Today’s rimless aquariums are the aquariums to have. Made popular by Aqua Design Amano, this minimalistic approach to our hobby is seen as the style to achieve for many aquascapers today.
But about 80 years ago, the opposite was true. Fancy aquariums with expensive metal fixtures and designs were the style of the day. In the United States of America, Jewel Aquarium Company was considered to be the Aqua Design Amano of today. In this short article, we will explore the aquariums made by this eminent aquarium company.
The Jewel Aquarium Company was based in Chicago, IL and manufactured fancy tanks with seahorse legs and hand hammered iron stands. The ends of these fancy tanks were cast iron coated with bronze.
The most expensive of their range had stylized dolphins or storks. These were fitted with grey slate beds and inner white porcelain. Some of these tanks also had center recirculators.
Jewel Aquariums also made a cheaper line of cast iron tanks in an art deco design. Although these aquariums were cheaper, they were still fitted with a Jewel name tag attached to the lower frame, or had the Jewel name cast into the tank frame on the cast iron tanks.
The Jewel Aquarium Co produced aquariums for public consumption from the 1920s to the 1930s. In the 1940s, they shifted to commercial production due to falling public demand for their aquariums. The company stopped operations in the 1950s.
Today, original Jewel Aquariums are valuable collector items because of their exquisite workmanship and solid construction. In superb condition, they are worth thousands of dollars today.
Jewel Catalog credits: David Smith