Often manufactured in London, the fragments date back as far as the 16th century. Smokers found their cheap clay pipes often clogged up after a few uses, and as a result sailors and dock workers routinely discarded them into the Thames, where they have spent many years being eroded and coloured by the Thames. They were then collected, cleaned and made into jewellery.
You may have seen them mentioned yesterday over at Londonist, but your author wanted to give it a special plug here today as Amelia Parker has a stall at this evening's festive fair at the Museum in Docklands from 6pm until 9pm, which is worth a visit anyway if you are interested in an a festive evening of carols and craft stalls.
For more information, and to order some items directly, visit http://www.amelia-parker.com/