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Jewelry Trends Through Time
Jewelry trends have changed rapidly through time and have been a powerful tool for humans from the very beginning. Through out time it has been used for protection, to show of wealth, to show political status, as a token of love, for worshiping, for power, as payment, vanity and even to provoke.
The first signs of jewelry dates 75 000 years back, and were found in Africa. Materials that were easy to handle, like bone, seeds, wood, stone,teeth, shell and claws were the earliest forms of jewelry supply. And early jewelry may have been tools like needles of bone, worn around the neck for practical reasons. However shells on a strings have also been found, so wearing jewelry for decorative purposes came early in fashion, so to speak.
Jewelry like amulets, were also worn for protection against bad things like disasters or death, as magic remedies, or for good luck. People wore the bones from their ancestors to honor them, or from their enemies to gain their strength or from animals they killed to be protected from other animals or get their power. So early on jewelry was not used only for vanity, but had deep and serious meanings.
When jewelry changed from magical or practical reasons to being used for other purposes is hard to say, but it's significance on cultures and societies through out the world has been huge, and still is today.
Jewelry trends change constantly, and have done so through time, often hand in hand with fashion, Royalty and religion.
The Egyptians were the first ones that made jewelry making into a profession. Its main purpose was to show of wealth and power, and was mainly for the rich and the royal. The Egyptians jewelry makers were highly priced for their skills, and belonged to the middle class in Egypt. Jewelry were also created for magical and protective reasons, and for healing powers. Prominent persons were buried with their jewelry so that it would protect them in the afterlife.
The Egyptians loved gold and it was considered to be the skin of gods. They created the worlds first man made glass, and preferred colored glass to gemstones, since it gave them the opportunity to use more color in their jewelry. The colors used in jewelry, glass or gem, were important for different reasons. It is said that Cleopatra's favorite gemstone was the emerald which meant new growth for crops and fertility. During her reign this gem was high in demand and was mined around the Red sea. After the discovery of Tutankhamen s tomb in the beginning of the 20th century, Lapis Lazuli and gold probably became the first that comes to mind when speaking of Egyptian jewelry.
Like the Egyptians several cultures have set their own history making jewelry trends, and for many different reasons. Jewelry trends have changed constantly along the centuries due to the discovery of new materials like metals and gemstones, and technology available to create them. The designs have been influenced by the world in the time they were created, and each design period has jewelry that is easy to identify
As we moved into more sophisticated lifestyles, the jewelry became more a token of wealth and politics than protection from evil spirits. New methods were developed to make jewelry more lavishing, and as mining evolved new and more valuable resources became available. Naturally the prices on jewelry rose, due to this, and soon excluded lower classes from possessing them.
Increasing international trading spread jewelry trends around the globe, influencing traditional jewelry making often in exotic ways. Trading made sought after jewelry supplies available where it earlier was not. So did the discovery of new land, like South America, which brought an abundance of gold and silver, opening a whole new possibility for jewelry making.
Today jewelry is something that everybody can wear and afford. It is still a token of wealth, but new materials like synthetics, plastic and the improved technology has made it easy to create jewelry for the whole society, not just the rich and prosperous.
Earlier taboo's like body jewelry is part of today's jewelry trend, previously only used by native tribes. In the other end is the high fashion jewelry. High fashion designers often work hand in hand with today's jewelry makers, and set the trend from season to season.
The easy supplies of jewelry making materials and technology we have today, have made it possible for everybody to hand craft jewelry. The opportunity to buy one of a kind, hand crafted jewelry, has given this craft a broad foundation to exist next to commercially made jewelry. We love personal things, and handcrafted jewelry is just that, personal. But it has not always been this natural for everybody to own and wear jewelry, or to wear jewelry according to personal taste.
Below you will find links to pages about the different trends and meaning of jewelry from the early times and until today. I hope you will enjoy them.
Body Jewelry - Barbaric, Provocing And Extreme Or A Blooming Trend In Fashion
Body Jewelry- Place Your Jewelry Right where You Want It
Celtic Jewelry - Symbol, Art And Mystic Hand In Hand
Gothic jewelry – A Flirt With Pagan Symbols, Mystic And The Supernatural
Victorian Jewelry - Fit For A Queen
Costume Jewelry – Glamorous And Fashionable At A Low Cost
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