Why do we wear Jewellery? September 25 2014, 0 Comments

While looking at the diverse range of customers who love our brand and our jewellery, the thought struck me - why do we wear jewellery? So, without trying to bore you, here is a little synopsis on the history of jewellery.  

Did you know that the oldest archaeological artefact is in fact jewellery -  beads made from Nassarius shells which are 100,000 years old.  Discovered in 2007 by a team of archaeologists in eastern Morrocco each shell had a hole pierced through it and a covering of red ochre.

"The fact that they are colored and have deliberate perforations indicates that they were used as ornamentation," said Nick Barton from the University of Oxford in England, one of the archaeologists on the team.

Some of the shell "beads" show signs of wear inside the perforation, indicating that they were strung together as necklaces or bracelets.

"They were definitely meant to be seen," (source -National Geographic News)

 

A piece of jewellery can signify so much from culture to function to artistic display and looking at the different designs down through the ages, history is also being told.  For example in Ancient Rome only certain ranks could wear rings.  Religion also plays an important role in the wearing of jewellery with wedding rings being just one example.  India has such a connection to gold and jewellery that it has become an integral part of their daily life and religion while 5,000 years ago jewellery in Mesopotamia was being made from gold, silver and semi-precious stones such as agate and lapis, stones which we still use today in our collection.  

As we move through the different era's such as the Renaissance, Romanticism and Art Nouveau, various techniques, styles and gemstones have emerged leading us up to our favourite period, Art Deco, which probably deserves a blog post all of it's own!

 

 An example of Renaissance Jewelley (source - www.thejewelryloupe.com)

"This brooch is the type of fashionable jewellery made in the 1850s. The gold has been stamped with relief decoration to give the impression of being more substantial than it really is. Before the discovery of rich gold deposits in California in the 1860s, the metal was very highly priced and such devices were employed even for pieces set with precious stones. The brooch contains table and 'briolette-cut' aquamarines as well as rubies." - Museum of London (source - www.museumoflondon.org.uk)

 

10ct Gold Art Nouveau Necklace (source - www.loveadorned.com)

 

From the Nassarius shell to manmade materials such as plastics, there is always a constant; jewellery will continue to inspire, symbolize and convey emotions for the next 100,000 years - or for as long as humans are around...

The question is - for what reason do you wear your jewellery and which era inspires you most??