Humans have worn jewelry for over 100,000 years.  These prehistory pieces were made from natural materials like sea shells and egg shells.  This practice hasn't changed to present day. 

One of the more unusual materials are the iridescent wings from large jewel beetles (Buprestidae family).  Shown above are jewel beetle chandelier earrings. The designer is iKalindi

These prized insects are very common in some Asian countries like India and Thailand. The wings have been traditionally used in the decorative arts. In Thailand, insects are also a food source,  hence the discarded wings are repurposed!  

The larval stage of the beetles are wood borers. One species of that beetle family, the emerald ash borer is not destructive in its native north eastern Asian habitat. But it is now an an invasive species in Europe and North America, affecting ash trees not accustomed to these insects. 

The iridescent green jewel beetle wings below are sold by DollarDolls, a Thai supplier.  This color seems to be the most common hue. 

This fantastic bead embroidered statement necklace also features jewel beetle wings!  The design is by IleanaEnchantedBeads.

Watch this fascinating Victoria and Albert Museum video showcasing a muslin dress (1868-69) decorated with jewel beetle wings.  This was for their 2019 exhibition, "Fashioned from Nature". The presenter is Max Barclay, a beetle curator from the Natural History Museum in London. 

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM