What Is Steampunk Jewelry?

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A man is holding parts of steampunk jewelry.
A man is holding parts of steampunk jewelry. (Image: Cylonphoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Mix together a bit of the past -- Victorian-era jewelry paired with the industrial revolution -- and add a splash of futuristic reality based in science fiction, and you'll have the inspiration for steampunk jewelry. A genre that draws from a fantasy world that includes classics like "The Time Machine" from H.G. Wells or "Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Vernes, steam power is the primary source of energy for technologically advanced machines. It's these mechanical influences that are the main focal point of steampunk style.

Wearable Art

Steampunk jewelry presents concepts of age, industry and time, blending together watch gears, antique skeleton keys and military medals to create rings, bracelets, necklaces and other ornaments. It is characterized by fused metals in anything from bronze and copper to aluminum and titanium, harvested from Swiss watches, vintage jewelry and even old machines. Speaking with "Wired" magazine, steampunk jewelry designer Ricky Wolbrom creates her rings, cufflinks and brooches using "broken and forgotten treasures," turning what others consider junk into wearable pieces of art. Because the unique jewelry is an amalgamation of found odds and ends, no two pieces are ever alike.

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