Gold Earrings

UnknownSilla, 6th century

National Museum of Korea

National Museum of Korea

These earrings were discovered in 1915 in the stone burial chamber of the Bomun-ri Double Burial in Gyeongju. With exquisite decorations made with gold granules and thread, and dozens of attached gold spangles, these are certainly the finest earrings yet discovered from the Three Kingdoms period. More than 1500 years after they were produced, the gold is still sparkling and radiant, and the elaborate decorative patterns demonstrate the high quality of Silla goldsmith and filigree technology. The surface of the earrings is decorated with a hexagonal tortoise-shell pattern, with the hexagons framing circle and flower designs. Amazingly, the hexagon pattern is formed with gold thread and hundreds of minuscule grains of gold, less than 0.5 mm in diameter. More gold granules adorn the connecting rings, the 37 teardrop-shaped spangles, and the large heart-shaped pendants that dangle from the central ring. These earrings represent the absolute pinnacle of the Silla jewelry-making tradition that began in the 5th century CE.

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  • Title: Gold Earrings
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Silla, 6th century
  • Location: Double burial in Bomun-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Korea
  • Physical Dimensions: h8.7 cm
  • Original Title: 금귀걸이
  • Type: Metalwork
  • Rights: National Museum of Korea


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