Jewelry History-An Overview

Jewelry is defined as a personal ornament like rings, necklaces, pendants etc, which can be made from different materials. The person who makes jewelry is known as jewel. The history of jewelry is very old. It is said that the people of ancient times decorate themselves with jewelry that can be made of animal’s teeth, bones, shells or different kind of stones. According to some people the first signs of jewelry were discovered from the continent of Africa. So, we can say that Africa has the oldest civilizations. About 75,000 years ago the Homo sapiens living in Africa created different beads from snail shells. In a nearby country of Kenya, archeologists find some sample of beads and it is said that these beads are approximately 40,000 years old. The sign of first well established jewelry industry was discovered from Egypt and it was about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. Ancient people of Egypt use jewelry for various purposes. For them jewelry is not only an ornament or piece of decoration.

The color of jewelry also matters a lot for ancient Egyptians. For example; the necklace of Isis that was to be placed upon the neck of the person being buried. The color of this necklace was red because they thought that the red necklace would satisfy Isis’s need for blood. Old Egyptians use green colored necklaces for the purpose of good cultivation. In those days these jewelry’s were usually made in large workshops of Egypt and these workshops were attached with the temples and palaces of Egypt. Wealthy Egyptians like to wear jewelry which is made up of pure gold. In the region of Asia the earliest culture of jewelry is of China. This is about 5,000 years ago. Basic designs of Chinese jewelry are very regional oriented. Chinese of early ages like to use silver in their jewelry and they use blue color in their jewelry very frequently.Jade is the very famous stone for jewelry making. Old Chinese prefer jade more than any other stone. They use jade after treating it with diamond and gold. Chinese like jade because of its durability, beauty and hardness. They thought that jade has the powers to convert bad times into good ones. They gifted jade to wish someone’s good business or good health. Mesopotamia, today which is known as Iraq has a very old history of jewelry. It is discovered that approximately 4,000 years ago the people of Mesopotamia use jewelry in abundance. They wear jewelry of different shapes like leaf, cones, grapes etc. In ancient times most of the jewelry was used for practical uses like pining of clothes together, wealth storage etc. but today this story changed completely. Nowadays jewelry has been used for decoration, wedding or birthday gifts and jewelry is also very common in different cultural practices. From 75,000 years ago to the modern ages of technology, jewelry is an integral part of almost everyone’s life. Some people use it just for status symbol while on the other hand for some people jewelry is a very important item for their cultures or religious aspects.

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