For more than 90,000 years different people have worn different types of jewelry. In the past, wearing of jewelry signified social status. However in other cases, they were worn for religious and ritual purposes. Jewelries were made from different materials such as stones, shells, feathers and other natural items. Later gold and diamonds were also used especially in modern fashion.
Jewelries have served many purposes such as
- In trade
- For religious rank or rituals
- As a symbol of marriage
- As family heirlooms
- Some are worn for protection against evil elements
- As fashion accessory
Different cultures have had their own styles of making and wearing jewelry. Here are some examples of how they have been used throughout history.
- Beads in Africa Africans have been using beads long before the invasion of the Europeans. They are made using certain colors and patterns which usually signified their tribes. They were made from many natural materials such as stones and even birds eggs.
2. Jade and wedding jewelry in China The Ancient Chinese believed that the Jade stone protected one from bad luck. It was also believed to keep a balance between yin and yang. Jewelry made from the Jade stone has also been passed down as family heirlooms for generations. Also in weddings, the bride wears a golden crown and gold jewelry. This is believed to bring good luck in the marriage.
3. Beads in Ancient Egypt The Ancient Egyptians also wore different types of beads in combination with amulets as necklaces and collars. The different types of jewelry were used to signify social status such as of the priests and pharaoh.
An Egyptian Queen, Source: Pixabay
4. Native American Jewelry The Native Americans such as the Apache wore jewelry made from unprocessed materials feathers and bones. Some were worn for rituals or according to the ranks in the tribes. Talisman was also worn which was believed to ward off evil beings.
5. Modern day engagement rings In many countries especially in America, couples wear engagement rings as a symbol of commitment and therefore, “off the market”. The rings can be simple gold bands or have a stone set on it especially for the woman. Although diamond is the most popular stone used, other alternative stones can also be used.
Despite differences in religions and cultures, wearing of jewelry is one of the things that unite people. Be it for wedding or special occasion, many people most especially women like to wear some jewelry as part of their outfit. Nowadays wearing of jewelry is considered a personal accessory to enhance one’s beauty or as a sign of social status.