Taking A Look At Ancient JewelryTaking A Look At Ancient Jewelry

Ornamental jewelry has existed ever since man learnt to be social beings. They were created, as were tools to become inherent part of their lives. The Nassaruis shell bead has aged a hundred thousand years and is the oldest jewelry that has been found. Now imagine how old that is considering the basic functions that wearing jewelry serves.

Jewelry was first used to hold clothes together. They gradually began to move up the ladder when what you wore reflected what status you held in society. Then, there were storage compartments or boxes made to hold coins and all sorts of trinkets.

Every culture has their own specialty in jewelry, precious stones and the kind of metal they prefer. In fact, jewelry was used as dowry for daughters when they were married off. A lot of how the daughter was treated at her in-laws depended on what the dowry contained.

Let us look at the four core ages and civilizations which was rich in their collection of jewels as well as genius of design: The Cro-Magnon Age, The Egyptian Civilization, the Ancient Greeks and the Romans.

The Cro-Magnons were one of the first jewelry makers. This age dates back 40,000 years and their jewelry items included necklaces and bracelets. They used anything from bones, to stones, teeth, mother of pearl, mammoth tusks and strung them around animal sinew or any kind of string they could find. Clothing was strapped together using carved bones. Slowly, copper began to be used to make jewelry. That was approximately 7,000 years ago.

The Egyptian designs were one of the first to use gold to make jewelry and they did it so well that till today, a lot of jewelry is based on Egyptian designs. Egypt had no dearth of precious gems and stones, yet it was colored glass that favored their jewelry. Color held an important place in Egyptian society. Red stood for Isis desiring blood while green was the sign of fertility and abundance of crops. They devised methods for making colored glass. Most of these workshops were near or attached to temples or palaces.

Jewelry had many functions in the world of Ancient Greece. They were given as gifts and mostly held religious signs and symbols carved onto them. Greek women wore jewelry when out in public and during special ceremonies and occasions. Naturally, it said much about social status and hierarchy, made the beautiful stunning, and often suggested that the wearer of certain kinds of jewelry possessed magical powers. They used different kinds of gems like emeralds, rubies, amethyst, pearls, etc. But they were especially fond of using metals like bronze, silver and gold. Greek designs are still very much in vogue today.

Ancient Romans added their own special flavor to the art of jewelry making. One of their best inventions was the brooch. This came from the need of holding their flowing garments together. They imported jewelry extensively and were fond of gemstones like diamonds, amber, sapphire, etc. Rings were very fashionable and carved from precious stones. While most Roman men wore a single ring on one of their fingers, some preferred to be adorned with a few more. Women, of course wore a couple! Rings were not only used as pieces of jewelry but also to seal documents and messages along with an engraved wax seal. This was the norm followed in the middle ages as well.
by Simon Johnnson
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Simon Johnnson is the director of content for Executive Gift Shoppe. They feature a large selection of engraved gifts , groomsmen gifts & corporate gifts.
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