GSG Jewellery throughout time - Ancient and early jewellery making

Jewellery throughout time – Ancient and early jewellery making

GSG Jewellery throughout time - Ancient and early jewellery making

The attachments of small, decorative items to body or clothes, worn for personal adornment or otherwise, happened a long time before there was even a word for these pretty decorations. Ever since humans first started to wear clothes and use tools, more than 100,000 years ago, jewels have been made and worn by people. One of the oldest types of archeological artifacts that have been proof of this, are some 100,000-year old beads made from Nassarius shells. These are thought to be the oldest forms of jewellery and were found in a cave on the southeast coast of Spain, the Cueva de los Aviones. The beads, made from small sea shells, date back to about 115,000 years ago. They were not created by Homo Sapiens, but by Neanderthal people. In Kenya beads made from perforated ostrich eggs were found, that have been dated to over 40,000 years old and in Russia archeologists excavated a stone bracelet and a marble ring of a similar old age. This shows, that jewellery has been part of human cultures all over the world for an incredibly long time.

Jewellery was worn for various reasons throughout history. Reasons that sometimes overlap each other, up to present day time. Jewellery items can be worn for a functional reasons, e.g. for fixing clothes or keeping hair in place. It can be worn to show social or personal status, of which a fine example is a wedding ring. It can also be worn to show some form of affiliation (ethnic, social, religious), to provide protection (as a talisman, such as an amulet), as an artistic display or as a symbol of personal meaning (e.g. love, luck or mourning). Jewellery has even been, and sometimes still is, used as a currency or as an item of trade. Jewellery has definitely become timeless and has been constantly developed and refined over time.

In the earliest times of jewellery making humans used any type of material that was available, from items such as plants, berries, wood and stones to animal parts (skin, bones, teeth, feathers and fur), shells and even natural made semi-precious materials such as obsidian and marble. The jewels of early humans were still in crude forms, hung on pieces of string or animal sinew, but always developing and refining over time. Around 7,000 years ago there were already signs of copper being used by fine metal workers and the first signs of established jewellery making date back to Ancient Egypt, around 3,000-5,000 years ago. Although many archeologists for a long time were of the opinion that fine GSG Jewellery throughout time - Ancient and early jewellery makingmetal art and jewellery making used to be carried out by male humans in ancient times, those ideas needed to be reconsidered when in October 2012 the Museum of Ancient History in Austria declared, that they had found the grave of a female fine metal worker originating from the Bronze Age, approximately 3,200-5,000 years ago.

Focusing on the development of how jewellery was created in early history, this process can be roughly divided across three ancient civilizations: Egypt & Mesopotamia, India and China.

In Egypt and Mesopotamia jewellery makers preferred working with gold over other metals. Gold had been mined and worked in Egypt since Predynastic times, especially in the Eastern Desert and Nubia (“nub” is the ancient word for gold). Gold is very malleable and it does not corrode or tarnish, so it is a fine material to work with by metal workers. Besides, the Egyptians linked gold to the divinity of the Gods and therefore thought it to be very fitting to be worn by the pharaohs. Gold jewellery was mainly worn by the royalty and important nobility. It was also often used for trade, as a diplomatic tool or as a reward to e.g. courtiers and military leaders. Goldsmiths in Ancient Egypt developed several techniques, such as beating gold into fine leaves and utilising the lost-wax technique to make intricate statues. They also knew techniques to mix gold with other metals to create alloys, such as Electrum, a blend of gold, silver and copper, that was used to plate the exterior of monuments such as obelisks and the tops of the pyramids. These metal workers were also very skilled glass manufacturers and they used semi-precious gems in their designs. In Predynastic Egypt jewellery soon was used to symbolize political and religious status. Jewellery was also put in people’s graves. Archeologists excavated hundreds of burial sites on the Royal Cemetery of Ur dating back to 2,900-2,300BC, which contained numerous of artifacts in gold, silver and semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli crowns, collar necklaces, jewel-headed pins, ankle bracelets and amulets. The long tradition of jewellery production and trade between the Middle East and Europe provided a good foundation for all European civilizations that came after them.

GSG Jewellery throughout time - Ancient and early jewellery makingIndia was the first place where diamonds were mined for the use in jewellery making. They were also the first ones who managed the art of gold gathering and processing. The Kolar and Hatti gold mines have been in operation for thousands of years and are still used today. This made them one of the most visited destination for trade, which especially became important for the expansion of European civilizations during the Age of Discovery, between the 15th and mid-17th century. The jewellery history of India goes back 5,000-8,000 years. India prospered financially through exports and exchange with other countries and had a continuous development of art forms for some 5,000 years. Some of their diamond mines date back to 296BC and diamonds were not only used in jewellery making, but also to finance wars, used as security means to finance loans which were needed to help regimes in political and economic ways or even to murder potentates! According to Hindu belief, gold and silver are considered as sacred metals and both are typical metals of Indian jewellery. Pure gold does not oxidise or corrode with time and is symbolic of the warm sun. Hindu tradition associates gold with immortality (as also the Egyptians made the association with gold and eternal life). Silver on the other hand suggests the cold moon.

Early jewellery making started around the same period in China as it did in India, but it became more widespread with the spread of Buddhism, around 2,000 years ago. It had its own unique style, focusing on natural scenes, animals and dragons. In China the dragon is a symbol of power, strength and good luck and Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, in particular over the elements of water (water, rainfall, hurricanes and floods), hence making it a beloved subject for jewellery makers. The Chinese metal workers used more silver than gold in their designs and, for instance, feathers of blue kingfishers were attached to early Chinese jewellery. Later they started using predominantly blue gems and glass to their jewellery, although jade was preferred over other stones. Archeologists have established that several tribes were already digging up deposits of jade from the Yangtze River Delta and Henan around 3,400BC. It was valued for its hardness, its durability and beauty. Jade rings from between the 4th and 7th centuries BC show evidence that Chinese jewellery makers worked with a sort of milling machine to create complex designs, hundreds of years before such equipment was known or GSG Jewellery throughout time - Ancient and early jewellery makingused in the West. Like the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians, the Chinese people often buried their deceased with their jewellery. Most excavated Chinese graves found by archeologists contained beautiful jewellery pieces.

The three ancient civilizations mentioned above created a basic foundation on how jewellery making developed in later times. Thousands of years of advancement enabled the process and art of jewellery manufacture to spread and refine. It definitely has been one of the pivotal driving forces of expressing culture, fashion and individuality as its constant presence throughout the history of mankind shows. In practically all cultures jewellery has been used to show status, wealth, religious beliefs or to give the wearer luck or protection from evil or harm.

In ancient Greece jewellery made with beads shaped as shells and animals was widely produced in earlier times. They started using gold and gems later, from about 1,600BC. In the Mycenaean period, however, they had developed sophisticated skills on working gold and their main techniques included making wire, twisting bars and casting. Unfortunately these techniques were lost at the end of the Bronze Age, probably due to the Persian Wars, causing that jewels dating from 600-475BC are not well represented in the records of archeologists. Jewellery was mostly worn by Greek women and often meant for protection against evil or as religious symbolism. Greek jewellery started to show more influence of outer origin designs after Alexander the Great conquered part of Asia and also European influences can be spotted in some earlier Greek jewellery creations. A very diverse amount of styles and techniques were developed over these early centuries untiGSG Jewellery throughout time - Ancient and early jewellery makingl the conquest of Greece by the Roman empire. However, the Roman culture’s influence on jewellery making appeared after quite some time when Roman rule came to Greece. The Roman influence became visible when the Greek metal workers started using more gems, such as topaz, amethyst, aquamarine and Syrian garnet in their designs.

Jewellery work was very diverse in earlier times, especially since there were so many barbarian tribes that each had their own styles and techniques. When the Romans conquered most of Europe, jewellery crafting changed as smaller groups developed or integrated the Roman designs within their own designs and vice versa. The most common artifact of early Rome was the brooch, that was used as a clasp to keep clothes together. Roman jewellery was made with a whole range of materials, varying from gold to bronze, bone, wood, precious stones, glass beads and pearls. The Romans used materials from all over the continent as well as far outside from it. As early as 2,000 years ago they already imported sapphires from Sri Lanka, diamonds from India and they used materials as emerald and amber in their jewellery.

After the fall of Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, Europe continued to develop jewellery manufacture and their jewellery absorbed some of the earlier designs. The Celts and the Merovingians in particular are known for their beautiful jewellery. The quality of their work matched or even exceeded that of the Byzantine Empire. The most common artifacts of these civilizations are probably their amulets, brooches and signet rings. By the 8th century wealthier men started wearing jewelled weaponry and signet rings, while other jewels were mainly worn by women. While the Celts were specialised in complicated and continuous patterns in their designs, such as the famous Celtic knots, the Merovingian jewellery was well-known for their animal figures. The Visigoths were also skilled jewellery makers, who had obvious Byzantine and western Mediterranean influences in their designs. Archeological excavations of Visigoth jewellery pieces are often brooches, buckles and some combs.

During the Byzantine Empire, jewellery makers used many of the Roman methods, but during this period religious themes predominated and their metal workers preferred light-weight gold leaf over solid gold materials. They also put more emphasis on the use of stones and gems. Like in many other civilizations during those times, they too commonly buried the jewellery items with its owner.

The basic forms and designs of jewellery might vary between cultures and over time, but they still are often extremely long-lived. In European civilizations and cultures the most common forms of jewellery, such as brooches, buckles, necklaces, pendants, rings, bracelets, earrings, cuff-links and hair combs, have persisted since ancient times and will most likely be a constant presence for many years yet to come.

Gwendolyne Blaney – GSGGSG Jewellery throughout time - Ancient and early jewellery making


Wikipedia – – “Jewellery”
History of Jewelry – – “History of Jewelry – All about jewellery”
Cooksongold – – “A History on Jewellery”
Pauline Weston Thomas – Fashion-Era – – “Jewellery History – Fine and Fake Jewellery”
HypnoGirl – – “The importance of Gold to the Ancient Egyptians”
Wikipedia – – “Courtier”
Quora –
Johnson Hur – – “The History of Gold”
Mark Cartwright – – “Gold in Antiquity”
Wikipedia – – “Age of Discovery”
Wikipedia – – “Chinese dragon”
Wikipedia – – “Dragon”
Jonathan Hopfner – South China Morning Post – – “FYI: Why is jade so important to the Chinese?”
Wikipedia – – “Chinese jade”
Juan Gamero – The Ancient Home – – “Greek Jewellery History & Facts – Distinct Styles over Time”
Guyot Brothers – – “Greek Jewelry”
Wikipedia – – “Byzantine Empire” – – “History of Byzantine and Chainmaille Jewelry” – – “Ancient Byzantine Jewelry – Authentic Antique Byzantine Jewellery – History Byzantine Jewelry”
Lang Antiques – Antique Jewelry University – – “Byzantine Jewelry”
Wikipedia – – “Evil Eye”
Wikipedia – – “Nazar (amulet)”

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What is Steampunk?

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk Gems - What is Steampunk?
H.G. Wells The Time Machine

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy. When looking for a definition of Steampunk, it is described as:

A genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

A style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.

The term “Steampunk” originates from the late 80s, although there were many works of Steampunk fiction created much earlier than the 1980s. It was coined in 1987 by science fiction author K.W. Jeter, who was trying to find a general term for works by Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates, 1983), James Blaylock (Homunculus, 1986), and himself (Morlock Night, 1979 & Infernal Devices, 1987)—all of which took place in a 19th-century (mostly Victorian) setting and imitated conventions of such actual Victorian speculative fiction as H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.

The Steampunk genre incorporates technology and aesthetic designs, inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Technology like the fictional machines as found in the works of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and modern authors as Philip Pullman, Stephen Hunt and China Miéville, and other alternative history-style technology examples, e.g. steam cannons, lighter-than-air-airships, analogue computers, and machines working on clockworks, wind and waterpower, are characteristic features of Steampunk. It is often recognized by anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people during the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style and art.

Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or the American Wild West, in a future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power, although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre. It may also incorporate additional elements from the genres of Fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history or other branches of speculative fiction, thus making it kind of a hybrid genre. Besides, Steampunk also refers to any of the artistic styles, clothing fashions or subcultures that have developed from the aesthetics of Steampunk fiction, Victorian-era fiction, art nouveau design, and films from the mid-20th century. Aspects of Steampunk design emphasize a balance between form and function, although Steampunk fashion has no set guidelines but tends to synthesize modern styles with influences from the Victorian era. Steampunk outfits often have accents with several technological and “period” accessories, such as timepieces, flying/driving goggles, ray guns, et cetera. One of the most significant contributions in Steampunk is the way it mixes digital media with traditional handmade art forms.

Various modern utilitarian objects have been modified by individual artisans into pseudo-Victorian mechanical Steampunk style and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as
Steampunk. Steampunk fashion designer Kate Lambert, known as “Kato”, launched the first steampunk clothing company in 2005, mixing Victorian and post-apocalyptic influences. She certainly stirred up the fashion industry with this, for in 2013 IBM predicted that ” …’steampunk,’ a subgenre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up and take hold of the retail industry.”, based on analysis of more than half a million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources. (Dahncke, Pasha Ray. “IBM Social Sentiment Index Predicts New Retail Trend in the Making” (Press release). IBM. Retrieved 18 February 2013.) They were right: well-known fashion lines such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and others had already been introducing Steampunk styles on the fashion runways.

In 2006 the first neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention took place, which was covered by MTV and The New York Times. Since that first “SalonCon” a number of popular Steampunk conventions and events arose around the world. Some festivals have organised events or a “Steampunk Day”, while others just support an open environment for wearing Steampunk attire.

In recentSteampunk Gems Gallery image for Steampunk Necklaces years Steampunk is increasing in its popularity and there is a growing movement of people who would like to establish Steampunk as a culture and lifestyle. That is one of the reasons, why I decided to make my Steampunk jewellery more accessible for all people. In my opinion it is fantastic to be able to wear certain accessories with a Steampunk character on your daily attire, whether that is a complete “authentic” Steampunk outfit or on ordinary clothes as you go to work, to school or do whatever it is you do during the day. Thus I decided to design accessories as bracelets, necklaces, earrings, brooches and hair clips that are just that little bit different with a special Steampunk hint, and making use of cogs, gears and other clock parts and sticking to colours that fit with the Steampunk genre, like ancient copper, ancient bronze, ancient silver, golden and rose tints.

For more information about Steampunk I would like to refer you to e.g.:



Gwendolyne Blaney – November 2017

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steampunk-punks in star citizen

Steampunk & Star Citizen

Since a few years my husband has been a great supporter and active player of the game Star Citizen. This amazing game is still under development by the subsidiary/division Roberts Space Industries (RSI) of Cloud Imperium Games and published by Cloud Imperium Games Corporation for Microsoft Windows. The development of the game started in 2011, led by director Chris Roberts, and is mostly financed from a large crowd funding campaign. Roberts Space Industries is also present in the virtual world of Star Citizen as the creator of the quantum drive that kick started humanity’s expansion into space. They offer a wide range of spaceships, from everything you need for basic interstellar travel up to deep exploration to the outer edges of the galaxy. Star Citizen is truly a one of a kind: a multiplayer, space trading and combat game with an ever expanding universe to roam in freely by the game player.

Where most virtual games follow clear story lines and have obvious beginnings and endings to their stories, this game (for PC only) is a true open world. There is no beginning or an ending. Time goes on whether you are online or offline and the player create their own story within “The Verse”. The universe keeps expanding with the continuous development of the game by the various departments of Roberts Space Industries and new features are added every time. It might be the closest encounter with the universe, however virtual, as one can ever get.

Star Citizen

One day, when my husband got an email of RSI with the statement he had achieved the status of “Concierge” within Star Citizen, he came to the realization how much time and money (!) had gone into the game he so loves. A bit uneasy with these findings, he admitted to me that he might have put more money into the game that he had realized at first. Although it was a bit of a shock, I know that hobbies can come with some costs and we agreed that from now on he would think before spending any more. While we were talking about this and the fact it made him feel quite guilty, my husband wondered how many more people playing Star Citizen felt some kind of guilt about their purchases for this game. My immediate response was: “If all the people who feel guilty about the money they put into this great game for new spaceships would buy a piece of my handcrafted collection of Steampunk jewellery for their partner, this would be awesome for me and my business.”

Although it was meant as a loose and funny remark, my husband said straight away that my comment was not that weird at all. He showed me how my unique and handmade accessories actually fit quite well with the Star Citizen universe. For one, people who achieve the status of Concierge receive a monocle and a top hat as a gift for their in-world avatar from RSI. Buy a nice long coat in-game with that, and a handsome Steampunk avatar is the result (not while flying your space craft, of course, unless you want to be killed by lack of oxygen). Secondly, many of the places in Star Citizen (space ports, cities on various planets, etc.) have all kinds of Steampunk features showing steaming pipes, mechanic surroundings, copper and brown coloured environments combined with cyberpunk characteristics.

steampunk-punks in star citizen
Star Citizen

So the idea of buying a beautiful and unique Steampunk gift to a partner in real life that fits the virtual space hobby of a Star Citizen player, definitely is not so farfetched and strange at all. There is certainly a link between both worlds and while treating yourself with a new spaceship, you could maybe make two people happy in two different ways: a special and unique new spaceship for you and a pretty and extraordinary piece of jewellery as a gift for your partner!

For more information on Star Citizen, have a look at my husband’s site:

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Gwendolyne of Gwendolyne's Steampunk Gems for unique gifts

Steampunk Jewellery and me . . . .

Steampunk jewellery and me. . . . .  where do I begin, oh yes, since my earliest childhood, I (Gwendolyne Blaney) have had a great love for Fantasy, Goth and Steampunk. Steampunk Jewellery and me

This showed throughh the books I love to read, the clothes I love to wear and the sort jewellery I love to collect. For instance, when I was a teenager, I only had the 4 posters of Alfons Mucha’s “The Times of Day” on my bedroom wall instead of the popular actors and singers most teenagers probably decorated their rooms with.

Some time ago, while I was using some clock parts designing some necklaces, one of my favourite pastimes, I discovered how much I liked creating jewellery with a Steampunk character. I got so passionate about making these Steampunk Gems, that within no time I had designed and created over a 100 pendants, earrings, hair clips, and bracelets, using among others little cogs and wheels, tiny screws and other clock parts. What an awesome hobby!

Friends, acquaintances, but also strangers in the street, were interested in my unique handcrafted Steampunk necklaces that I was wearing and asked if I had any that were for sale. All of those people, who genuinely loved my work, had no specific interest in Steampunk or even knew what it was! Thus the thought of making my hobby into my work by creating my own little web shop arose, so I could make more people happy with the Steampunk jewellery I make. With the technical knowledge, skills and help of my dear husband, John Blaney, this web shop was created.

I am of the opinion, that Steampunk does not only fit the role playing games industry, Fantasy and Steampunk events or Carnival, but that elegant Steampunk jewellery can be worn by anyone at any time. All the jewellery I make are my own designs and creations. Besides, all products are handcrafted and unique. Although some products may look alike, for instance because of variations in colour, most of them are still one of a kind. Therefore I decided to give the Steampunk gems their own name and number. If there are more of a certain item then this will be mentioned with the product on the site.

The Steampunk accessories are made with vulnerable small parts and have to be handled with care. As with most jewellery, my jewellery is not suitable for young children because of its small parts. It may happen that (part of) the jewellery shows some discoloration because of the reaction of the PH value of the human skin with the materials of the jewellery parts used. This is different for every person and unfortunately, I cannot do anything about that.

Besides the categories with Steampunk products, there is also a non-Steampunk category. Here you will find some stylish products that I handcrafted myself and that is for sale, but that does not have a distinguished Steampunk character.

My products can only be ordered online. Your order will be sent to you once your payment has been received on the account. Prices on the web shop are excluding VAT and exclusive of postal charges. The VAT will be shown before you pay on the check-out page as well as the delivery charges. Special offers are being made visible on the website and are of a temporary nature.

For questions or specific requests concerning my Steampunk jewellery you can send an email to: I will try to contact you as soon as possible with an answer. Or you can give us a ring at this mobile number from Monday to Friday in between 10:00-17:00 hrs CET: 0031 6192 04491. Obviously, during my holidays I cannot answer emails or phone calls, but I will try to get back to you as soon as possible when work starts again.

There is also a Facebook page, an Instagram account and a Twitter page for Steampunk Gems. Feel free to take a look. I hope you will appreciate my little Steampunk gems. I will add some new jewellery to the shop every other month at least.

For more detailed information about GSG Steampunk Gems, products and prices, delivery and postal services, privacy policy, et cetera, you can read the Terms & Conditions.

Gwendolyne Blaney – ©2017

Gwendolyne’s Steampunk Gems (GSG) is registered at the Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands with registration number: 70080992.

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Kerst Markt 2018

GSG at Kerst Markt 2018 Teresiaplein, Eindhoven

Gwendolyne's Steampunk Gems at the Theresia Christmas Market

Oh, wat was het koud tijdens de Theresia Kerstmarkt! Ondanks de kou, met goede moed en in prachtige kerstsfeer heeft Gwendolyne’s Steampunk Gems haar mooie handgemaakte sieraden aan de bezoekers getoond. We hebben hele leuke reacties en lieve complimenten gehad op onze bijzondere creaties.

Freezing cold but in a good mood and with the right Christmas atmosphere, Gwendolyne’s Steampunk Gems showed the beautiful handmade jewellery to the public. We had some lovely reactions to our pretty handcrafted creations!

From the back of the stall it looked like this...
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How to find unique gifts?

How to Find Unique Gifts?

How to find unique gifts?

One of the most difficult things that people might be looking for on the internet, in my opinion, is when searching for a specific product for you partner, your wife, your mother, someone special, but you do not know exactly what it is you want to give to them, except it has to be something different and unique. How to start finding that special gift? What words do you put in the search bar?

A possible way is to narrow down your search by filling in your question in the search bar, leaving a space behind it and putting in a minus sign in front of words of items or things you are definitely NOT looking for. However, this means that you will probably still end up with a zillion results, but not per se closer to what you wanted in the first place. Especially for very specific items or ideas that you yourself might still be unaware of, e.g. Steampunk jewellery and accessories. It is a difficult process to find your way through this maze of online shops. You can compare it with the High Street in a town, where all the big and well-known companies are much easier to find than that extraordinary cute shop with its unique and handcrafted products, tucked away down a little cobbled avenue just around the corner. Unless you know exactly where to look, you might just pass it without getting to see all of the little gems they keep.

This is how I like to see my online shops with special jewellery and accessories: and They are virtually tucked away beauties with special and beautiful handmade jewellery in a Steampunk style, not easy to find in a jungle full of online stores.

Maybe people might (still) be unaware of them, but once someone hits the right search phrase, a world of pretty steampunk gems opens up. Who knows, maybe that is how you found this page? Maybe you are looking for that extraordinary piece of jewellery, the perfect gift to give to a loved one or maybe even yourself? How wonderful would it be if you really found what you were actually looking for, even though you have only figured that out now?

Although I do not hold the answer to the difficulties of wading through the hundreds of pages with hidden unique products, I hope that I can make those who end up on my sites a little wiser on what they were looking for and happier about what they see here. I certainly hope, that the beautiful creations in my online shops can help you find that special present you didn’t know existed at first.

Whether you are taken by my jewellery or not, I am happy you found my site and took the time to read my blog on finding that unique gift you were looking for. It would be most appreciated if you would leave a short comment on how you discovered my site when searching for a nice gift or otherwise. Thank you so much.


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Gwendolyne's Latest Steampunk Gems

New Steampunk Gems

Sinead Blaney wearing a Steampunk Gem

Sinead Blaney wears Steampunk jewellery by Gwendolyne’s Steampunk Gems

Sinead Blaney wearing a Steampunk Gem
Sinead Blaney proudly showing off her Steampunk Gem

In the creating process of building my website for the online store GSG Steampunk Gems and handcrafting Steampunk jewellery, I asked my stepdaughter Sinead Blaney about her thoughts on my creations. Her opinion matters a lot to me since she is not only a smart and beautiful young woman, but she is also a professional model for MiLK Models in the UK, who has a good insight and knowledge on current day fashion and trends.

It was very nice to hear how she liked my gems when she first saw them in reality. The fact that she was willing to wear a gem, that I specially made for her birthday, to an event that is linked to her work was a big and lovely surprise. She also told me she liked to show a picture of herself wearing the GSG Steampunk Gem on her Instagram account, so all her followers could see it too. That made me very happy as well (understatement) and I feel honoured that she wanted to do that for GSG Steampunk Gems and me.

These are the pictures where Sinead shows the necklace I created for her, with Sinead’s approval for showing these on my website.

‘link-to-post’, ‘post_link_shortcode’

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Sinead Blaney wearing a Steampunk Gem
Sinead Blaney wearing her Steampunk Gem

Dutch Design Week – 2017

Steampunk Gems at Dutch Design Week 2017

Dutch Design Week 2017

Onterfd Goed, Eindhoven

Steampunk Gems – In September 2017 I met a friend while shopping. During our conversation we ended up talking about my hobby of making jewellery with a Steampunk character, using clock parts, cogs and gears. I happened to be wearing one of my necklaces at the time. She really liked it as well as some of the pictures I had on my mobile phone of some other pieces. I also mentioned that it was my intention to maybe start my own business selling the jewellery online since the hobby got a bit out-of-hand and some people had already shown their interest in buying them if possible.

Steampunk Gems at Onterfd Goed at Dutch Design Week

At that time my friend was a volunteer at “Onterfd Goed“, an organisation that helps to find new owners for “forgotten” or unwanted art pieces and collections, that would otherwise be destroyed by burning (e.g. paintings) or melting down (e.g. sculptures) the items. Onterfd Goed was going to take part in the Dutch Design Week (DDW) only a couple of weeks later, which is an annual nine-day event about Dutch design that attracts huge amounts of visitors each year and is hosted in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. It is the biggest design event in Northern Europe that has been organised for more than 12 years now. (See for more information on the DDW also and Wikipedia page

Steampunk Gems at Onterfd Goed during Dutch Design Week

My friend told me she wanted to ask her boss if it was possible for me to show some of my handcrafted little gems during the DDW. She called me back soon afterwards that it was okay. This meant a fantastic opportunity for me because now I could show my Steampunk jewellery to the public and find out if more people would be eager to wear my Steampunk jewellery.

The Dutch Design Week 2017 took place from 12th to the 19th October 2017 and Onterfd Goed gave me a beautiful place inside their showroom/shop to display my jewellery: next to the information and pay desk. Many people asked about the gems and gave lovely comments about them. One bracelet, Magdalene, was sold on the first day.

Steampunk Gems at Dutch Design Week 2017

I want to thank the people from Onterfd Goed again for giving me this incredible chance of taking part in the DDW through their organisation. It meant a lot to me to be able to show my gems to nearly 20,000 visitors who visited this place on this big event. It also gave me the confidence to start my webshop GSG Steampunk Gems and really turn my fantastic handcrafting hobby into an awesome job opportunity. Hopefully, there will be many years of creating beautiful GSG Steampunk Gems and making customers happy with them.

In September 2017 kwam ik een vriendin tegen terwijl ik aan het winkelen was en tijdens ons gesprek kwamen we aan de praat over mijn hobby: het maken van sieraden met een Steampunk karakter, waarbij ik gebruik maak van onder andere klokonderdelen, radartjes en tandwielen. Ik vertelde haar, dat de hobby enigszins uit de hand aan het lopen was en ik al een behoorlijk aantal van deze sieraden had ontworpen en ook dat al verschillende mensen hadden gevraagd of ze misschien niet te koop waren. Toevallig had ik op dat moment zo’n ketting om en kon ik haar wat foto’s op mijn mobiele telefoon laten zien van andere Steampunk sieraden die ik eerder had gemaakt. Ze vond ze erg mooi en toen ik vertelde, dat ik aan het denken was om een eigen webwinkel te starten waar ik mijn Steampunk sieraden en accessoires kon verkopen, kwam ze met een brilliant idee.

Steampunk Gems at Onterfd Goed during Dutch Design WeekOp dat moment was mijn vriendin als vrijwilliger actief bij “Onterfd Goed“, een organisatie die helpt om nieuwe eigenaren te vinden voor “vergeten kunst” of anderszins “overbodige kunst” uit collecties in musea, gemeentes en kunstuitlenen, die anders op de nominatie zouden staan voor vernietiging. Hierdoor kan Nederlands erfgoed bewaard blijven en weer zichtbaar gemaakt ( Onterfd Goed zou een paar weken later als deelnemer meedoen aan de Dutch Design Week (DDW), een grootschalig en internationaal jaarlijks negendaags evenement in Eindhoven (Nederland), waarbij design in allerlei facetten centraal staat en dat ieder jaar weer grote aantallen bezoekers trekt. De DDW is het grootste design evenement in Noord-Europa en wordt al ruim 12 jaar georganiseerd. (Kijk voor meer informatie ook op en Wikipedia pagina

Steampunk Gems display at Onterfd Goed during Dutch Design WeekMijn vriendin zei, dat ze haar baas wilde vragen of het mogelijk was dat ik wellicht een aantal van mijn handgemaakte sieraden zou kunnen tonen in een vitrine bij Onterfd Goed gedurende de Dutch Design Week. Ze belde me al gauw terug, dat het akkoord was en ik een aantal Steampunk juweeltjes kon komen brengen. Dit betekende een fantastische kans voor mij, want nu kon ik mijn sieraden echt aan een groot publiek tonen en uitvinden of misschien meer mensen mijn sieraden graag zouden willen dragen.

Steampunk Gems at Dutch Design Week 2017

De Dutch Design Week 2017 vond plaats tussen 12-19 oktober 2017 en Onterfd Goed gaf me een mooie plek voor mijn sieraden in een vitrinebox naast de informatie- en betaalbalie. Veel mensen stelden vragen over de sieraden en gaven mooie commentaren op de ontwerpen ervan. Een armband, Magdalene, werd al op de eerste dag verkocht.

Ik wil de mensen van Onterfd Goed nog eens hartelijk bedanken voor de geweldige kans die zij me geboden hebben om via hun organisatie mijn sieraden te mogen tonen tijdens de DDW. Het betekende heel veel voor mij om mijn ontwerpen te kunnen showen aan de bijna 20.000 bezoekers aan Onterfd Goed tijdens dit evenement. Het gaf me bovendien de moed om mijn wens door te zetten om mijn fantastische hobby om te zetten in een geweldige baan en de start van de webwinkel niet langer voor me uit te schuiven. Hopelijk zullen er nog vele creatieve jaren volgen in het ontwerpen en maken van mooie GSG Steampunk Gems en kunnen er nog vele klanten blij gemaakt kunnen worden met deze prachtige sieraden.

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Steampunk Gems Steampunk City Jewellery

Steampunk in the Arts

Literature, Films, Games, Music, Architecture and Art

The following lists contain a number of books, films, games and architectural structures that either have clear elements of or are based on Steampunk as a genre. Obviously there are plenty more to add in these categories, but here is a start…


  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (1870) by Jules Verne
  • The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells
  • The Anubis Gates (1983) by Tim Pow
    Steampunk in the Arts - Mainspring by Jay Lake
    Mainspring by Jay Lake


  • Infernal Devices (1987) by K.W. Jeter
  • The Difference Engine (1990) by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999) by Jess Nevins
  • Perdido Street Station (2000) by China Miéville
  • Mainspring (2007) by Jay Lake
  • Extraordinary Engines (2008) by Nick Gevers
  • Steampunk (2008) & Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded (2010) by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
  • Boneshaker (2009) by Cherie Priest
  • Johannes Cabal the Detective (2010) by Jonathan L. Howard
  • The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (2011) by Mark Hodder
  • The Martian Ambassador (2011) by Alan K. Baker
  • The Executioner’s Heart (2013) by George Mann

Links for more ideas and information on Steampunk novels can be found on e.g.:


  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) a Technicolor adventure film, produced by Walt Disney through Walt Disney Production and adapted from Jules Verne’s 1870’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1958) a Czechoslovak adventure film directed by Karel Zeman and distributed in the U.S.A. in 1961, based on several works by Jules Verne and primarily his 1896 novel “Facing the Flag”
  • The City of Lost Children (1995) by Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Wild Wild West (1999) by Barry Sonnenfeld, written by S.S. Wilson & Brent Maddock as an adaptation on the 1960s TV series The Wild Wild West.
  • Atlantis:The Lost Empire (2001) an animated action-adventure film by Walt Disney Feature Animation, written by Tab Murphy, directed by Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise, produced by Don Hahn
  • Treasure Planet (2002) animated film by Walt Disney Feature Animation, a science fiction adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure novel Treasure Island
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) by 20th Century Fox, directed by Stephen Norrington and based on the comic books series “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill
  • Van Helsing (2004) by Stephen Sommers, a homage and attribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the ‘30s and ‘40s
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) by Brad Silberling, an adaptation of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket
  • Steamboy (2004) a Japanese steampunk animation action film produced by Sunrise and directed and co-written by Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) a Japanese animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and based on the novel “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005) a Japanese animated film by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa
  • The Prestige (2006) by Christopher Nolan based on Christopher Priest’s novel “The Prestige”
  • The Golden Compass (2007) by Chris Weitz and based on Philip Pullman’s first novel “Northern Lights” of the trilogy “His Dark Materials”
  • City of Ember (2008) directed by Gil Kenan and based on the 2003 novel “The City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau
  • 9 (2009) a computer-animated film by Shane Acker, written by Pamela Petter and produced by Jim Lemley, Tim Burton, Dana Ginsburg & Timur Bekmambetov
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009) by Guy Ritchie, based on the character “Sherlock Holmes” created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Hugo (2011) by Martin Scorsese based on Brian Selznick’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” (fun fact: one of my sister-in-laws was an extra
    Steampunk Films - A scene from the film Hugo
    A scene from the film Hugo

    in this film)

  • Going Postal (2010) by Terry Pratchett, Richard Kurti & Bev Doyle based on Terry Pratchett’s 33rd Discworld novel Going Postal
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov & Jim Lemley based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) by Tim Burton and written by Jane Goldman, based on the 2011 novel “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

Games for PC and consoles

  • The Chaos Engine (1993) a top-down run and gun video game developed by The Bitmap Brothers and published by Renegade Software
  • Myst (1993), Riven (1997) & Myst III: Exile (2001), graphic adventure puzzle video games produced by Cyan Worlds
  • Final Fantasy VI (1994) also known as Final Fantasy III is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Thief (1998-present) is a series of stealth video games, developed by Looking Glass Studios (1998-2000), Ion Storm (2004) and Eidos Montréal (2014-present) and published by Eidos Interactive (1998-2004) and Square Enix (2014-present)
  • Skies of Arcadia (2000) a role-playing video game developed by Overworks for the Dreamcast and published by Sega
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001) a role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Sierra Entertainment
  • Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends (2003) a real-time strategy video game for the PC made by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft
  • Fable II & III (2008 & 2010) an action role-playing open world video game developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360
  • Machinarium (2009) a puzzle point-and-click adventure game developed by Amanita Design and released for various platforms
  • Stacking (2011) an adventure puzzle video game developed by Double Fine Productions and published by THQ, released for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 video game consoles
  • Anno 2070 (201
    Steampunk Games - Steam Hammer - Big Way Games
    Steam Hammer – Big Way Games
    1) a city-building and economic simulation game with real-time elements, developed by Related Designs and Blue Byte and published by Ubisoft
  • Alice: Madness Returns (2011) a psychological horror action-adventure platform video game developed by Spicy Horse and released by Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • Dishonored (2012) stealth action-adventure video game by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks
  • BioShock Infinite (2013) a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games
  • The Order: 1886 (2015) a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Ready at Dawn and SCE Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, released for the Playstation 4

Upcoming games for 2018 that have obvious elements of Steampunk are:

Air (Ascent Infinite Realm), by Bluehole and Kakaogames. More information on this game:

Steam Hammer, by Big Way Games. More info on this game:


Steampunk in music

Steampunk has appeared in the work of musicians who are known to mix Victorian and modern elements in their music and performance style, like Abney Park and Vernian Process. Thomas Dolby is also considered as one of the early pioneers of retro-futurist music. But Steampunk music is very broadly defined and it has also appeared in the works of musicians who do not specifica

Steampunk in Music - Abney Park
Abney Park

lly identify as Steampunk, e.g. the music video “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” by Panic! At the Disco has a distinct Victorian Steampunk theme. Throughout the band’s 2011 album “Vices and Virtues” this theme continues. The album “Clockwork Angels” (2012) by progressive rock band Rush contains lyrics, themes, and imagery based around Steampunk.

Here is a link to a webpage where you can find a list of bands which are considered Steampunk bands:

Steampunk in architecture, art and design

There are several architectural buildings and artistic visualisations of Steampunk that can be found around the world. Next to the design of the submarine the Nautilus, named after the submarine from Jules Verne’s novel 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, which can be found in Six Flags Magic Mountain and the Disney Parks, there are even bigger projects that are to be found in more daily settings than a theme park.

Belgian artist François Schuiten redesigned the Paris Metro station at Arts et Métiers in Steampunk style in 1994, to honour the works of Jules Verne. The station is reminiscent of a submarine, sheathed in brass with giant cogs in the ceiling and portholes you can see beautiful scenes through.

Founding member, Sean Orlando, of the artist group Kinetic Steam Works created a Steampunk Tree House that is now permanently installed at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware.

Shannon O’Hare designed a three-story, self-propelled mobile art vehicle that resembles a Victorian house on wheels, called “The Neverwas Haul”. It was built in 2006 and can now be seen at Obtainium Works, an art car factory in Vallejo, California, U.S.A.

Steampunk in Architecture and Art – Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand

In November 2010 Damien McNamara opened “The Libratory Steampunk Art Gallery” in Oamaru, New Zealand. A year later a more permanently gallery, “Steampunk HQ”, was opened in the former Meeks Grain Elevator Building across the road from The Woolstore. Now it is a famous tourist attraction for Oamaru.

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