In honour of his 70th birthday this year, Brazilian jewellery house, H.Stern hosted an exquisite gold exhibition at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil (CCBB) in Rio de Janeiro called, Ouro. I was lucky enough to receive an invitation from H. Stern to visit this exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, accompanied by Christian Hallot, H.Stern’s global brand ambassador. Discover about my trip to Rio with H.Stern here.

Exploring the relationship between gold and the creative arts, the Ouro exhibition features 50 creations from 30 different artists using different media from paintings, photographs, sculptures, and conceptual art.

“The underlying theme of this exhibition is gold, the intrinsic value of which is secondary when associated with art. We share the space with artists we admire and many of whom have previously inspired us to create daring jewellery collections. This is an opportunity to stimulate the creation of a perspective, both for us as artisans and jewellers, but also for the public who will visit, ” said Roberto Stern, President and Creative Director of H.Stern.

At first, I was skeptical, expecting nothing less than another boring gold exhibit, lacking in its absence of diamonds, sapphires and other gemstones. But I was pleasantly surprised by the works from so many talented artists from the world of visual arts, design, dance, music, architecture, landscaping and of course, jewellery.

“Some works are essentially conceptual, working with gold as a metaphor, straying from its material properties, but all are interested in the role of gold in our society. Other works create an intense dialogue with the material and its unique softness, color, conductivity, essence. The diversity of works assembled from a common element is a unique experience,” said Curator Marcello Dantas.

Filling 11 rooms in total, the exhibit features some of my favourite Brazilian artists such as Tunga, Antonio Dias, and Cildo Meireles. A 330-metre gold thread, inspired by H.Stern’s iconic Fluid Gold Necklace (my favourite), runs from room to room acting as a metaphor for the common thread that links these artists to Rio de Janeiro and its founding history in the 16th century with the discovery of gold.

Many of these artists have previously worked with H.Stern on exciting jewellery collections, such as the Campana Brothers; landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx; architect, Oscar Niemeyer; and the dance troupe, Grupo Corpo.

Pêndulo, 2011, Artur Lescher

Gold, a material symbolically linked to the light of the sun, is present in these works that somehow contemplate our relationship with the universe, nature, our body, stories and their representation.


Surreal Artist Tatiana Blass plays with strange elements in her paraffin sculpture of a melting body, exposing a golden spine.

Ouro Preto, 2014, José Bento

Ouro Preto (Black Gold) 2014 by José Bento. Rethinking the value of objects, Bento’s gold wheelbarrow holds the now more precious ingots of jacaranda – a tree that once flourished in Brazil, now extinct.


Ballet dancers perform in a surround sound and screen display in Paulo and Rodrigo Pederneiras’ exhibit, matching the fluidity and curvature of H. Stern’s jewellery.


Here the work of Vanderlei Lopes captures the continuous cycle of life with a pipe dripping golden water into a drain on the floor.

Oscar Niemeyer and Carlinhos Brown Jewelry collection by H.Stern

Here artist and architect come together as Oscar Niemeyer’s drawings become H. Stern’s jewellery. This exhibit highlights the contrast between modern discourse and the unspoiled nature and exquisiteness of Brazilian indigenous artefacts.


Niemeyer’s fluid geometric design houses H. Stern’s gold jewellery creations.


Stern’s jewellery comes alive in the backdrop of Niemeyer’s architectural design.


Humberto and Fernando Campana, creators of highly poetic objects, show how urban artists inspire the creation of jewels.


These display cases capture the natural resources of Brazil, bringing nature into the world of art.


Frida Baranek’s work of art plays with everyday objects to challenge their traditional roles.


These gold objects were created by children in a public workshop and capture, once again, the common thread that connects us all to the universe.

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

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