UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The creation and destruction of gold jewellery

Oakley, P; (2013) The creation and destruction of gold jewellery. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

Full text not available from this repository.


This thesis focuses on the tension that exists between the social identity of objects and their constituent substances, through an investigation of the activities and perceptions of professional practitioners who come into contact with either gold as gold objects or gold as an unconstrained substance. It adopts the strategy of ‘following the substance’ - considering the social flow of gold as a material - rather than being limited by the social biography of the object or taking a restrictive definition of production as just the physical fabrication of artefacts. Ethnographic data from fieldwork undertaken at assay offices, refiners, jewellery manufacturers and retailers and at precious metal scrap dealerships is analysed to identify how these sites interrelate through the movement of gold and the socially crucial points in this movement. The synthesised results of this analysis are presented as a visualisation of the social reclassifications of gold: the gold cycle. The main features of the cycle, including how the cycle incorporates the social trajectory of gold jewellery and the rite of passage undergone by gold as a substance, will be considered in relation to the subjects’ dominant self-identity as a group: The Trade. This case study is presented in order to contribute to the theoretical understanding of the social complexity of substances and the relevance of this to the production, consumption and destruction of objects.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The creation and destruction of gold jewellery
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1399860
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item