Jewels Through Time : A look at the History of Jewellery Fashion

Since the dawn of human civilization adorning the body in jewels and other precious materials has been an accepted and encouraged form of beautification. From the early African tribes over seventy thousand years ago, to modern time Hollywood starlets, women in particular have loved the look and feel of several different jewellery styles. For instance, in early times, many items like necklaces, bracelets, and fasteners for clothing, were made by hand, out of the bones, teeth, and sometimes sinews of animals that were hunted and killed for food, clothing and shelter. Several cultures throughout the world's history have set their own history-making trends in jewellery, including Greece, Egypt and the Americas, and today millions of women as well as men enjoy spending millions of dollars a year on exquisite jewelled creations, and trendy fashion accessories.

Culturally, jewellery has played a very important part in the lives of human beings since prehistoric times, and even more so, fine jewellery made of rare and beautiful metals and jewels has been sought after and desired for centuries. The Egyptians are one of the first cultures who showed preference for the finer things in life, preferring the luxurious look of the rare metal, gold. However, the Egyptians didn't incorporate many precious stones with their jewellery. Instead, they preferred to use stained glass, because it allowed them to use a much wider variety of hues and colours that were more pleasing to the eye than the precious gems available to them. During the reign of Cleopatra, however, fine jewellers of Egypt were in demand to mine the Red Sea for the precious stone, Emerald, which was the Pharoah's favourite adornment gem. In Egyptian culture, as well as many others in history, women were often adorned with fine jewels and precious metals of exquisite craftsmanship for ceremonial purposes, and people who were of royalty, were buried with elaborate collections of gold, silver, ivory, and an assortment of gems, chalices, or other jewelled items of value.

After the Second World War, people began to acquire the love of wearable art once again, and with the modern era making various materials easily accessible, many different forms of jewellery began to appear. Some of the newly discovered materials by this point were pearls, Precious Metal Clay, and moissanite, which was a diamond simulant. In recent decades, trends like the "Bling" style of jewellery, made popular by Hip-Hop artists and urban fashion designer, are worn by thousands of men and women across the planet. However, in high fashion, a combination of new trends with classically inspired pieces are all the rage, recently, and the once taboo fashion of body piercing and modification is becoming more and more acceptable by society, as a true sign of trendsetting fashion.

In modern times jewellery remains a symbol of affluence, and individuality in the people who appreciate it. However, imitation jewellery has become far more socially acceptable which has increased demand for diamante and crystal jewellery. Wholesale fashion jewellery specialists have seen a sharp increase in the popularity of so-called costume jewellery in recent years, thought to be a result of the celebrity obsession with all things bling.

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Author: Peter Andrews
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