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How cat's fur, breast milk and umbilical cords are being turned into jewellery

This bracelet is made up of cat's fur, breast milk and an umbilical cord. Photo:

Jewellery designer Nicola Kamminga is using cat's fur, breast milk and umbilical cords to create her own unique brand of necklaces and bracelets.

From her studio in Trowbridge she specialises in using 'personal' materials for her customers.

Nicola Kamminga has sold more than 600 items

I'm a little bit masochistic - I quite like it. I like that bit of controversy and I think if everyone thought my work was just normal I probably wouldn't want to do it any more. I love that what I do is a little bit different!

– Nicola Kamminga, jewellery designer

Top ten facts about jewellery and its role in history:

  • The word jewellery comes from the old French 'joeul' which in turn comes from the latin 'jocale' which means plaything.
  • Jewellery made from shells, stones and bones have survived from prehistoric times.
  • It was once worn as protection from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank.
  • Gold was buried with the dead so as to accompany its owner into the afterlife.
  • The oldest known jewellery dates back 100,000 years.
  • Engagement rings date back to 1477. They were first popularised by the marriage of Maximilian the 1st to Mary of Burgundy.
  • Amber is made of fossilised tree resin and can be 120 million years old.
  • The ancient Chinese loved silver more than gold. But their main obsession was with jade which they loved for its alleged human qualities - hardness, durability and beauty.
  • In some cultures pearls were ingested whole because it was believed they could cure various forms of illness and other problems.
  • The British monarchy's collection of crown jewels is estimated to be worth between three and five billion pounds.