If you are fond of sterling silver jewellery, silver necklaces, bracelets and earrings then do not worry about your habit. In fact, women have been known to love wearing jewellery and will continue to do so even years later.
Women have been adorning jewellery which is known as the oldest form of body adornment. In fact, over 100,000 years ago both men and women used to wear seashells. The history of jewellery is extremely fascinating and is interesting to read too. Lets understand how the evolution of jewellery took place and how it encroached into the lifestyle of both men and women. It played a significant role in shaping up the society and is an integral part of the culture of civilisations of all ages.
A remarkable discovery in Asia in 2006 was an incredible find that humans and researches unravelled from the site. These beads created from Nassarius shells dated back to 100,000 to 130,000 years old. This revelation confirmed that humans have been decorating their body by adorning jewellery made from materials of all kinds. In fact, studies report that there have been several instances when beads of different textures and hues were unveiled alongside remains of human bodies. These materials were varied in size and texture that reflected on the fact that these were not just purely used for commercial purposes like form of currency but were rather incorporated in decorative usage. This discovery however suggested that the oldest known beads discovered in Africa, stated to be over 25,000 years old are not so ancient. Those beads unravelled in Africa too were regarded as being used in purely decorating the body and ensemble.
This emphasises the fact that, decorative pieces of jewellery has been incorporated into an art by inducing into unique items. These ornaments have been used extensively, by men and women through all ages. It is an intricate part of a widespread practise all over the world. Hence when you find jewellery made from natural materials like wood, bone and stone remember that these are the descendants from the exquisite collection of jewels that humans posses and created during the ancient times.
Researchers however believe that the jewellery industry at present dates back to about 300 to 500 years ago. It was in ancient Egypt, that jewellery was used as a luxuries item to be worn over attires to make them look more elegant. In Egypt itself, human civilisation adopted the usage of metals to create beautiful ornaments, a leap from the natural substances that were used previously. The property of metals was a major factor that skilled craftsmen incorporated to compose stunning designs adorned by kings and Queens at that time. Exquisite designs can be created over these metals such that the art began to spread to other cities like Mesopotamia, commonly known as Iraq at present.
By the advent of 1500 BC, ancient Greeks began to be use gold and precious gemstones extensively, to carve beautiful jewellery. Bronze jewellery was however regarded as common piece of jewellery. In fact, jewellery crafted from gold and silver began to be considered as expensive and the most elegant jewellery to adorn. Ancient Egyptians were the ones who created superior quality jewellery from gold due to its simplicity which enabled them to carve elegant designs easily. Thus gradually gold became the symbol of luxury and elegance. It was regarded as a metal with immense value and power in the Egyptian kingdom.
Since silver has to be transported into Egypt, the metal got immense recognition in the areas like ancient Greece and Roman Italy due to its huge availability. This was however possible only in 31BC when the reign of Cleopatra and Anthony fell with the battle of Actium against the Romans. Expert goldsmiths of Egypt however received inexpensive silver that was hugely available to be incorporated in creating jewellery and other household items. With the advent of the medieval ages the art of jewellery making spread across several places like Ancient Greece, Rome, Middle East, Europe, and even as far as Britain. Both gold and to some extend silver remained the favourite metal of their choice.
Certain items like the jewellery clasps and brooches were items of necessity which prevented the robes of Gladiators in Rome from falling off. These pieces of items became symbols of power, influence and prosperity with nobles trying their best to outdo each other with more and more elaborate pieces to adorn over their ensemble. Handmade belts and rings in gold and silver were extremely popular among the rich and wealthy. These items were encrusted with precious gems and stones.
Sterling Silver Jewellery started gaining more popularity by the 17th century. In fact, with the 19th century, the line of jewellery attained an exquisite position in the fashion industry worldwide.