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Jewelry on the Titanic Ship

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The need for safety in the transport sector has remained one of the key focuses to many governments and stakeholders across the globe. This is due to the facts that, a lot of resources are spent yearly in for insurance compensations, treating the affected among other factors. As compared to road transport, sea transport can be regarded as a more secure besides air transport. Further, many people have opted to use sea transport to move large and bulky goods such as machines among others. At the start of the 20th century, sea transport was a common mode of transport as it was cheap, available and considered secure as compared to rail, road when a long distance of travel was involved. Despite high level of technology being used to enhance the safety of passengers in the sea transport in the past, there have been some notable incidences where accidents have been reported, resulting to massive loss lives, and properties among other devastations. One of the notable cases of sea accidents was the one that was reported on 15th April 1912 after RMS Titanic sank amid its maiden voyage to the U.S. As a result of sinking of this ship, several artifacts have been recovered (Wade 13). Some of them include Ticket stubs, stemware, currency, bars of soap, letters from the passengers, menus from the last meals served on board and plaques, which were used as a signage amidst the voyage. Others include cooking as well as dining room items such the cutlery, jewelry, clothing such as this pair of shoes for a child, thus serving as a painful reminder of this tragedy, a liquor bottle, reading glasses, passenger lists, wine bottles, the number plate of one of the lifeboat used in the Titanic ship and smoking tins among other items (Wormstedt 61). The section below gives a brief history at the RMS Titanic ship.

RMS Titanic was a passenger liner from Britain that sank on 15th April 1912 in the Northern Atlantic after the ship crashed with an iceberg during the time of her voyage to the City of New York from Southampton, the United Kingdom. As a result of sinking of this ship, more than 1500 people lost their lives and considered as one of the deadliest type of disaster in peacetime in our modern history. According to Wormstedt (8), the RMS Titanic was the biggest ship afloat during the time of her voyage and was the second out of the three Olympic types of ocean liners, which were operated by White Star Lane. The ship was built by Wolff and Harland shipyard in Belfast. At the time of voyage, the ship had more than 2220 people as well as crew on board. Under the command of Smith Edward, the passengers on board included mostly the wealthiest people originating from different  sections of the globe as well as emigrants from areas such as Scandinavian, Ireland and Britain and other places in the European region as they sought for an enhanced lifestyle in the northern part of America. Wormstedt (28) indicates that, the Titanic ship was one of the luxury and comfortable ship built in the modern times. This is due to the fact that, it contained facilities such as swimming pools, on-board gymnasium , high-class restaurants, libraries, opulent cabins among other facilities. The ship also had wireless telegraph offered for the purpose of communication among the passengers on board. In the Titanic, the passenger facilities were aimed at enhancing high quality of comfort once on board. According to the general arrangement on the Titanic, the ship had the ability to accommodate 1,006 passengers in the Third Class, 614 in the Second class and 833 in the First Class, thus totaling to approximately 2,453 passenger capacity. In addition to this, the crew number was estimated to be 900, as the documents, which were found in the wreckage of the ship indicated that, the ship had the ability to hold 3,547 people. The interior design was extremely different as compared to other passenger ship as a result of the fact that, it was decorated in a heavy style of English country house or manor shop.

As a result of this, the ship was given several names such as the “floating palace”, “The unsinkable ship”, and even the “ship of dreams” among others (Spignesi 39). However, though she one of the most advanced features of safety like watertight apartments as well as water tight doors, which were remotely activated, the ship lacked enough lifeboats, which could significantly accommodate those people who were on board. As a result of outdated maritime regulator measures geared towards safe sailing, the ship only had lifeboats, which could cater for only 1,178 passengers. It is notable that, this was just 50% of those who were on travelling on this maiden voyage, and 33% of her entire crew and passenger capacity. After the ship left Southampton on 10 April 1912, the crew called Queenstown in Ireland and Cherbourg in France, prior to heading westwards. Four days later, at exactly 11:40 pm on 14th April 1912, the ship hit an iceberg, 600 kilometers (375 miles) in the southern part of Newfoundland. As a result of this crash, the hull plates on the Titanic buckled inwards and this was along the side of starboard, thus opening 30% (5 out of the 16) of her watertight compartments. This made the ship to start filling with water and eventually foundered three hours later.

Following this, crew member and passengers were evacuated using the available lifeboats, most of which were later launched when partly filled. It is notable that, a disproportional number of men, about 90%  on the second class, were left on board as the due to the fact that, the protocol of “children and women first” was employed by the officers who were loading the available lifeboats. Later, she broke apart as a result of increased water capacity as well as raised sea pressures, a factor which led to death of thousands of people who were yet to be saved through the lifeboats. The following diagram indicates a section of the Washington post announcing the disaster on 16th April 1912. Up to date, the wreckage of this great ship, which disintegrated into two parts, can be found 3,784 meters (12, 415 feet). Further, since discovery in 1985, there are thousands of artifacts which has been recovered including jewelry and thereafter placed in various museums across the globe. The following section will candidly look the jewelry, which has been recovered from the Titanic since 1985.

As indicated above, the Titanic ship was used to transport wealthy individuals and emigrants from the European region to the U.S. As a result of the fact that, the ship sank before all crew members and the passengers could be saved, it is clear that, there were a lot of precious items including jewelry, which was lost due to this. Out of the 2,228 passengers on board, only 705 survived, and of the 1,523 passengers who died, only 306 bodies were found. This is an indication that 1,217 bodies of those who perished in the Titanic were never found (Titanic Stories). Most of this jewelry have since been discovered and auctioned in different museums across the globe. 

The passengers on the Titanic had for four days enjoyed magical service and had been part of the most modern luxury to have been known to man at during that duration. It is significant to remember that, this was during the 20th century, any family that was considered wealthy were expected to spend time in Europe and from time to time and to do this they would have to cross the Atlantic at least once each year. Even though these travelers were already jaded enough, the Titanic ship was in a class absolutely luxurious and comfortable. The ship was very impressive and it consisted of a lot of luxury. The passengers were also very rich and the entire cruise consisted of people who were considered to be very influential in society at that point in time (Spignesi 41).

In order to be part of the luxury and to fit in with the other travelers, the women in the Titanic had to ensure that they brought on board the right clothes, jeweler, and other accessories. This required planning that lasted many months in order to look their best when they got on board this luxurious ship. They had to plan their outfits for months and then accessorize the outfits appropriately. Some of the accessories included hats that were large, mink stoles, and jeweler and of course gloves. The jeweler that they carried on board depicted the Edwardian and Art Nouveau and eras. The jewelry during the Art Nouveau era came by due to influences from naturalism which involved designs which were unusual. The frames were symmetrical. The artifacts often encompassed leaves, pearls, foliage, enamel, leaves, gemstones and crystals. The designs influenced by the Edwardian era on the other hand consisted of jeweler that was more formal such as brooches, tiaras, bracelets, pendants, rings, earrings and the necklaces that were of suitor designs. Many of these pieces of jeweler that were on board the Titanic had gemstones which were brilliant. There were also crystals, diamonds as well as pearl. The Antique Jewelry that was recovered from the wreck that was the Titanic forms a famous collection that counts for more than just their sentimental value. They are more famous for their quality and not necessarily for their monetary value. This quality cannot be seen or touched. The jeweler from the Titanic is the evocative due to the fact that it evokes many memories of the passengers and the crew members who were on board this luxurious ship.

Each of the jewelers represents a passenger, their life history and values. The jeweler that was found in the wreckage has also been displayed in several art exhibitions in Paris and still continues to influence the world of fashion today. The jewelry that was found in the remains of the Titanic consisted of 15 pieces. The jewelries obtained from the Titanic were considered as expensive and some of the items collected were made out of platinum (Linkin 17). A further display of wealth and opulence was the diamond filigree ring that had a gold ribbon, diamonds and 18kg worth of gold. Also discovered in the wreckage were green enamel, studs and gold cufflinks belonging to one of the passengers on board. The following section will offer the 15 pieces of jewelry discovered from the wreckage of the Titanic ship.

This is one of the rings found on the Titanic ship and probably was a ring won by one a recently married couples who were amid the ship, may be enjoying their honeymoon. It contained 18k yellow gold as well as platinum dinner ring having natural blue sapphire. The ring also had multiple small diamonds, which were set on a pearl shaped petal. Later, a new model of earnings, named after the ring obtained on the Titanic has been developed. It has the specifications indicated below.

  • Sterling silver
  • The entire diamond weight is estimated to be 1/10 carat where diamond weights provided are minimum weights
  • Total sapphire weight is estimated to be 0.85 carat
  • Prong-set sapphire oval in shape and surrounded by scalloped border as well as an openwork star design. The ring has a faceted white diamonds and a single row of round in rhodium plating
  • This collection is motivated by the authentic artifacts obtained from the RMS Titanic
  • Post and clutch used for earn piercing only
  • It measurements are approximated to be 3/8"L x 3/8"W and currently sells for $147.62, excluding shipping and handling costs.

The other jewelry, which was found in the Titanic is the Bygone Brilliance. This piece was fully based on platinum which was handmade. It contained approximately 18k of gold as well as a diamond ring and probably belonged to one of the first-class passengers on board the ship. During the time of formal dinners on board, this type of ring would have sparkled as well as dance with a notable inner fire, which would have been in response glowing electric lights.

Based on this motivation, a new model of this ring has been developed and has the following specifications.

  • Sterling silver
  • White topaz weight estimated to be 0.75 carat
  • diamond weight is estimated to be 1/10 carat, where these weights are minimum
  • Extremely  polished and an antique-style design  having white diamonds round in shape  and rhodium-plated
  • Standard fit; sizes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Measures approximately 3/4"L x 3/4"W (Iva.virginia.gov.)

The prevailing retail price for the above ring is $169.92 excluding shipping and handling charges.Every restaurant and public room in the Titanic ship was furnished and designed down to the smallest possible details. In specific, windows were designed using several layers, in order to achieve specified effects as shown in the diagram below.

For instance, the window indicated above was obtained from one of the first class dinning saloon. The decorations were based on Edwardian interpretations of Jacobean design and its ornamental grill was placed in the front side of plate-glass window. Based on this design, highly polished silver dangling earrings have been developed. They measures approximately 1-5/8"L x 5/8"W and weigh 4.50 carats. The current price is $116.00 excluding shipping and handling charges. Harland & Wolff was one of the premier shipbuilding companies in Ireland and had a notable reputation of constructing high quality innovative ships. Their designs helped to create decorative support used for majority of the ships and this piece, found in the Titanic ship is based on the above.

It served as a prestigious ornament on the Titanic ship as well as functional seat for the passengers as well as the crew members.  Based on the above, a ring known as “All that Glitters”, motivated by this artifact collected from the Titanic ship has been developed as has the specifications below.

  • 14K yellow gold clad sterling silver
  • The Total weight of citrine is estimated to be 0.55 carat
  • Diamonds are used for accents purposes only
  • Dangle earrings having ornate openwork details the faceted citrine, bezel-set as well as bead-set.
  • Collection is  entirely inspired by  the authentic artifacts, which were recovered from the RMS Titanic
  • Lever backs used for pierced ears only
  • Measures 1-5/8"L x 5/8"W

Further, Harland & Wolff ensured that all the accoutrements and furnishings on Titanic met one of the highest standards of function and fashion. The set indicated below is entirely based on a flatware commissioning from the renowned Silver Plate firm in England.

Every piece is individually decorated using White Star Line’s “Star” placed on the handle. Since the discovery of the Titanic ship in 1985 is a piece of American History. Inside is the 1912 collection of The New York Times, which commemorates the time when the Titanic sunk. With an official reproduction on the NWT front page dated April 16, 1912 along with other five United States coins which were in use in 1912, this type of display is stunning and can be used for decoration purposes both at home and in offices.

From the UPM Global, LLC:

  • The photo includes an official NYT (New York Times) reproduction , nickel, a 1912 Liberty Head, a 1912 Lincoln Wheat Ear penny, a 1912 Silver Barber quarter , a 1912 Silver Barber dime as well as a 1912 Silver Barber half dollar
  • It is displayed in a notable black wall frame
  • Manufacturer's Certificate of Authenticity
  • Measures 16" x 14" x 1/2" (Hustak 31).

Hustak (30) indicates that, formal address was expected as well as enjoyed in the Edwardian society. For most men, this included matching some sets of collar buttons and cufflinks, and the above piece is based on a three gold as well as enamel sets, which were found in one of the small jewelry placed inside leather suitcase. Every set varies in color, in order to represent precious or in other instances, semi-precious stone found in enamel: blue for sapphire, purple for amethyst, and green for emeralds.

The piece below is based on one of the bracelet, which featured the name “Army”. It was fashioned in a set of small diamonds placed on curb-link diamond. While it’s hard to determine the owner, it is easy to imagine that it belonged to Army Jacobsohn Christie from the United Kingdom, who had recently been married to Jacobsohn Sydney, who were aboard the Titanic ship and the bracelet was being given to the young wife as an indication of their love.

Formal dress as well as evening occasions demanded that, every person had to have a costume among other matching accessories. The piece below, which was obtained from the Titanic, was based on an evening bag having a sterling silver mesh and recovered in 1987. The piece was found inside one of the leather bags containing numerous gold sovereigns believed to have been from the U.K. Generally, the bag is fully accented with one of pierced, simple clasps, floral-designed rim as well as a chain-link handle.

The other piece, which has been collected from the wreckage of the Titanic ship, is based on brass pin, recovered from a leather suitcase; nine years after the discovery of the Titanic ship (Butlern 51).

However, the center glass of this ornament is missing, though the other six additional stones made of glass, which encircled it are still very intact. This ornament could have been worn by either gender on a collar or lapel. In the Titanic, all dinner services were meticulously designed as well as crafted for every of the eating and saloons. The set indicated below was based on one of the beautiful service, which could have been used in the elite cabin suites.

However, it was intended for the wealthiest passengers who were on board.  The other jewelry found in on the Titanic ship was a mesh coin purse, a piece that was based on 18k gold and found in one of the taffeta bag with other notable pieces of jewelry (Brewster 20). This extremely charming bag is entirely adorned with Egypt motifs, thus reflecting fascination of the ancient Egypt. Based on the artifacts, which were recovered from with this purse, it is clear that the owner may have been a French national (Behe 13).

From the above, it is notable that, the Titanic ship accident may be regarded as one of the deadliest type of disaster in peacetime in our modern history (British Broadcasting Corporation). Every piece is individually decorated using White Star Line’s “Star” placed on the handle. The RMS Titanic was the biggest ship afloat during the time of her voyage and was the second out of the three Olympic types of ocean liners, which were operated by White Star Lane. The ship was built by Wolff and Harland shipyard in Belfast.  Since the discovery of the Titanic ship in 1985 is a piece of American History. Inside is the 1912 collection of The New York Times, which commemorates the time when the Titanic sunk. The Titanic ship was used to transport wealthy individuals and emigrants from the European region to the U.S. As a result of the fact that, the ship sank before all crew members and the passengers could be saved, it is clear that, there were a lot of precious items including jewelry, which was lost due to this. According to the general arrangement on the Titanic, the ship had the ability to accommodate 1,006 passengers in the Third Class, 614 in the Second class and 833 in the First Class, thus totaling to approximately 2,453 passenger capacity. The accident, which took place on April 1912, had an enormous impact to the transport industry, not only in Europe and the U.S., but also across the globe. This is owning to the fact that, out of the 2,228 passengers on board, only 705 survived, and of the 1,523 passengers who died, only 306 bodies were found. This is an indication that, 1,217 of those who died in the Titanic were never found (Altnersandi.com). Since the discovery of the wreckage to this ship in 1985, the artifacts, which have been obtained such as the rings, cutlery, and bags among other jewelry, have been displayed in various art galleries across the globe. Some of these galleries are in countries such as the U.K., Spain among others. For instance, one of the jewelry found in on the Titanic ship was a mesh coin purse, a piece that was based on 18k gold and found in one of the taffeta bag with other notable pieces of jewelry only serves as a remainder of those who perished as well as the need to enhance safety not only in the sea transport, but also among other modes of transport such as air, rail, sea and road across the globe (Ballard 31). In the future, it is recommendable for ship owners to ensure that, safety of every passenger is enhanced through having adequate lifeboats on board. This will ensure that, passengers have adequate time and means to escape in case of an unexpected occurrence, such as the one which happened in the RMS Titanic. Further, there will be the need for governments and stakeholders to ensure that, the general public is educated on ways to ensure their security when travelling either by sea, rail, road among other modes of transport.

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