If you think your kids are not of age yet to appreciate diamonds and couture jewelry, then let us share our recent visit to the Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems exhibit which left a sparkle in our eyes.

This exhibition is co-curated by the distinguished French jewelry artisans Van Cleef & Arpels and the ArtScience Museum.  On display are over 450 pieces of jewellery selected from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection floating in beautiful tubular containers for visual effect. In addition, you will also get a chance to view 250 rare gems and minerals from the renowned collection of the French National Museum of Natural History.

Check out the SIZE of this quartz!!!

Art & Science of Gems

Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems brings visitors on a fascinating exploration of the intersection between the science of mineralogy and the art of crafting the finest jewellery and gems.


My amateur photography probably does not do these jewelries any justice. But it was a great opportunity for me to gawk at the beautiful craftsmanship and intricate designs of the art pieces.

Art & Science of Gems

Apart from jewelries you can wear, these precious objects like this 1938 Mystery Set Wild rose Minaudiere precious case mounted in gold and decorated with a wild rose clasp that can be worn as a clip is just a master art piece. It opens to reveal a powder compact, two ruby boxes with Mystery Set, a lipstick with a watch in its top, a dance card, a lighter and a comb.

Art & Science of Gems

Here is another precious object from the collection that captured my fancy — 1930 Art Deco Nightlight made of gold, lacquer, quartz, onyx and rubies.

Art & Science of Gems

Not just for the aficionado, the engaging exhibition is suitable for anyone with a curiosity about the realm of exquisite jewellery and gemstones, with activities and workshops specially catered to a young audience to better understand the subject. Peppered in every gallery is an interactive station to coach the kids on you guess it, the art and science of gems.

For the kids

Your kids will get lots of mileage out of this Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems exhibition. There are craft activities and a hands-on workshop that reveals the working methods and collections of a mineralogist for you and your child/children.

Below is an interactive screen where the kids can recreate the gemstones of the original jewel.

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Here is a photo of the original which is so small it fits into the palm of your hand. But the artwork on the piece is so delicately fine it is amazing!

Art & Science of Gems

Shapes and Patterns

Located at Abstraction and Pressure Gallery, this station is great for kids between 4 and 10 years old.

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Kids learn how Van Cleef & Arpels uses geometrical shapes and patterns to create beautiful pieces of jewellery in their own distinctive styles. They can also unleash their own creativity by using the templates provided to explore how different facets can make up a shape and pattern or create their own unique creations.

Paper Gems

Located at Nature and Life Gallery, kids will learn to use Die Cut templates and materials provided at this station to create their own paper gems. They can also bring these home to make decorative pieces such as garlands and rings.  Great for kids between 4 and above.

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These workshops are complimentary to ticket holders of Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems. The workshop time is from 4:30pm – 5:30pm and it is recommended for ages 6 and above.

1) A Day in the Life of a Mineralogist — 3, 10, 17, 24 June

When we think of gems, we usually think of the ones that we wear as jewelries like diamonds, sapphires and rubies. But did you know that gems and minerals are used in our everyday lives? There are quartz in our clocks. Graphite, which is a form of carbon in the pencils we use daily. And hematite which allows us to see our reflections in the mirror.

In this sit-down workshop, kids learnt about the physical properties of the minerals as well as try their hands at using tools to examine the minerals. My two kiddos were fortunate enough to be called up to demonstrate with the resident mineralogist.

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It amazes me that Mother Nature can produce such beauties. We were introduced to the formation of assortment of gems at different stages known as Pressure (Diamonds and Peridots), Temperature (Quartz and tourmaline), Transport (aquamarine and Emerald), Water (Amethyst and opal), Oxygen (copper, malachite and turquoise), Life (Pearls in oyster shells) and Metamorphism (Sapphire and rubies).

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After the workshop, they mingled with the mineralogist and got to examined the minerals and gems up close. (see picture below).

Art & Science of Gems

2) Make Your Own Soap Gems — 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 July 

Make and bring home your very own soap gem in this workshop where your child can have a tactile experience in learning to identify the different cuts of gemstones used to make Van Cleef & Arpels creations.

Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems exhibit 

Date:Till 14 August 2016
Venue:ArtScience Museum
6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974
Opening Hours:10am – 7pm Daily (last admission at 6pm)
Admission Fees:Adult: $17
Senior (above 65 years): $12.80
Child (2 – 12 years old): $10
Family Package (2 adults & 2 kids): $39

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Till our next post, love yourself, love one another.


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  1. I love the collar-like jewelry for the neck. So exquisite. If you are interested to learn more about gems, my friend runs the Gem Museum on Waterloo St. Fascinating stuff!

  2. Oh my! I wanna own some of these jewels myself! Nice read but my kids are too young to appreciate these yet! Glad to know that they incorporate some elements of fun for the young visitors =)

  3. The Art Deco Nightlight is really nice ! It’s a great chance for kids to learn about the formation of different gems at different stages.

  4. I had declined the invite, as I thought the Gem exhibition to be too abstract. But the creative segments seem intriguing and fun for the kids 🙂

    cheers, Andy

  5. Hi Meiling, your pictures are awesome! Well taken ????. This activity is different from most other activities I known for kids aged 6 and above. Will try to bring my girls there in July. Thank you for sharing.

  6. ArtScience Museum always comes up with such amazing stuff. I will surely take my kids there. At least elder daughter will understand and love it though am not too sure about my younger boy.

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