History of Jewelry - All About Jewellery
Jewels were always part of human culture. Even from the times when humans first started using clothes and tools some 100.000 years ago, jewels were
produced from any kind of materials that were available - stones, animal skins, feathers, plants, bones, shells, wood, and natural made semi-precious materials such as obsidian. As the time went on, advancing technology enabled artisans to start taming metals and precious gems
into works of art that influenced entire cultures and many modern jewelry styles. However, even with all advancements of metallurgy and gem processing,
the purpose of wearing jewelry always remained the same - they enabled wearer to express himself non-verbally, showcase wealth, rank, political and
religious affiliation or affections toward someone. This enabled jewelry to become timeless and a target for constant development and refinement.
Development of early jewelry can be roughly divided across three ancient civilizations - Egypt, India and China. Egypt and Mesopotamia set standards in
metallurgy, gem collecting, and glass manufacture. Their several thousand year long tradition of jewelry production laid a solid foundation for all
European civilizations that came after them, and their unique style affected fashion trends even four thousand years later.
India however managed to
develop such a connection to jewelry that it became integral part of their daily life and religion. Since they were the first who managed to conquer
the art of gold gathering and processing, they develop art of jewel making much earlier than anyone in their environment. This made them one of the
most sought destinations for trade, which eventually became driving force for the incredible expansion of European civilization during the Age of
Discovery. On the far side of the world, China managed to become driving force in developing of arts and their influence slowly spread their unique
style across entire Asia. Chinese style that is focused on scenes of nature, animals and dragons is today still in high popularity, and continues to be
developed with each passing year.
Thousands of years of advancement enabled jewelry to spread from the exclusive art form of the rich to the common personal items of adornment, which are today used by everyone around the world to express themselves in various visual fashionable ways.(more)
Facts about jewels are numerous and interesting. Created during their constant presence through the history of our race, they were one of the pivotal driving forces of expressing our culture, fashion and individuality.(more)
After the fall of Ancient Egypt and Roman Empire, Europe became driving force of jewelry innovation. However, it took a long time until they managed to
claim that position. After almost thousand years of isolation, famine, plagues and wars, Western Europe finally came into contact with distant
civilizations during Crusades which enabled flow of new knowledge an ideas that enabled birth of Renaissance. As transfer of wealth from nobility,
royalty and church continued to flow to middle classes during Renaissance, Age of Discovery and Industrial Revolution, jewelry designs and fashion
trends changed dramatically. During those times world saw the appearance and disappearance of many styles, some new and original and some based on
older designs found in the ruins of long gone civilizations (mostly Egyptian, which became one of the inspirations of Romanticism and Art Deco).
After more than 100.000 years of use of decorative items, and more than 6 thousand years of metallurgy and gem processing, we can surely say that
jewels will forever remain integral part of humanity and our entire civilization.
- Timeline of Jewelry
Between the appearances of first decorative objects over 110 thousand years ago to the modern day when fashion changes are more frequent than ever, jewels managed to made countless important connection to the development of our civilization. Here you can find out about those events that shaped our world.
- Facts about Jewelry
Ever since the dawn of human race, jewelry managed to be a constant presence and driving force of many fashion and cultural changes we experienced trough millennia. Here you can find out some of the most interesting facts regarding jewels.
- Native American Jewelry
Rich and colorful traditions and adaptive nature of Native Americans managed to produce some of the most unique styles of jewelry that can be found today. Here you can find out how their culture viewed jewelry and incorporated much of their history into designs of decorative items.
- Ancient Jewelry
Prehistoric times and ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China managed to create foundation for all future jewelry designs that are in use today. Here you can find out how jewelry traveled through millennia’s and some of the most important improvements it received with the arrival of metal age.
- Jewelry in Ancient Egypt
Innovations that Ancient Egypt introduced to the art of jewel making managed to influence almost entire history of modern fashion. Here you can find out what were their most popular fashion trends.
- Jewelry in Ancient Greek
The art of jewel making received much attention from Greek artisan over the several thousand years of their civilization. Here you can find out more about their jewelry and the way they managed to retain their unique styles even though the ages.
- Jewelry in Ancient Rome
The long reach of Roman Republic and later on Empire meant that their jewelry style had numerous influences from many neighboring and conquered civilizations, but in spite of that Roman managed to forge their own unique style which remnants are still present in modern society.