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The History of Jewellery: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

The History of Jewellery: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

Jewellery has been a part of human history for thousands of years. From the ancient civilizations to modern times, jewellery has been worn for various reasons such as social status, religious significance, and personal adornment. In this blog post, we will explore the history of jewellery from ancient times to modern day.

Ancient Times

The use of jewellery dates back to the earliest civilizations. In Ancient Egypt, jewellery was worn as a symbol of wealth and power. Pharaohs were buried with jewellery to take with them to the afterlife. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used jewellery to signify wealth and social status. They used precious stones like sapphires and rubies to create intricate designs.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, jewellery was primarily worn by royalty and the upper class. It was also used as a symbol of religious devotion, and many churches had elaborate jewellery collections. The use of pearls became popular during this time, and diamonds were first mined in India and traded along the Silk Road.


During the Renaissance, jewellery design became more intricate and artistic. Techniques like enamelling, which involves fusing glass to metal, were developed. Precious stones like emeralds and diamonds were used more frequently. Queen Elizabeth I of England was known for her elaborate jewellery collection, and portraits of the time show women wearing large, ornate pieces.

Victorian Era

The Victorian era was known for its sentimental jewellery, which often featured locks of hair, miniature portraits, and messages of love. The use of mourning jewellery, made from black onyx and jet, also became popular during this time. Queen Victoria herself wore black mourning jewellery after the death of her husband, Prince Albert.

Art Nouveau and Art Deco

In the early 20th century, jewellery design was influenced by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. Art Nouveau featured flowing, organic designs inspired by nature, while Art Deco was characterized by geometric shapes and bold colours. Costume jewellery also became popular during this time, with affordable, mass-produced pieces made from materials like Bakelite.

Modern Day

In modern times, jewellery is worn for a variety of reasons. Some wear it for fashion and personal expression, while others wear it as a symbol of their faith or cultural identity. Diamonds remain a popular choice for engagement rings, and contemporary designers use new materials and techniques to create innovative designs.

In conclusion, jewellery has a rich history that spans thousands of years. From Ancient Egypt to modern day, jewellery has been used to signify wealth, status, and personal adornment. It has been influenced by art movements, cultural traditions, and technological advancements. Today, jewellery continues to evolve and remains a cherished part of our lives.

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