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African Safari and Costume Jewelry

Posted by Laurie Zeiden on

Ask someone to tell you the first thing they think of when you say Africa and I bet it's the animals. We've all been to the zoo, we've all sat through nature travelogues and the images of the large and varied animal population of the continent remains foremost in our minds.

Animals are very popular motifs in costume jewelry and the variety of species in Africa lends itself to a jewelry collection. I'm going to focus on the mammals. Let's start the safari.


  • A giraffe has seven neck vertebrae
  • A giraffe heart weighs approximately 22 pounds

Kenneth Jay Lane Bracelets in Two Colors

Unsigned Pin and Running Giraffe by Sphrinx

Unsigned Lucite Pin

Unsigned Pins

Silver Ring


  • A lion's life span is 10-14 years
  • A cub will start hunting at 11 months but will stay with its mother for 2 years

Two Lion Cub Pins, the 1st unsigned, the 2nd by Hobco

Unsigned Bracelet and Pin

Bob Mackie Pin

Pin by JJ and Antique Vulcanite Pin

Unsigned Pin

Silver Charms

Pin on left by Jomaz, Pin on right by Ceou Lih

Silver Stick Pin


  • One-hump or dromedary camels are native to Africa; bactrian or two-hump camels are native to Asia
  • Camel poop is so dry that it is used to start fires

Pin by Joseff of Hollywood

Pin by Mazer

Pin by Napier


  • September 22nd is Elephant Appreciation Day
  • Be sure to see my blog post from 13 June 2016 for more photos

James Avery Silver Pin

Ciner Elephant Pin

Trifari Pin

Kenneth Jay Lane Bracelet

Hattie Carnegie Pin


  • Cheetah is the fastest land animal
  • Cheetahs have longer legs than leopards and are leaner
  • Cheetah is the only big cat that purrs rather than roars
  • Leopards are the smallest of the "big cats"

Jaguar Pin by Olivia Garay and Silver Cheetah ring

Bracelet by Franklin Mint

Pin by Carolee; Set by Kenneth Jay Lane


  • Antelopes do not shed their horns
  • Elands, Gazelles, Impalas and Wildebeests are all types of antelopes

JJ Pin

Rebajes Copper Pin

Unsigned Pin

Impala Pin

Mixed Metal Pni by Tono, Taxco, Mexico


  • Scientifically the closest relations of the hippopotamus are surprisingly cetaceans such as whales and dolphins
  • hippo has a 45 year life span

Charms in Silver and Gold

Pins from Lea Stein, Paris



  • Pronounced ZEH-BRA rather than ZEE-BRA according to my South African friend Ruth
  • Like human fingerprints, zebra stripes are unique to each animal

Unsigned Cloth Pin

Unsigned Pins

Sadly, I have no images of rhinos, hyenas, water buffalo, anteaters or the other animals of Africa. Be sure to check my shop for your African animal jewelry needs!

I leave with this silly quote from W.C. Fields: "Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."

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