Fit for Cleopatra: Jewelry with an Ancient Egyptian Edge

This recently launched collection from a Brazilian designer will appeal to heritage-loving female travelers.

Earrings adorned with gold, carnelian, diamond, and miniature portraits of ancient Egyptian women. (All photos courtesy of Silvia Furmanovich)

2022 is shaping up to be a big year for Egypt. Not only does it mark the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, but it will also see the debut of the long-delayed Grand Egyptian Museum, which is expected to open outside Cairo in November. Many jewelry designers have taken note as well; among them, São Paulo–based Silvia Furmanovich, whose Egypt collection takes inspiration from the country’s rich heritage.

The recently introduced range was born following a visit to Egypt in January 2021, when Furmanovich toured archaeological sites along the Nile like the UNESCO-listed temple complexes at Philae, Luxor, and Karnak. The designer took note of the architectural details and motifs she saw during the trip, channeling them into one-of-a-kind pieces that combine antique papyrus, colorful wood marquetry, and gold with a selection of hand-carved gemstones from lapis lazuli and turquoise to jasper and carnelian. Each item also features ancient symbols such as scarabs and the Eye of Horus.

Whether it’s a pearl necklace with a miniature painting of a date palm flanked by hieroglyphics, or a wooden clutch that depicts white lotuses, often used to represent Upper Egypt during antiquity, these accessories make an ideal gift for history-minded female travelers. Cat-lovers will no doubt gravitate toward the 18-karat gold and diamond earrings adorned with felines sculpted in turquoise — the ancient Egyptians revered the creatures as vessels of the gods, signs of divinity and protection.

Colorful wooden marquetry is featured on a lotus clutch (left) and a scarab ring (right).

Left to right: Earrings named after the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet; a pearl-and-gold necklace with a miniature painting of a date palm.

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