The Harry Oppenheimer Israel Diamond Museum, located within the Israeli Diamond Industry complex, will open an exhibition of rare and ancient jewelry excavated in archeological sites throughout Israel on Friday.
The exhibition will reveal gold jewelry that has never before been seen, much of which dates from Biblical times and earlier. The jewels, some of which are set with precious stones, enable a rare glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of the ancient Israelites, and attest to the Land of Israel’s position as a cultural and commercial crossroad of the ancient world. All of the items have been lent to the diamond museum courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The exhibition also reveals a great deal about the creation of ancient jewelry—the methods, the craftsmen, the influences of other ancient civilizations, and the role jewelry played in the religion and culture of the times. More than 100 pieces from the collections of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Hecht Museum were chosen by curator Yehuda Kassif to shed light on this subject.
The exhibition brings back to the days of the Bible, when golden balls used in intricate jewelry designs were known as “apples.” The exhibition takes its name from the Book of Proverbs, chapter 25, verse 11: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
“This exhibition is The Israeli Diamond Industry’s tribute to the ancient jewelry tradition of the Land of Israel. It is a fitting way to connect our past and present, especially during Israel’s 60th anniversary,” said Eli Avidar, managing director of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies and the Israel Diamond Museum. “Our ancient roots include a rich jewelry-making tradition. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to explore this tradition, which forms the basis for our contemporary jewelry creations.”
The Harry Oppenheimer Israel Diamond Museum was reopened this year after undergoing a major renovation.