By  on July 21, 2008

As the old adage goes, one man's trash is another's treasure. Just check out the new jewelry collection from the Guggenheim Museum, called Restoration Rocks, being presented Wednesday at a media reception. It's made out of concrete salvaged from the institution's renovation — a three-year project ending next month — which has revamped everything from the exterior facade to the bathrooms and elevators. The line is the kickoff project to commemorate the Guggenheim's 50th anniversary next year.

Indeed, what better way to celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic spiraling structure than with a lineup of scaled-down sculptural shapes? The collection was designed in collaboration with California jeweler Cara Tilker, who was given 300 pounds of concrete from the building's exterior renovations for the project. Tilker, known for her C.linea line that encases flotsam in plastic, has applied the same technique here, embedding each fragment in a polyurethane resin mold and sanding it down to create a slightly Space Age-looking "gemstone." The resulting bauble is then set in sterling silver — or, by commission, in 14-karat gold — for an eightpiece lineup of bracelets, rings, cuffs and necklaces. Prices for Restoration Rocks, sold exclusively in the museum boutique and at its online store, start at $175 and go up to $4,350.

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