelry

Flowers were some of Shashi's favorite subjects. 
Here big bold lines reflect art deco styling.

Our Vogue Covers

In 1978 Shashi enamel designs worn by Patti Hanson twice graced to cover of Vogue Magazine.

 
 

1969: Laurel Inc. By Laurel Burch

Laurel inc. was a partnership between Shashi and Laurel Burch. In 1971 Laurel visited China. With Shashi's help she became one of the first American designers to import from The People’s Republic Of China. Laurel Inc. represents her first commercial line and documents her transition from starving artist to household name.

Plated Brass Jewelry

Antique jewelry molds sourced in France were used to produce her first designs. They feature silver ear wires with brass earring body plated in silver or gold.
"Amazing collection of historic jewelry. Excellent documentation of origin and time. Beautiful items for sale."
 

Silver Enamel Jewelry

Later pieces in Laurel's line heavily reflect the use of enamel. These feature a sterling silver base, sometimes with gold plating.

Animal Jewelry

Laurel prolifically produced designs featuring stylized insects, birds, cats and other animal subjects.

Egyptian Revival Jewelry

The goddess isis and other Ancient Egyptian iconography is a common subject in Laurels line.

Tian-Tsui

Laurel produced several Tian-Tsui revival piece in the early 1970s. These are highly sought after by collectors - only a handful remain

 
 

1981: Facets Inc.

In the 1980s Shashi developed a thirst for gemstone encrusted jewelry. He traveled the world to source stones and played with a new and radical concept, fine jewelry at a fashion jewelry price point. Thus Facets was born - gold vermeil and silver jewelry bedazzled with precious and semi-precious gemstones.

On the Big Screen

It's a most satisfying accomplishment seeing our jewelry grace Hollywood stars. Here Demi Moore sports our Florentine Cross design in the movie Indecent Proposal.
Need Help? Call us toll free at 800.235.2700 or email hello@museumofjewelry.com

Renaissance Jewelry

Facets did a large number of Renaissance reproductions. Our collection features hundreds of designs covering European fashions from the 14th-17th centuries.

Victorian Jewelry

Shashi scoured famous museums as inspiration for his designs. Our Victorian collection reflects antiques found at the Met Museum, British Museum and V&A Museum.

Shop Jewelry by Gemstone

Have a favorite stone or looking for something specific? Our gemstone collections are an easy way to get started.

Greek Jewelry

Facets focused on a range of historic designs including an assortment of ancient ones as attested by our Greek, Roman and Byzantine collections.

 
 

1989: The Museum of Jewelry

While the aforementioned companies were wholesale entities, focused on business to business sales, Museum of Jewelry developed as our retail brand. From 1989 - 2001 we published and shipped millions upon millions of copies of our award winning catalog.

Anglo-Saxon Jewelry

Anglo-Saxon jewelry thrived in England from the first Germanic invasions in the early 5th century A.D. to the Norman Conquest in 1066.
"Bold and yet demure. The harmonically intricate design is sure to impress the most discerning taste."

More Hollywood Love

Cameron Diaz showcases our Northumbrian Earrings in The Mask. They have also been spotted in The Fast and Furious, on Kirstie Alley and appear in many TV Shows.

Roman Jewelry

In the 1990s we fully embraced our theme, complimenting our pieces inspired by history were exact replicas of ancient jewelry. Our Roman collection mixes both.

Print Catalog

From 1990 to 2009 the Museum of Jewelry printed and shipped over a hundred million catalogs. At our peak we did 8 million per season.

Belle Époque Jewelry

Where western societies had Arts Nouveau, Arts and Crafts Movement and Edwardian the French had a post impressionism movement, La Belle Époque.
 

 
36 years and 4 lines (five if you count the antiques and artifacts) is quite a lot to cover in one go, and we're at a good stopping point.

So thats the new homepage we have in flight...or 2/3rds of it anyway. Our history would not be complete without discussing what were doing present day, namely trying to get the 10,000 skus represented in our warehouse online and available with good photography. Additionally we're missing Shashi's role in Thousand Flowers. And we haven't yet discussed some of the more recent lines like Cingano or my line BoneNE Artifacts. I plan to cover a bit more ground and represent these things in the redesign.

We have a lot of other tweaks in the pipeline. We're reworking our product and collection pages as part of this effort as well. I hope to showcase all of the above in a future MuseLetter, but don't want to overwhelm ya'll.

Thats it for this edition. As always stay safe out there and we'll see ya in a few weeks.
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