|Before people even started wearing clothes, they wore jewelry. It’s one of the oldest known artifacts from history dating back 100,000 years. The first known pieces came from Africa and were made from snail shells, Ostrich egg shells, bone, teeth and stones until about 3,000-5,000 BC when jewelry making was legitimately established in ancient Egypt.Gold came on the scene about 3,000 BC in Egypt and was showcased by Pharaoh, who was known for an extravagant lifestyle, flaunting rich necklace, bracelet and ring designs laden with gold and gemstones. |
Gold, which was mined in the Nubian desert at that time, was quite malleable and easy to manipulate allowing precious stones such as lapis lazuli and glass to sparkle and shine. The most notable Egyptian designs come from the tomb of Tutankhamun which revealed fabulous treasures as the mummy was covered in gold and jewels. These discoveries—diadems, necklaces, rings, amulets and earrings were of such excellent quality, they cannot be duplicated even by today’s standards.
In the 19th century, costume jewelry started to emerge as the middle class wanted to keep up with the wealthy but could not afford the exorbitant prices, so imitation designs emerged which were half the cost and just as lovely.
Today, jewelry design is as diverse and expressive as the designers and wearers themselves. You can hop on Etsy and custom create bride and groom wedding bands which are now being made from wood and rubber. Some have even foregone the wedding rings all together and have tattooed the ring on their finger as an expression of their love and devotion. But if that’s not for you, you can still shop for the perfect bauble the old-fashioned way by shopping at your local jewelry store or you can always purchase that beautiful, light blue box from Tiffany’s.