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The Timeless Appeal of Bronze Jewellery

The term 'the Bronze Age' was first introduced in the early part of the nineteenth century, classifying a period of pre-history according to the tools that were used to manufacture cutting tools and weapons.  Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin but the exact origin of the invention of extracting these metals from their ore and smelting them into bronze is subject to discussion although the technique became widespread during the 3rd millennium BC.  Bronze tools and ornaments could be repaired or smelted and cast into new ones and bronze soon replaced jewellery that had previously been made from bone and horn.   Bronze is very wearable and the historic significance of bronze jewellery which is evident in South West England has inspired me to make some bronze torques and rings which complement the silver and gold pieces in my online shop.

Bronze Jewellery has never gone out of style

Bronze has been used for centuries to create beautiful and durable objects and despite its ancient origins it has never gone out of style.  It is a popular choice for jewellery makers and collectors alike and due to its unique warm colour and lustrous finish it makes an excellent complement to any outfit whether you prefer a rustic natural look or something more modern and sleek.  Bronze is incredibly versatile making it an ideal material for creating a wide range of jewellery designs.

Bronze Torque by Richard F Burns Jewellery
The History and Cultural Significance of Bronze Jewellery

Bronze has a rich history in jewellery-making which continued beyond the Bronze Age.  In many cultures bronze was believed to have mystical and healing properties.  The ancient Egyptians, for example, used bronze in their jewellery-making and believed that it had the power to ward off evil spirits and protect the wearer from harm.  In ancient China bronze was used to create intricate pieces of jewellery that were often adorned with symbols and characters that had special meaning

Bronze Age - Jurassic Coast & Dorset

My studio is located in Dorset famous for its Jurassic coastline which together with the beautiful landscape, inspires and influences my designs. 

Some of what have been considered to be "classic" settlements of the British Middle Bronze Age have been found in Dorset.  Sites such as South Lodge in Cranborne Chase (Barrett et al. 1991) and Shearplace Hill (Rahtz and ApSimon 1962; Avery and Close-Brooks 1969), have been considered as typical sites.  These settlements typically comprise several circular buildings which were accompanied by raised granaries, ponds and fence lines. Sometimes the settlements were enclosed, and some were also surrounded by field systems. In some cases barrows (burial mounds) were sited nearby.  A growing number of other settlements can placed alongside these type sites. There is a mixture of enclosed and unenclosed (or open) settlements and at several sites only a single building has been found. 

Dorset is a rich source of bronze age materials and artefacts.  In January 2024 the BBC reported that Dorset Museum & Art Gallery want to purchase an important Bronze Age treasure hoard found recently.  The Middle Bronze Age hoard, found in Stalbridge, in the Blackmore Vale, consists of a palstave axe head, a decorated bangle and a rapier sword that appeared to be deliberately broken in three pieces and buried.

The Wylye Hoard is a hoard of Bronze Age jewellery, discovered by metal detectorists in a cultivated field, north-east of the village of Wylye, Wiltshire, England, in 2012. In February 2014, it was declared treasure, under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996.  After valuation it is understood that the hoard was purchased by the Salisbury Museum which also owns the Wardour Hoard, 
Bronze Age, 2,200 - 700 BC.  This hoard is more than 2700 years old and contains over 100 copper alloy objects. The range of objects consists of tools – axe heads, chisels, sickles, gouges; weapons – spearheads, daggers, knives, swords, scabbard fittings; and ornaments – razors, rings, jewellery, and a cauldron clamp. 

Bronze Rings by Richard F Burns Jewellery
Bronze Age style Rings by Richard F Burns Jewellery


One of the main advantages of bronze is its durability.  Bronze is a strong alloy that is generally resistant to corrosion and wear which makes it an ideal material for creating jewellery pieces that can be worn every day.


Bronze can be cast into a wide range of shapes and designs, making it an excellent choice for creating intricate and detailed pieces.  Bronze can be combined with other metals and materials such as silver and gold, to create eye-catching and unique designs.

Caring for your bronze jewellery

Storing Bronze Jewellery

To keep your bronze jewellery looking its best, it's important to take proper care of it.  One of the most important things to remember when caring for bronze jewellery is to keep it dry.  Despite its strong durability, bronze can tarnish and corrode when exposed to moisture, so it's important to remove your bronze jewellery before swimming or showering.

Another important aspect of caring for bronze jewellery is to store it properly.  Bronze jewellery should be stored in a dry airtight container to prevent tarnishing and corrosion.  However, if your bronze jewellery does become tarnished, it be can polished with a soft cloth and a mild cleaning solution.

Care and Maintenance of Bronze Jewellery

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