We're not the first ones to see the natural beauty of a butterfly's wing and compare it to a jewel. In the 1830's, an artist names Thomas Mott saw the insect's decorative potential when he sandwiched the wing of a Blue Morpho between silver and glass, and a jewelry trend was born. Recently, I got an opportunity to work with one of the biggest and best Entymology studios in NYC. These insect nerds supply and prepare the insects for artists like Damien Hirst and institutions like the Natural History Museum. Together, we inspected hundreds of butterfly specimens, finally deciding on the colors and patterns I loved most in these three species, all native to South America. I had some qualms about using once-living creatures in our jewelry, but I did the ethical research and I hope you'll agree with me: butterflies are a pretty great renewable natural resource. In many ways, their harvest is socially and environmentally less cruel than the mining of gems and minerals. Here's our disclaimer:
All of these butterflies were humanely collected at the end of their natural life cycles. Insect farming provides income for indigenous peoples, eliminates the burden on wild caught species, and promotes the maintenance and care of natural environments rather than its exploitation, as is often the case with other agricultural businesses. Butterfly farming provides an alternative to illegal drug cultivation in tropical areas where there are often few other entrepreneurial opportunities. We can certify that these butterflies were legally obtained and have been cleared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We do not sell any species listed in the Endangered Species Act.
Each wing is showcased in a 1 1/4" glass vial with a tightly-fitting cork. Vials hang from a 24" vintage brass chain. Please don't get your necklace wet, and avoid dropping or putting pressure on the glass, as it will shatter.