Crime

Have You Seen Jewels Like These? The British Museum Wants to Know

CrimeSep 28, 2023

Have You Seen Jewels Like These? The British Museum Wants to Know

The museum is asking for the public’s help in finding thousands of pieces of ancient gold jewelry and gemstones stolen from a storeroom.

Gold Roman Bracelet from the British Museum
The British Museum has created a webpage to aid in the recovery of the approximately 2,000 jewels stolen from one of its storerooms by an employee. The webpage contains images of pieces in the museum’s collection that are similar to those that were taken, like this gold bracelet from Rome in the 2nd-3rd century A.D. (Photo courtesy of the British Museum)
London—The British Museum is asking for the public’s help in recovering more than 1,000 pieces of ancient Greek and Roman jewelry snatched from a storeroom by a museum employee.

On Tuesday, the London museum issued an update on its search for the stolen antiquities and launched a webpage dedicated to recovering the items. 

The webpage does not contain images of the exact pieces of jewelry that were stolen—museum officials said recovery specialists advised them against doing so—but shows similar pieces still in the museum’s collection. 




It is looking for gems, cameos and intaglios, either loose or set in jewelry, made of gemstones like sard, sardonyx and amethyst or glass that date to Greece’s Hellenistic period or the Roman Empire. 

They could be carved with the likenesses of famous individuals from ancient times, mythological scenes, animals, or objects. The museum described the gems as being of “varied quality,” and said some may be fragmentary or otherwise damaged.

Also missing are gold earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets, mostly from the Late Bronze Age (about 15th to 11th century B.C.) and the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

 Related stories will be right here … 

The British Museum first publicly acknowledged the missing, stolen and damaged gold jewelry and gemstones via a press release issued Aug. 16.

It said the objects in question had been kept in a storeroom and used largely for academic research purposes; they had not been on display recently. 

The museum fired a staff member in connection with thefts and said it would be pressing charges. Its director, Hartwig Fischer, resigned a week later.

It then turned the case over to London’s Metropolitan Police. No arrests have been made, according to a New York Times story from earlier this month.

On Tuesday, the museum said it has gotten back 60 of the approximately 2,000 items stolen, while 300 more have been identified as belonging to the museum and are expected to be returned shortly.

It said it has assembled an international panel of experts, including James Ratcliffe from the Art Loss Register and Lynda Albertson from the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, to aid in the return of the rest of the jewels.

It also has placed the missing items on the Art Loss Register, the world’s largest private database of stolen, lost, and looted art and antiquities. 

The museum has established an “email hotline” for anyone who thinks they might have seen these jewels or have any other information on the case. 

The email is: recovery@britishmuseum.org

It said it expects to provide updates in the coming months regarding any items it has recovered. 

The Latest

Warren H. Morss, Monica L. Caldwell, Mark T. Cartwright
GradingJun 21, 2024
ASA Elects New Gems and Jewelry Discipline Governor, Members-At-Large

Warren H. Morss is the new governor, while Monica L. Caldwell and Mark T. Cartwright are the members-at-large.

Ella Klein internship
SourcingJun 21, 2024
Julius Klein Partners With WJA on New Internship

The Ella Klein Internship will take place in New York this summer.

Zadok Jewelers Texas Collection
CollectionsJun 21, 2024
Say Howdy to Zadok Jewelers’ New ‘Texas’ Collection

Cowboy boots, horseshoes, and longhorn motifs make an appearance in the Houston-based jeweler’s new line.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Eriness’ Snake Coil Necklace
CollectionsJun 21, 2024
Piece of the Week: Eriness’ ‘Snake Coil’ Necklace

Join Eriness’ garden party with this emerald-eyed snake.

Weekly QuizJun 20, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane satellite image
Policies & IssuesJun 20, 2024
5 Safety and Preparedness Tips for Jewelers This Hurricane Season

Jewelers Mutual is advising jewelers along the coast to prepare for above-normal hurricane activity this year.

JVC’s Sara Yood and Tiffany Stevens
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Sara Yood Appointed JVC CEO As Tiffany Stevens Moves On

The leadership change at the organization charged with guiding the industry on legal issues will take effect next week.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time
SourcingJun 20, 2024
Jewelry Expert Helen Molesworth to Release First Book

“Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time” will be available on Sept. 17.

Claire’s interim CEO Chris Cramer
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Claire’s CEO Ryan Vero Steps Down

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Chris Cramer has been named interim CEO.

Jewelers of America advocacy trip DC 2024
Policies & IssuesJun 18, 2024
JA, Industry Leaders Take Russian Diamond Import Concerns to D.C.

The group met with lawmakers to raise awareness about the financial, operational, and supply chain harms posed by an EU proposal.

Louis Comfort Tiffany 1900 gold and opal necklace
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
Driehaus Museum Displaying Rare Jewels From Chicago Collections

The museum also will host jewelry heist-themed movie nights throughout the run of “Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective.”

Models wearing Pomellato’s “The Dualism of Milan” collection
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Pomellato’s New High Jewelry Collection Celebrates Milan

“The Dualism of Milan” collection features two chapters representing the monochromatic and colorful spirit of the city.

Dorian Webb, Kealeboga and Ursula Pule
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Zales Adds Dorian Webb, Nungu Diamonds to Designer Edit

The Designer Edit, launched earlier this year, highlights up-and-coming jewelry designers.

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers Logo
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
NAJA Announces Its Mid-Year ‘Ace It’ Conference

The conference will focus on the “practical ‘how to’ of appraising gems and jewelry,” said NAJA Executive Director Gail Brett Levine.

De Beers CEO Al Cook
EditorsJun 17, 2024
Q&A: Al Cook on the Future of De Beers

The De Beers CEO discussed the Anglo American situation, natural diamond marketing, and why the future of lab-grown diamonds is technology.

Bernd Munsteiner
SourcingJun 17, 2024
Fantasy Cut Inventor Bernd Munsteiner Dies at 81

Known to many as the “Picasso of gems" who modernized the gem cutting field, he is remembered by his family as going through life with open eyes.

Thomas Markle Jewelers interior
IndependentsJun 17, 2024
Thomas Markle Jewelers to Relocate

The Houston-based family jeweler is relocating its flagship just across the street.

Instore and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Logos
Events & AwardsJun 17, 2024
Instore Show, Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference to Co-Locate

The partnership, now in its second year, allows CRJC attendees to register for a free Instore show badge.

Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

NJSB1.JPG
Supplier BulletinJun 13, 2024
Leading with Innovation: Core Scientific’s Advanced Refining Solutions

Sponsored by Core Scientific

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy