Where Game of Thrones Gets its Royal Jewels
Have you ever watched an episode of “Game of Thrones” and thought ‘that piece of jewelry would look great with the dress in my closet’? You are not alone, if you have. Millions of viewers have mentally matched a piece one of the characters was wearing to something in their own closets. With the detail that goes into this jewelry, it is hard not to want it. Have you ever wondered, however, where it was made?
It is easy to think that all the pieces in the series could be costume jewelry, made of cheap materials for the purposes of making a scene believable. The show is on a budget, after all. However, it has been discovered that the pieces are quite real and made by finely skilled artisans.
Nestled in the quaintly unassuming village of Glenarm, located in County Antrim, Ireland, sits a quiet shop where these pieces are created. While there are two locations (the original store being in Belfast), this location is a workshop, where customers actually get to watch the jewelry being fashioned. This location was opened to the public in 2001, providing a glimpse into the delicate and dedicated world of jewelry crafting.
The store is Steensons Jewellers. It has been in business since 1976 but only recently gained international fame with the pieces it creates for HBO. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Steensons Jewellers was chosen for this honor. It has a well-established reputation as the leading jeweler in Ireland, cultivated over the period of almost forty years.
If you have found a piece of jewelry you favor on “Game of Thrones”, there is a good chance it came from Steensons Jewellers. Steensons won’t give away its trade secrets, but it has offered some information on the attention to detail that goes into every piece. Among the pieces made by Steensons Jewellers is the rose that is worn by those belonging to the House of Tyrell. This piece, as with all other pieces, is hand-crafted at the Bedfast workshop. It is made of hand-rolled copper clay that is baked into solid copper. The middle of the rose was made from a cast of real rose petals.
If you fancy the brooch worn by Littlefinger, you can thank Rosie McNally, an artisan of 19 years in the employee of Steensons. She is responsible for making quite a few of the pieces showcased on the series, including pieces worn by Sansa and Margaery.
Steensons Jewellers is on the Map
Steensons has become so popular through its public-accessible workshop and its work for HBO that it is now featured as a tourist attraction on the official site for Ireland’s tourist trade. On the site, visitors are encouraged to take a tour and pick up a memento from Ireland’s “leading contemporary goldsmiths”.
The tour to the workshop includes an interactive screen that describes the processes taken to create the jewelry. Much of it is done according to specific direction given by the design team from “Game of Thrones”.
Visitors may also see replica pieces of the ones worn on camera, but the replicas are not for sale. So, for now, at least, viewers will have to be satisfied with longing gazes cast at the screen and wishful thinking.