Jewelry the Symbol of Status and Wealth20/09/2021
The word jewelry is derived from the Latin word jostle which means plaything. But it is the most ancient form of body ornamentation. In ancient times, jewelry was used to be made from bone, animal teeth, shells, wood, carved stones, etc. A specific piece was made for each part of the body. Apart from functional use, jewelry was a symbol of wealth, status, and membership. It had been used to move wedding dowries, to keep large amounts of wealth, or just for artistic display.
With the growing influx of designer or art jewelry, people not only love to wear it but also don’t mind spending lavishly on it. Such designs are made with coins, gemstones, precious stones, etc. and they are set into precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, or white gold. These days most of the gold jewelry is made of an alloy of gold, stating its purity in karat by displaying a number followed by K.
Among the precious stones, diamonds are said to be the best friends of women. There are other gemstones also like amethyst, ruby, emerald, etc. These gemstones are set into gold, silver, and platinum with different techniques to get different finishing such as high-polished or matt. Brushed finishing gives jewelry a soft look, while hammered finishing gives a wavy texture.
Jewelry posed different significance for different cultures. Like in Rome, people with certain ranks were allowed to wear rings. In another case, during the 19th and 20th centuries, the wearing of earrings by men was considered effeminate. According to recent culture, piercing of the body and wearing rings there has become a symbol of courage, while other cultures are against it. Wearing jewelry has got religious importance too. According to Hinduism, married women should wear necklaces of golden and black beads, whereas, in Islam, men should wear gold.
The history of jewelry dates back thousands of years. The first signs of jewelry were found, 40.000 years back, in Cro-Magnons who originated from the Middle East and migrated to Europe. They used to make jewelry with bones, teeth, stone hung, etc. Copper jewelry traces back to 7000 years. In ancient Egypt, jewelry making is 3000 – 5000 years old. They preferred gold to other materials and used colored glass in place of gems. Then the signs of jewelry were found in other places too like Mesopotamia, Greece, Italy, India, and China, and all over.
The trend of modern jewelry started in the 1940s at the end of World War II. George Jensen and other designers propagated the idea of wearable jewelry using different materials like Precious Metal Clay, plastics, semi-precious stones, and coloring techniques. Artisans also played important role in setting trends in jewelry. Now the jewelry designing has become a source of money and satisfies the passion for art.