Day Four of #jewelleryhannahgoestolondon...the final instalment!

DAY FOUR

After the intravenous excitement of Portobello, a calmer, more meditative activity was needed for Day Four, our last full day. Time for a pilgrimage to the Earth Galleries at the Natural History Museum, after picking out my jewellery for the day. I enjoyed taking this vintage 9ct yellow gold Anchor necklace I'd found at Spitalfields on Day One for a spin, before it found a new home (which it did very quickly). 

Vintage 9ct yellow gold Anchor necklace from Spitalfields (now sold). Rings from my personal collection; Victorian diamond fox-face conversion ring, and Georgian flat cut garnet ring with fleur-de-lys shoulders c.1770.

Vintage 9ct yellow gold Anchor necklace from Spitalfields (now sold). Rings from my personal collection; Victorian diamond fox-face conversion ring, and Georgian flat cut garnet ring with fleur-de-lys shoulders c.1770.

My parents are from London originally, so whenever we'd visit my grandparents I'd always ask if we could pay a visit to the Geological Museum (as it was then), now part of the Natural History Museum. I wasn't interested in Hamleys, the famous toy shop, no... I just wanted to look at rocks #weirdchild

Needless to say, I filled my boots.

Let's just have a closer look at that opal...

And a case full of facets with their raw states...

And - heaven of heavens - famous collections of gemstones! <3

And thence to another part of the museum called The Vault - which is literally a vault with foot-thick walls which you walk into - to see some serious gems...

Emeralds that are smooth, and whose colour is like the throat of a parrot, the back of a firefly, leaves on the water lily or the tail of the peacock, bring luck.
— The Vedas, translation from Sanskrit by Surindro Mohun Tagore, 1879
That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe.
— John Berger, novelist, painter and art historian, born 1926

Despite all these drool worthy pieces, my favourite cases contained native British minerals, many of which from the North of England where I live. 

It amazes me that this grey little island holds buried secrets as bright and glorious - in their own way - as all the minerals of Brazil or India. I saw cases of stones from Northumberland, County Durham, Cumbria, Cornwall, Devon...and miraculously, even the earth under my very house!

Despite all the amazing presentation of the new displays, I love best the old-fashioned displays without all the modern bells and whistles. They remind me of my childhood visits; lined up like silent and unaggressively acquiescent boxes of knowledge, happy for anyone who comes along to discover their secrets. Simple lined-up rows of rocks, with plain labels; it makes me feel eight years old again.