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Real Insect Jewelry by Aquakej (Insect Art)

I actually like bugs. As a child, I raised caterpillars to see the beautiful butterflies they became. I even tried to build myself ant farms - but these were dismal failures because I never found the queen ants.

Katie VanBlaricum of Aquakej on Etsy shared the same childhood fascination I had for insects. She also collected insects, read tons of insect field guides and even had a closet museum.

Like me, she took an entomology (the study of insects) course in college. But unlike me, she learned how to professionally display bugs and went on to create her unique Insect Art collection which includes jewelry.

Shown above is one of her gorgeous moth wing necklaces. Below is her real leaf and metallic flower beetle OOAK (one of a kind) earrings. Real leaves were dipped in sterling silver.

Her Victorian style Gold Beetle Ring below features a gold Rutelid beetle which has a natural shiny finish and hence these insects are sometimes called shining beetles. There are many beetles in her collection probably because there are so many species of beetles (about 400,000) and a lot of them everywhere. Beetles constitute about 40% of all insects and 25% of all known life-forms.

These weevils are the perfect match for her verdigris patinaed copper hair pins!

Although she calls her insect jewelry "Living Jewels", the insects are very much dead. She buys dried insects which have to be rehydrated and spread out properly. She says, "They provide a living for the people who farm or catch them, and give those people a motivation to preserve their habitat." 

Flower Beetle Victorian Tie Clip

The late Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin was her hero and she feels she is continuing his mission to "help the world understand and love creatures that aren't cute or fuzzy". Well, I totally get it. But then I always did from way back when.

Other insect inspirations:



This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers.  The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 


  1. Ewww! I'm a little creeped out.

    I've seen butterfly wing jewelry before. Feel sad for the butterfly as I hope it was already gone before they recycled it. But...other bugs...ewwwww and EWWWW! :-)

  2. Wow thank you so much! I will share your blog with my 700 facebook fans!

    Thanks again!
    Insect Art
    (via Etsy)

  3. That's really cool stuff. If your interested in online jewelry visit here

  4. I've always had and have a fear of bugs, but oddly enough I like seeing them used in jewelry. Love that gold beetle ring.

  5. I would Never make or wear bug jewelry. Seems like a case of too much time on your hands.....

  6. Granted it's not for everyone. But this, like a lot of unusual jewelry, insect jewelry is a niche market. You only have to see Katie's sales to know she has an interested clientele.

  7. I like the moth wing - that's beautiful! Not fond of whole bugs tho. Pretty amazing stuff - it would be interesting to find out how she preserves those insects so they don't just crumble up and fall apart.


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