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History

Stone Age Jewelry

Since the beginnings of humankind, man worked to produce tools to make life easier and, similarly to create ornamental objects as jewelry pieces. During prehistoric times, jewelry was made of materials such as shells, stones, teeth, and bones. The purpose of jewelry included making of it a form of adornment, use it as a protection against dark forces, or as a visible sign of status.

The Discovery of Metals

The discovery of metals and how to work them completely changed the art of jewelry making. Weapons and tools started to be made of metal, and stones were left mainly for the use in jewelry. Such new step made a huge impact on the evolution of jewelry, which became more sophisticated, with more intricate designs. The first goldsmithing techniques were developed, including embossing, granulation, and metals filigree. Precious stones were usually combined with gold or silver, in bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, and other items.

Jewelry in Mesopotamia and Assyria

3,000 years before Christ, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Sumerian cultures were highly developed civilizations which took jewelry making to a higher level. Amazing treasures of gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones jewellery were discovered. For example, the  170,000 pieces of the named Nimrod Treasure, found at South-East of Mosul, Iraq, which belonged to Assyrian queens.

Jewelry in Ancient Egypt

Egyptians were really passionate about ornamentation, and they contributed to a deep renewal in the art of jewelry. They used to bury their pharaohs and priests with their trousseaus and jewellery. So we could learn about their jewelry-making technology, as well as the kind of precious stones used as ornaments or amulets. They identified the metals with deities and healing powers. Copper and malachite were identified with the god Hathor, gold with the god Sun, while Lapislazuli and turquoise expressed joy and pleasure.

The most used jewelry were diadems, beaded necklaces, and articulated braces. Gold and silver bracelets were very common; it was normal to wear one on each arm.

Gemstones pendants were widely used too, both by women and men. Pharaoh Akhenaton was the one who introduced the piercing of the earlobe.

Ancient Greek and Jewelry

In 1871, with the discovery of the ancient city of Troy II (not the same Troy of Homer) in Turkey. It was a mesmerizing treasure with thousand pieces of gold and gemstones was found. Ancient Greeks hardly used stones in their pieces. They hanged small perforated circles of gold from their clothing and diadems. The first Greek jewels were of simple design and craftsmanship, which later increased in technique and complexity. They started using gold and gems around 1400 before Christ, and by 300 before Christ, they already mastered and advanced technology using stones such as amethysts, pearls, and emeralds.  Ivory was widely used, and Greeks introduced a new style of jewellery, the cameo.

Gold wreaths were used as crowns, embellished with leaves, flowers, and acorns.

Jewellery in Ancient Rome

Jewels in Rome, as well as hairstyle, were a sign of social status: the more complex or intricate, the higher social level. Personal ornaments included combs, hair pins, pendants, rings, and necklaces. They used gold, silver, glassy paste, and necklaces usually had garnet beads, emeralds, variscite, amethysts or pearls, while rings featured big gems such as agate, chrysolite, and other gems.

It is precisely in Rome where we can trace back what we now know as “engagement rings.”

Of course, this rich history still influences modern design. To learn about fashion jewellery online and discover the influence of antique jewelry in modern design, visit Edellie.com.

The ancient Egyptians started the origin of wearing wedding rings as far back as 6000 years ago.  In those days the rings were constructed from hemp or reeds and exchanged between the spouses. The rings were considered as a symbol of eternity and everlasting love. These wedding rings brought about the culture of wearing the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand. This was because the ancient Egyptians believed that there was a special connection between this finger and the heart.

The modern tradition of wearing a wedding ring dates back to these times for wives. It was only during the twentieth century that the custom included wearing a wedding ring for husbands.

It is also interesting that wedding rings are among the few items that prisoners are allowed to wear.

Different wedding ring styles through the ages

Popular in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries for husbands to give their wives were gimmel rings. Gimmel rings are rather like puzzle rings, only the gimmel consists of two interlocking bands, whereas puzzles are usually at last three banded. The way it worked was that the couple each wore one of the bands upon engagement and reunited the two bands at the wedding ceremony. The wife then wore the ring combination.

A ring style popular during the Renaissance era was the poesy ring. This was a band of sterling silver that had inscribed a poem or” poesy.”

At that time in the Middle East, the custom was for the wife to wear a complicated and difficult to take off puzzle ring. Meaning, that the husband would be aware if the ring was taken off the finger! Another historical custom was the wearing of a fede ring. This was a band featuring two hands clasped in betrothal.

Modern double-ring exchange

At the wedding nuptials, similar plain rings are exchanged by both spouses. In the Nordic countries as well as in several others, plain engagement rings are exchanged, and a more precious jewelled ring, particularly of diamonds, is also given to the bride.
From the 19th century, it has become the custom for both the bride and groom to wear a wedding ring in Germany. As well, in the Netherlands, couples exchanging rings during the wedding ceremony has found to be dated back to 1815.

 

Every year vast amounts of cash are spent on cards, flowers, jewellery, and other gifts for Valentines Day and each year there seems to be more. More advertising for it as well. Thus commercialism has made the 14th February one of the most publicized money spenders. Jewellery gifts of hearts and “Love” bracelets, necklaces, ring, and earrings, are always in demand in gold, silver, and platinum.

This is not only a modern idea. It actually dates far back to historical times mainly to the celebration of the Roman festival Lupercalia devoted to the God of Agriculture. Can be attributed to Romulus and Remus, who, supposedly, founded Rome. This festive occasion took place about the 14-15th February.

According to legend, there used to be a gathering of priests at a cave considered to be sacred. There they sacrificed a goat to promote fertility and a dog for purification. Tearing the goats hide into strips the priests would then go and slap the crops in the fields and the women tending to them as an encouragement for them to conceive. The women then put their names into an urn. Then the young men of the area would choose a name from it and that women would be his constant companion for the year.

According to another fable the Emperor Claudius ll believed single men made better soldiers than married ones. So he forbade marriage for those in the military. Apparently, Valentine disagreed with this and he continued to perform marriages in secret. Upon being discovered he was put to death.

A third story about Valentine claims he helped Christians escape from the severe conditions of the Roman prisons. Caught and imprisoned himself he fell in love with his jailor’s blind daughter who used to visit him. Before his death wrote her a good-bye love letter which he signed “from your Valentine”.

During the Middle Ages Valentine greetings became popular and by the middle of the 18th century, it was the norm to give handwritten notes of affection and other romantic notions on 14th February, with printed cards in fashion by 1900.

All this is in the past, but, the celebration of St. Valentines Day is considered as an ongoing day of love and romance worldwide.

See the selection of Jewellery for giving your loved one at Edellie jewellery online shop.

A brief story of gemstone jewels, the origins, the design, the essence for those captivated by the colour, energy and diversity.

In the beginning

Ancient people collected gem minerals because they were attracted to the colours, lustre, and crystal forms. Soon they began to use them as amulets, charm stones, and personal adornment. Prehistoric caves revealed findings of amber used as simple jewellery many thousands of years ago. There is archaeological evidence of amber trading in Northern Europe during the fourth and third millenia B.C.

When jewellery as we know it started to be shaped in silver and gold, gemstones were often used to decorate items. The Minoans used semi-precious gemstones to decorate their jewellery. During the late Roman Empire, gems were not only used for the Emperor’s robes but also for decorating chariots, harnesses, and utensils, in the Imperial household. The gems most popular were amethyst, agate, amber, jasper, chalcedony, rock crystal, ruby, emerald, opal and coral.

Interest in gemstones declined during the early Middle Ages due to Christianity putting an emphasis on afterlife rather than worldly pleasures.

Gemstone revival in France

Gemstones in the Gothic period were only smoothed to remove blemishes, then, drilled through and polished, leaving the stone looking as large as possible. The fashionable gems of the period were ruby, sapphire, emerald, spinel, rock crystal, and amethyst. With progress, the first facet cuts appeared. During the 14th- century gems began to be used to decorate religious items and as well as spectacular royal crowns made as well. Wearing jewellery now became the fashion at royal courts and among the nobility.

The Renaissance aroused interest in smaller precious gems with diamond, transparent pale-coloured stones, and turquoise. The 17th- century brought about the development of new facet cuts, such as the rosette and brilliant cut. These enhanced colour play and lustre of diamonds.

Wearing beautiful gems

Ancient Egyptians wore necklaces and rings that shone, as intensely did the ancient Greeks. It has been noted by Homer in his writings, of the precious priceless earrings of Hera and of the amber necklace that Eurymachos gave to Penelope.

Transparent stones of bright colours often look better on women than men. Stones with deeper tones of a less conspicuous colour usually suit males. Naturally, jewellery must match clothes and appropriate for the occasion. Formal evening clothes for the theatre do not go with brightly coloured stones noticed from afar, and when several jewellery items are worn together, they should match.

 

Art Nouveau styling changed jewellery designs dramatically with its free-flowing curving lines and forms of romantic ideas and dreams. Intertwining floral patterns, butterflies, and dragonflies, were much in evidence. And pearls and cabochon moonstones were used together with enamelling for pendants, necklaces and hair ornaments. The trend that began in Paris was captured quickly by the rest of the Continent, turning jewels into fashionable wearable art.

Among the most famous goldsmiths of the time was the Parisian, Rene Lalique. He produced some exquisite pieces of jewelry. Lalique began a style of subtlety, placing great emphasis on materials such as glass, enamel, and horn, instead of using precious stones, that is still much admired and copied today.

Art Nouveau styling was the current decoration in the 1890’s and 1900’s reaching a peak about 1900. It was greatly applauded at the Paris International Exhibition.  The love of this extravagant art form of jewellery came to an end about 1914.

Art Deco

Art Deco jewelry began as a protest against the Art Nouveau movement during the 1920’s and 1930’s. This new styling put emphasis on abstract designs, geometric patterns and exotic creations. It was popularized by the machine age for producing jewels and inspired by the Orient. It hinted that jewellery fashions were now truly international.

Dense concentrations of gemstones are characteristic of Art Deco jewellery. From about 1933, gold was once again fashionable, mainly because it was less expensive than platinum. Many artists and designers from other fields now became involved in jewellery design, showing a new direction for future jewellery trends.

Jewellery of the 1950’s

Life had begun to return to normal after the war and during the 50’s new designs and styles for jewelry were brought out in innovative materials. In Britain, many of the fashion trends were influenced by the morale-boosting 1951 Festival of Britain. With the wartime restrictions lifted, diamante from Europe was once again available.

Glamourous jewelry, both genuine and imitation pieces (costume jewellery) were the order of the day. Jewelry now came made in plastics and metals, along with copper, and enamel pieces, of a high quality and well made, creating bold, glitzy items with a luxurious look. Fabulous large rhinestones were often integrated into brooches, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

To see the latest jewellery of 2018, visit Edellie online jewels www.Edellie.com