The Museum of Jurassic Technology’s Strange and Beautiful Jewels

The jewelry-box of a museum is an L.A. institution with a giftshop worthy of its cult following

The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City is a dim labyrinthine filled with obscure curiosities. The museum explores the connection between science, history, and art and it does so by exploring partially real, partially fictional myths.

Exhibits include Eye of the Needle: The Unique World of Micominiatures of Hagop Sandaldjian, which is a group of tiny sculptures set in needle heads, a collection of letters titled No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again, and a series of illustrations and dioramas that explain the history of the string game Cats Cradle.


Photograph Courtesy The Museum of Jurassic Technology

It’s easy to bypass the museum’s humble gift shop as you carve through its entrance, but to do so is a mistake. The shop is full of beautiful, eerie pieces. What will you find for sale in the entryway of L.A.’s strangest museum?

There’s a “Fairly Safe Venture” Ring Tree for stashing your prized possessions, necklaces with charms made of things like fruit stone carvings and golden bees, and silver medallions of hounds and fictional saints.

There’s a golden locket that’s sold alongside a sheet of interchangeable locket designs of ornate floral arrangements and miniscule human figures made from butterfly wings.

You’ll even find a pair of metallic green beetle-wing earrings, which pay homage to an exhibition that compares the resonant frequencies of beetles and gemstones. And there’s much more.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology pushes the boundaries established by traditional establishments, so their selection of nonconformist jewelry makes sense. The pieces we’ve curated below—like many of the museum’s exhibitions—are nature-inspired—with a twist.