Jewelry has been part of human culture for ages. In the past (mentioning around 100,000 years ago) jewels were made by simple natural resources like shells, stones, feathers, bones, animal skin, wood, and also plants. Semi- precious components were added to finalise the jewelry, mentioning obsidians and other materials. As years passed by, jewelry was divided by three pre-historic civilisations which are Egypt, India and China.
The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians focused on glass making, collecting gemstone and metallurgy (the study of physical and chemical reactions during their production and purification). Their production affected fashion trends from other countries for even more than four thousand years.
On the other hand, India made a strong connection between jewelry and their daily life and religion. Being the first people that owned the art of gold collecting and gold collecting, they developed the art of jewel production before anyone else did. This was the main reason why it was one of the most preferred places for trade.
China managed to be in power on art developing. Their influence on their unique style was slowly spread in the entire continent. Their style focused on scenes related to animals, nature and dragons which remained popular since nowadays and will continue to develop as years continue to roll by.
After the fall of the Roman Empire and Ancient Egypt, Europe became the prime force of jewelry making, although it took sometime since they took their position.
In the 12th Century till the 15th century, jewelry, gems, gold and silver were worm to show power and nobility and to divide themselves from the common people., whereas lower ranks used to wear jewelry made of base metals.
In the Renaissance period, the ability of cutting jewelry was enhanced through the use of enamels. During this time, jewelry with religious symbols gained their popularity.remedy on illness or fever. Rings and brooches became popular at that time as well.
According to the Ancient Greek poison rings were useful to hold pictures, perfume and to make it easier for the death of an enemy. It was also used to put food or drinks or to save the person using the ring from torture in case of being captured by the enemy. According to a discovery that occurred few years ago by Bulgarian archeologists, poison rings are adding a charming and interesting element to history even nowadays.
In the 17th century a change was brought when it came to jewelry style; as dark clothes were associated with golden jewelry whereas silver jewelry, pearls and gems were suited on light and white clothes.
In the 18th century during the reign of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, the diamond gained its popularity. Since his love to diamonds, he influenced the 19th century jewelry where the diamond was given the highest ranking. The diamond is still popular and worn by many nowadays.
In the Victorian period, mourning jewelry was a spot on. According to history, mourning jewelry gained its popularity when Prince Albert died and queen Victoria used to wear black jewelry on her black clothes. The usage of human hair also was important amongst Victorian jewelry; where strands of hair was held inside lockets as a memory from a lost one. In fact in the 19th century, fifty tons of human hair was sent to England every year.
Machinery was being rejected in the late 1800s by many jewelers. In this time the handcrafted jewelry became popular again. The design and the artistic elements became more appreciated. Silver, brass and copper were used to make such designs, instead of the usual diamonds, stones and precious metals.
In the 20th century there was a decrease in price of jewelry to the middle class market. It was still seen as a status symbol, however the use of metal replaced the use of silver and gold. In the 20th century, jewelers woked together to create a design or effect which was memorable; mentioning deathand eroticism. This was made by using enamel, glass and horn. Later, during the time of the rise of feminism, there was an evolution where woman wore jewelry to symbolise something. For instance they wore white jewelry who symbolise pureness; they wore green jewelry to symbolise hope; whereasthey wore purple jewelery to symbolise dignity and equality.
Nowadays jewelry is used by everyone, irrelevant of one’s social and economic class for fashion purposes. Men nowadays wear rings, watches and chains as a fashionable feature. The time where men wear brooches has disappeared. Non-metal jewelry is also used in this era, mentioning plastics. It is still being focused to create new designs and creations that make jewelry as something that was used once in the past.