Jewellery Ideas for Visitors to London

One of the largest and most vibrant capital cities in the world, London is filled with brilliant jewellery ideas and destinations for culture lovers and shoppers alike. To help you navigate some of the treasures dotted around the city, here is a short jewellery guide to the city with five favourite places to visit.

FOR THE HISTORY LOVER

The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace are two of the most popular royal palaces for visitors to the city. In time for the Jubilee and the Olympics, a recent new exhibit at The Tower of London explores the role of the Crown Jewels and the story of the Tower in protecting these treasures.

The Imperial State Crown is an undisputed highlight of the extraordinary jewels on display and is worn by the Queen at the annual State Opening of Parliament. Set with sapphires, rubies and pearls, the crown also features one of the most famous diamonds in the world. If you are visiting Buckingham Palace in 2012, do not miss the story of the Cullinan Diamond in the new exhibition there.

FOR THE BUDDING GEMOLOGIST

The Vault at the Natural History Museum is a treasure trove for anyone interested in gems and gemmology. Discover its gallery of celestial meteorites, the 1,383.93 carat Devonshire Emerald, pure gold crystals and a diamond the size of an egg.

FOR THE ROMANTIC

The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active biological society and, situated away from the bustle of Piccadilly, quietly hides a secret for pearl lovers. Founded in 1788, the Society takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, who produced the world's first spherical cultured pearl.

Linnaeus grew his spherical pearls in freshwater mussels by drilling a small hole in the shell and inserted a tiny granule of limestone between the mantle and the shell of the mussel. The mussels were returned to their river and over six years covered the implanted material with nacre to make a cultured pearl. A set of these experimental ‘Linnaean pearls’ is held by the Society amongst the Linnean Shell collection.

FOR THE SHOPPER

If you are interested in browsing the best of jewellery design, London has so much to offer.

Historically Hatton Garden has been the main district of the jewellery trade in London. The area is now undergoing a resurgence as a home to independent designers and the new Goldsmith's Centre, a purpose built facility for promoting the best in creativity and craftsmanship.

Setting the fashion trend, Liberty’s may be the ultimate destination, offering contemporary jewellery from designers in a iconically British building fashioned from the timbers of two Royal Navy warships.

For luxury brands such as Asprey, Boodles, Bvlgari, Cartier, Mikimoto, Tiffany and others, the streets of Mayfair, and in particular Bond Street, Mount Street, South Molton Street and the Burlington Arcade, are the place to be seen.