Scientists have found that people made jewellery with nanotechnology more than 2000 years ago. Goldsmiths and silversmiths from the Dark Ages and other periods used mercury as glue to apply coatings of thin metal films onto objects such as jewels, statues and amulets. The use of thin-film coating technology not only helped to save on expensive metals, but also to improve wear resistance from continuous use. Scientists believe that these metal-plating techniques, which are unrivalled by the modern process for producing DVDs and electronic items, could also help to preserve artistic objects from the past. According to a study of the 400-year-old Cheapside Hoard of jewellery in Britain’s Birmingham City University, scientists found that craftsmen from the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras also used advanced technology that is equal to that of the 21st century. The hoard was found in 1912 in a London cellar, and it includes a technologically advanced Ferlite watch from the 1600s, which is considered so technologically advanced it’s been called the “iPod of its day”. The team combined their knowledge in craft with CAD-technology to discover which manufacturing methods were used to create the ancient jewellery, including brooches, pendants and rings, as well as to recreate jewellery from the hoard. Dr Ann-Marie Carey, a research fellow at the university, says that their research and creations will make a significant contribution to the Museum of London exhibition in 2013-14. Source:

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