Durability of Enamel on Bracelets

Oriental, no. European. Here are three image searches with lots of examples. Also there is an extensive literature on the garnet jewelry of the Early Middle Ages.




A funny aside to this thread… many many years ago when I was studying metals ant the University of Oregon our beloved professor Max Nixon was giving us a slide show of early middle ages inlaid jewelry. I think it was Viking. It was beautiful and so well crafted. One student raised his hand to ask a question. “Max. How did they make such well crafted and beautiful stuff with such crude tools?” Max replied…“Fear”.
“Yes fear. In those days if you were a jewelry craftsman you worked for the Tribal Chieftain or King. If you screwed up he’d cut your head off.”
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
-Jo Haemer


Great story and true as of anything I have read. But this also pertains to
other crafts like Chinese ceramics.

I wonder how the future will see our jewelry and what they will think of
our quality.


Sharron- When ever I make or look at a piece of jewelry I judge it by the
following criteria.
In a hundred years will this be represented and sold at a fancy auction
house like Christie’s or Sotheby’s or passed down for generations rather
than being scrapped out for the metal and stones? If I were making this
for a despot would he or she kill or imprison me if I made a poorly crafted

I know this reply is super late for the discussion but here is my 2 cents worth of opinion (again).
For elegant and high end items where they are worn for special occasions, vitreous enamel works fine. Will it crack or break at some time? Depends on how the person wearing it, treats the jewelry. but sometimes accidents happen and repairs will be needed.
Now to take my wife’s jewelry as an example, being from India, she wears a lot of bangles. Her nice ones handed down in her family will sometimes have a crack or two, but overall are in great shape and look great even being very old. Close to a century for one of them.
But everyday wear jewelry, most of what she has is either paint, or colored epoxy in the recessed areas. Only upon close examination can you tell the difference.
So it really depends on how it is treated. I have used both in my jewelry depending on the possible usage.