"Study the past by studying jewelry." This is one of the cries of the newly created Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts LLC (ASJRA) and a mantra that would have made my general history class much more interesting.

Author and publisher Elyse Zorn Karlin founded the group and serves as its co-director along with jewelry historian and curator Yvonne Markowitz.

To further jewelry education, some of the ASJRA offerings include the quarterly magazine Adornment (a publication dedicated to jewelry and related arts), sponsoring an annual jewelry conference, promoting jewelry studies in schools, museums and institutions of higher learning, and its Web site

Karlin says it's important not only to study the past to learn from it, but also because it's just interesting.

"If you love beautiful, old jewelry, you want to understand it," she says, and by understanding it, an understanding of world events is simultaneously reached.

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