A Brief History of Jewellery


Jewellery or Jewelry has been used as a form of personal adornment such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches and rings.  The most widely used materials to make jewellery are precious metals, beads, gemstones and shells.   

Jewellery is not just a form of personal expression but can also serve the function of being used as currency and to display wealth.  Jewellery is often symbolic of a group membership as in the practice of wearing a wedding ring when people get married.  Christians often wear a crucifix and Jewish people the Star of David to symbolize their group membership.   

For at least 100,000 years we humans have adorned ourselves with jewellery, and worn it to look appealing.  In fact most cultures have a tradition of keeping wealth in the form of jewellery at some point in their history. 

Often jewellery is worn to protect one from the dangers of life such as amulets or devotional medals.

Over time jewellery has evolved into a wearable art that has ignited the debate on jewellery’s relationship to Fine Art.  


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