Cyprus has long traditions of jewellery manufacture which are illustrated in this museum, which includes pieces of all kinds made on the island since the eighteenth century, a variety of silver utensils, and tools that were used in silver-smithing, diamond cutting and other specialised aspects of the trade. There are also some older items of jewellery found during archaeological excavations that represent the various civilisations that have flourished in Cyprus.
The museum was opened in 1992 through the initiative of Nikos Ioannu, head of the principal jewellery manufacturing company in Cyprus, which he set up in 1961. The business prospered and when he opened a prestigious shop in the markets area of Nicosia in 1975 he began to display some historic pieces. He also developed an extensive private collection which forms the basis of the museum, together with items donated by other leading figures in the industry.