The Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing in Harrisonburg, Virginia, gives visitors a visual and sensory experience of jewelry making in the late 1800s.
The collection of over 7,000 unique dies, rollers and molds belong to jeweler Hugo Kohl. He started collecting after picking up a box of old pieces that fell from a truck on its way to a landfill and was enchanted and fascinated by the designs and history they represented.
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The museum overlooks Kohl’s workshop, where contemporary and reproduction pieces are made. The displays include a CAD system to design “vintage” rings, bracelets and pendants, which Kohl and his artisans with turn into actual pieces. In the works is a “made-by-me” station where visitors can make their own jewelry using the antique machines.
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