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The History of Jewellery

Jewellery was always a part of human culture even from the times when human first started using clothes.Years ago, jewelleries were produced from any kind of materials that were available stones,animal skins, feathers, plants, bones, shells, wood and natural made semi precious materials such as obsidian. As the time went on, advancing technology enabled to start taming metals and precious gems into works of art that influenced entire cultures and many modern jewellery styles. 

However, even with all advancements of metallurgy and gem processing.The purpose of wearing jewellery always remained the same they enabled wearer to express himself non verbally, showcase wealth, rank and prestigious of people.History of Indian jewellery is as old as the history of the country itself. Around 5000 years ago, the desire to adorn themselves in people, leading to the origin of jewellery. Jewellery is considered as security and prestige of women in the country. The attraction for jewellery has been great in India that it is not more a craft than an art.Indian jewellery is unique in its design and workmanship. In all kinds of traditional dance forms, jewellery has been a significant part.The range of jewellery in India varies from religious to purely aesthetic types.It is crafted not only for humans, but also for the Gods, ceremonial elephants and horses. While the designs in solid gold jewellery of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are inspired by nature, the Meenakari and Kundan styles of jewellery making have been influenced by the Mughal dynasty.Then there is a huge range of silver beads found all over India, especially in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himanchal Pradesh.

 Jewelley Designs According to Time Period:

 Ancient world Jewellery:

The first jewellery was made from easily available natural materials including animal teeth, bone, various types of shells, carved stone and wood. In the ancient time the jewellery made from shells, stone and bones of animals. That time jewellery was wearied as a protection from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank. Image of ancient jewellery is as:

Jewellery in Mesopotamia :

Mesopotamiya is the oldest civilization of world. Fine jewellery was a status symbol in Ancient Mesopotamia. Both men and women wore jewellery. Jewelers used fine gemstones, silver, and gold to make designs of jewellery. They made all sorts of jewellery including necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Some of the best surviving work of Mesopotamian art and craftsmanship was carved by stonemasons. They carved everything from large sculptures to small detailed reliefs. Most of the sculptures had religious or historical significance. They were usually of the gods or the king. Around 3000 BC the metal workers of Mesopotamia learned how to make bronze by mixing tin and copper. They would melt the metal at very high temperatures and then poor it into molds to make all sorts of items including tools, weapons and sculptures.

Medieval Jewellery 1200–1500:

The jewellery is made of Gem stones in Medieval times of history. The jewellery worn in medieval time reflected an intensely hierarchical and status conscious society. Royalty and the nobility wore gold, silver and precious gems made jewellery. Around 1500 BC, the main techniques of working gold in Greece included casting, twisting bars and making wire. Many of these sophisticated techniques were popular in the Mycenaean period, but unfortunately this skill was lost at the end of the Bronze Age. The Greeks started using gold and gems in jewellery in 1600 BC, although beads shaped as shells and animals were produced widely in earlier times. Jewellery in Greece was hardly worn and was mostly used for public appearances or on special occasions. It was frequently given as a gift and was predominantly worn by women to show their wealth, social status, and beauty.

17th-century Jewellery:

In 17 century the jewellery design changed in fashion had introduced new styles of jewellery. This type of jewellery is made from the fabrics with use of gold and gemstone, and Pearls. In this era the type of jewellery is Renaissance. The most important jewellery item from the Renaissance was the pendant. It replaced the Medieval brooch as being the most common jewellery and was worn on a necklace, long gold chain, fixed to the dress or on a chain worn on the girdle. The pendants were often designed to be seen from both sides with their enameled backs equally impressive as their jewel encrusted fronts. From the late 15th century functional pendants like tooth and ear-pick pendants are encountered as well.

Romanticism Jewellery :

The era of 18 Century was the Romantic Period, a time of marital bliss and joyous family life for the young Queen. The jewels of the period reflected a feeling of confident tranquility. Gold ornaments were decorated with intricate engraving, delicate enamel work, and serpentine designs. The jewels were often accented with seed pearls, small turquoise beads and pink coral. Stones were valued for their meaning and even endowed with magical properties. The jewellery was considered to be protective against evil and disease and children wore necklaces and bracelets of the pinkish red material. Lockets were much loved accessories during the Victorian era and were made of every type of material.

Jewellery in Ancient Egypt:

After more than 100 thousand years after the first simple jewellery pieces made out from bone, seashells and animal skin appeared deep in Africa and over 40 thousand years after our ancestors stepped outside of African continent and started conquering the world, Egypt managed to become one of the most dominant civilization of ancient history. Egyptian nobility favored necklaces, bracelets, belts, amulets, pendants, hair beads and many other jewellery types that were decorated with the designs of scarab beetles, scrolls, winged birds, tigers, jackals and antelopes.

Jewellery in Greek :

After the arrival of Bronze Age, Greeks began creating more and more complicated designs eventually producing jewellery that reflected the wealth and power of nobility and rulers. Jewellery in ancient Greece was viewed as a symbol of power, social status, ward against evil, celebration of the Gods and was most often used by female members of wealthy class. Gold became primary decorative raw material, although silver, lead, bronze and various alloys were also used. Carefully crafted rings, necklaces and pendants were some of the most known jewellery types from that period. Sadly fall of the Mycenaean civilization brought three hundred years of “dark ages” where culture, technology and entire Greek society almost collapsed.

 Jewellery in China :

The dragon and phoenix were popular designs in early Chinese jewellery, and remain so today. The dragon represents the primal forces of nature and the universe, and are associated with wisdom and longevity. The earring was one of the more common items of Chinese jewellery, which could be worn by either the man and the woman. Earrings could be quite complicated and large. Early Chinese jewellery was fabricated using silver as a dominant metal, along with modest amounts of gold and bronze.

Jewellery in Ancient Rome:

In ancient Rome jewellery Gold became primary decorative raw material, although silver, lead, bronze and various alloys were also used. Carefully crafted rings, necklaces and pendants were some of the most known jewellery types from that period. Sadly fall of the Mycenaean civilization brought three hundred years of “dark ages” where culture, technology and entire Greek society almost collapsed. It was common for a Roman man to wear a single ring, although some men wore several. Often, the stones in the rings were carved, and used to wax to seal of letters and documents, so once again the item of jewellery was functional as well as decorative.The concept of the signet ring continued through many centuries.

South Asian Jewellery:

In Ashia Indian subcontinent has the longest continuous legacy of jewellery making anywhere, with a history of over 5,000 years. Jewellery in the Indus Valley was worn predominantly by females, who wore numerous clay or shell bracelets on their wrists. They were often shaped like doughnuts and painted black. Over time, clay bangles were discarded for more durable ones. In present day Indian bangles are made out of metal or glass. Other pieces that women frequently wore were thin bands of gold that would be worn on the forehead, earrings, primitive brooches, chokers and gold rings. Although women wore jewellery the most, some men in the Indus Valley wore beads.