A rolling mill from 1870 that still produces a perfect sheet of gold. A battered bench that generations of Tiffany & Co. jewelers once worked at. One of the country’s first chain-making machines. These are just a few of the treasures from the history of jewelry making in the United States housed at the Providence Jewelry Museum.
From its earliest years, this has been a nation of people who make things. By preserving some of the country’s oldest jewelry-making tools and weaving together the story of how pieces were made from the 1700s to the present day, the museum tells the story of American jewelry makers. It is a kind of ode to these makers and to the value they bring in a society that has gone digital. And it is a clarion call for preserving the legacy of an American culture of makers.
The museum’s curator and caretaker, Peter DiCristofaro, is a patient collector. Over the last 40 years he has slowly gathered together this story of American jewelry making from the shambles of jewelry factories that went out of business, from Etsy and eBay, from art and jewelry shows small and large across the country. Read more at riojeweler.com