Jewelry additionally Jewelery and also Jewellery, is a an individual ornament, such as a necklace, ring, or bracelet, made from gemstones, precious steels or other substances. Jewelery is made the end of practically every material known and also has to be made to adorn nearly every human body part, native hairpins to toe rings and many an ext types of jewelery.

You are watching: Where does the word jewelry come from

The word jewelry is acquired from words jewel, which was Anglicized from the Old French jouel about the thirteenth century and also traces ago to the Latin word jocale, an interpretation plaything.<1> Whether supplied as currency, protection, or fashion, jewelry is among the oldest develops of human body adornment, the most old example discovered being the 100,000 year old Nassarius shell beads found on mount Carmel, in Israel.<2>

The most usual reasons because that wearing jewelry throughout miscellaneous regions that the human being are as currency, display screen of riches or status, for strictly functional reasons (clasps, pins, and also buckles), as symbolism (to show membership), or for protection (in the type of amulets and also magical wards),<3>

Jewelry is universally appreciated for its rarity, beauty, and monetary value. However, in contemporary times jewelry has been prized as something an ext than simply that of decorate - the has had value as an art type which can be taken as one expression the man"s within nature. In this instance it is often an ext valued for design and also creativity 보다 for its materialistic purpose. With the increase of modern art and also the development of artificial materials there has likewise been an enhanced market because that costume jewelry which is make from less-valuable materials and is mass produced. New variations encompass wire sculpture (wrap) jewelery which deserve to be made of anything indigenous base steel wire v rock tumbled stone to priceless metals and also precious gemstones. Other examples of jewelry as art can be viewed in museum displays, and also paintings. Even the renowned Fabergé eggs produced by Peter Carl Fabergé space often more regarded for their ar in art and background than for their value as jewelry.


A set of men"s gold cufflinks and also shirt button studs.

Form and function


Kenyan guy wearing defect beads.

Although throughout earlier time jewelry was produced for useful uses, such as storage of wealth and pinning clothing together, in recent times it has actually been used almost exclusively for decoration. The very first pieces the jewelry to be made from organic materials, such as bone, animal teeth, shell, wood, and also carved stone. Jewelry was regularly made for human being of high prestige to show their standing and, in numerous cases, lock were hidden with it.

Most societies have in ~ some suggest had a practice of keeping huge amounts of wide range stored in the form of jewelery. Numerous cultures have detailed wedding dowries in the type of jewelery, or develop jewelery as a way to store or display coins. Alternatively, jewelery has actually been supplied as a money or profession good; an instance being the use of servant beads.Many items of jewelry, such together brooches and also buckles originated as purely useful items, but evolved into decorative items together their functional necessity diminished.<4>

Jewelry can additionally be symbolic of group membership, together in the case of the Christian crucifix or Jewish Star the David, or the status, as in the case of chains of office, or the Western practice of married people wearing a wedding ring.

Wearing of amulets and devotional medals to carry out protection or ward off angry is usual in some cultures; these may take the form of icons (such together the ankh), stones, plants, animals, body components (such together the Khamsa), or glyphs (such together stylized versions of the Throne city in Islamic art).<5>

Although artistic display has plainly been a duty of jewelry from the an extremely beginning, the other roles described above tended to take primacy. The was just in the so late nineteenth century, v the work of such masters as Peter Carl Fabergé and also glass designer, René Lalique, the art began to take it primacy over role and wealth. This tendency has ongoing into modern times, expanded upon through artists together the jewel designer and also sculptor Robert Lee Morris.

Materials and also Methods


In making jewelry, gemstones, coins, or various other precious items are often used, and they room typically set into precious metals. Modern-day fine jewelry usually includes gold, white gold, platinum, palladium, or silver. Most American and also European gold jewelry is made of an alloy that gold, the purity of which is declared in karats.Other generally used materials include glass, such together fused-glass or enamel; wood, often sculpted or turned; shells and also other natural animal substances such together bone and ivory; herbal clay; polymer clay; and also even plastics.


Beads are typically used in jewelry. These might be do of glass, gemstones, metal, wood, shells, clay and also polymer clay. Beaded jewelry generally encompasses necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and belts. Beads might be big or little - the smallest form of beads used are known as seeds beads. These space the beads supplied for the "woven" format of beaded jewelry. Another use because that seed beads is one embroidery method where particle beads room sewn onto cloth backings come create large collar neck pieces and beaded bracelets. Bead embroidery, a popular type of handiwork throughout the victorian era is enjoy it a renaissance in contemporary jewelry making.

Advanced glass and glass beadmaking techniques by Murano and also Venetian glass masters developed crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass through threads of gold (goldstone), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk-glass (lattimo) and imitation gemstones make of glass. As at an early stage as the thirteenth century, Murano glass and Murano beads to be popular.

Silversmith, goldsmith, and also Lapidary methods encompass forging, casting, soldering or welding, cutting, carving, and also "cold-joining" (using adhesives, staples, and rivets to rally parts).<6>American gold jewelery must be of at the very least 10K purity (41.7 percent pure gold), (though in England the number is 9K (37.5 percent pure gold) and also is typically found as much as 18K (75 percent pure gold). Higher purity levels space less common with alloys at 22 K (91.6 percent pure gold), and 24 K (99.9 percent pure gold) being considered too soft for jewelery usage in America and also Europe. These high purity alloys, however, space widely used across Asia, the center East, and also Africa. Platinum alloys range from 900 (90 percent pure) come 950 (95.0 percent pure).

Metal finishes

For platinum, gold, and also silver jewelery there are countless different techniques to produce different finishes. The many common however are: high-polish, satin/matte, brushed, and also hammered. High-polished jewelery is by much the many common and gives the steel the highly-reflective and shiny look. Satin, or matte finish reduces the shine and also reflection that the jewelery and also is generally used to emphasize gemstones such together diamonds. Brushed finishes give the jewelery a textured look, and also are created by brushing a material (similar to sandpaper) versus the metal, leaving "brush strokes". Hammered finishes are generally created by utilizing a soft, rounded hammer and hammering the jewelery to give it a wavy texture.


Diamonds, long taken into consideration the most prized the gemstones, were an initial mined in India.The brother crown jewels save on computer the Cullinan Diamond, part of the largest gem-quality stormy diamond ever uncovered (1905), in ~ 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g). Now renowned in engagement rings, this intake dates back to the marriage of Maximilian i to mar of Burgundy in 1477. The expect Diamond, a big (45.52 carat), deep blue diamond, is currently housed in the Smithsonian Natural background Museum.<7> although diamonds are taken into consideration the most prized of every gemstones, numerous other priceless stones are offered for jewelery. Some gems, for example, amethyst, have end up being less valued as approaches of extracting and importing them have progressed. Some man-made gems can serve in place of organic gems, an instance is the cubic zirconia, often used in place of the diamond in jewelry.


The history of jewelry is a long one, with countless different uses amongst different cultures. That has withstood for hundreds of years and has noted various insights right into how old cultures lived.


The very first signs the jewelry came from the Cro-Magnons, ancestors of Homo sapiens, about 40,000 years ago. The Cro-Magnons originally migrated from the Middle eastern to settle in Europe and also replace the Neanderthals as the leading species. The jewelry pieces they made were crude necklaces and also bracelets the bone, teeth and rock hung on piece of wire or animal sinew, or pieces of sculpted bone used to secure garments together. In part cases, jewelry had shell or mother-of-pearl pieces. In southerly Russia, carved bracelets made that mammoth tusk have actually been found. Many commonly, these have been uncovered as grave-goods. Approximately 7,000 years ago, the first sign of copper jewelry was seen.<4>


Although jewelry work-related was abundantly diverse in previously times, especially among the barbarian tribes such together the Celts, once the Romans overcame most the Europe, jewelry usage was revolutionized as smaller factions arisen the roman designs. The most usual artifact of early Rome to be the brooch, i m sorry was provided to secure clothing together. The Romans used a diverse selection of materials for their jewelry indigenous their considerable resources throughout the continent. Return they supplied gold, they occasionally used bronze or bone and in previously times, glass beads and also pearl. As early on as 2,000 year ago, lock imported Sri Lankan sapphires and Indian diamonds and also used emeralds and amber in your jewelry. In Roman-ruled England, fossilized wood dubbed jet from northern England was often sculpted into pieces of jewelry. The early Italians operated in rudely gold and also created clasps, necklaces, earrings and also bracelets. They likewise produced bigger pendants which might be filled v perfume.

Like the Greeks, frequently the purpose of roman inn jewelry to be to ward turn off the angry Eye given by various other people. Although females wore a vast array of jewelry, men regularly they just wore a finger ring. Although they were supposed to wear at least one ring, part Roman males wore a ring top top every finger, while others wore none. Roman inn men and women wore signet rings that featured a carved rock that was used with wax come seal documents, an action that continued into middle ages times when kings and also noblemen offered the same method. After the loss of the roman Empire, the jewel designs were soaked up by bordering countries and tribes.<8>

Middle Ages

Post-Roman Europe ongoing to build jewelry do skills; the Celts and Merovingians in details are detailed for your jewelry, i beg your pardon in terms of high quality matched or exceeded that of Byzantium. Apparel fasteners, amulets, and also to a lesser extent signet rings space the most common artefacts known come us; a an especially striking Celtic example is the Tara Brooch. The Torc was usual throughout Europe as a symbol of status and power. Through the eighth century, jeweled weaponry was common for men, while various other jewelry (with the exemption of signet rings) appeared to end up being the domain the women. Tomb goods found in a sixth-seventh century funeral near Chalon-sur-Saône are illustrative; a young girl was buried with: two silver fibulae, a necklace (with coins), bracelet, yellow earrings, a pair the hair-pins, comb, and also a buckle.<9> The Celts committed in consistent patterns and designs; when Merovingian draft are finest known for stylized pet figures. Castle were not the only groups known because that high high quality work; the Visigoth and the countless decorative objects found at the Anglo-Saxon Ship funeral at Sutton Hoo Suffolk, England, are an especially well-known examples.<8> top top the continent, cloisonné and garnet were probably the quintessential technique and gemstone of the period.

The Eastern successor of the roman Empire, the byzantine Empire, ongoing many that the approaches of the Romans, though spiritual themes pertained to predominate. Unlike the Romans, the Franks, and also the Celts, however; Byzantium offered light-weight gold leaf fairly than heavy gold, and more emphasis was inserted on stones and gems. As in the West, oriental jewelry to be worn by wealthier females, v male jewel apparently limited to signet rings.Like other modern-day cultures, jewelry was commonly hidden with its owner.<10>


The Renaissance and exploration both had significant impacts ~ above the advance of jewel in Europe. By the seventeenth century, raising exploration and trade bring about increased access of a wide variety of gemstones and exposure come the arts of various other cultures. Whereas before this the working of gold and precious metal had gone to the head of jewelry, this duration saw increasing supremacy of gemstones and their settings. A fascinating instance of this is the Cheapside Hoard, the share of a jeweler hidden in London, England throughout the Commonwealth period and not found again till 1912. It consisted of Colombian emerald, topaz, amazonite indigenous Brazil, spinel, iolite, and also chrysoberyl native Sri Lanka, ruby indigenous India, Afghani lapis lazuli, Persian turquoise, Red Sea peridot, and also Bohemian and also Hungarian opal, garnet, and also amethyst. Large stones were frequently set in box-bezels top top enameled rings.<11> Notable amongst merchants that the duration was Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who in the 1660s lugged the precursor rock of the hope Diamond to France.

When Napoleon Bonaparte to be crowned as Emperor of the French in 1804, he revitalized the style and grandeur of jewelry and fashion in France. Under napoleon rule, jewelers presented parures, suites of matching jewelry, such together a diamond tiara, diamond earrings, diamond rings, a diamond brooch and a diamond necklace. Both of napoleon’s wives had actually beautiful to adjust such as these and also wore castle regularly. Another fashion trend resurrected by Napoleon to be the cameo. Shortly after his cameo-decorated crown to be seen, cameos were highly sought after. The duration also witnessed the beforehand stages the costume jewelry, v fish range covered glass beads in ar of pearls or conch covering cameos rather of stone cameos. New terms were coined to identify the arts: jewelers who functioned in cheaper materials were referred to as bijoutiers, when jewelers who worked with expensive products were referred to as joailliers; a practice that continues to this day.


Starting in the so late eighteenth century, Romanticism had a profound impact on the advancement of western jewelry. Probably the most far-ranging influences to be the public’s fascination v the treasures being discovered through the birth of modern archaeology, and also the fascination v Medieval and also Renaissance art. Changing social conditions and also the onset of the industrial revolution also led to expansion of a middle class that not only wanted, but could afford jewelry. Together a result, the use of commercial processes, cheaper alloys, and rock substitutes, cause the development of "paste" or costume jewelry. Distinguished goldsmiths continued to flourish, however, together wealthier patrons sought to ensure the what castle wore tho stood except the jewelry of the masses, not only through usage of priceless metals and stones but likewise though superior artistic and also technical work; one together artist was the French goldsmith Françoise Désire Fromment Meurice. A classification unique to this period and quite proper to the viewpoint of romanticism to be mourning jewelry. It originated in England, where Queen Victoria was regularly seen wearing black jet jewel for plenty of years after the death of Prince Albert; it allowed the wearer to proceed wearing jewelry while express a state of mourning at the death of a loved one.<12>

In the unified States, this duration saw the founding in 1837 the Tiffany & Co. Through Charles Lewis Tiffany. Tiffany"s put the United states on the civilization map in regards to jewelry, and gained reputation by creating dazzling commissions for human being such together the mam of Abraham Lincoln; later on it would certainly gain renowned notoriety as the setup of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany"s. In France, Pierre Cartier started Cartier SA in 1847, while 1884 observed the starting of Bulgari in Italy. The modern-day production studio had actually been born; a step away native the former dominance of individual craftsmen and patronage.

This duration also saw the an initial major collaboration between East and West; collaboration in Pforzheim between German and Japanese artists result in Shakudo plaques set into Filigree frames being produced by the Stoeffler firm in 1885).<13> maybe the pinnacle – and also an appropriate change to the following duration – to be the masterful creations of the Russian artist Peter Carl Fabergé, working for the royal Russian court, whose Fabergé eggs and also jewelry pieces space still regarded as the summary of the goldsmith’s art.

Art Nouveau

In the 1890s, jewelers began to discover the potentials the the cultivation Art Nouveau style. An extremely closely connected were the German Jugendstil, brothers (and to some degree American) Arts and Crafts Movement. René Lalique, working for the Paris shop of Samuel Bing, was known by contemporaries together a leading figure in this trend. The Darmstadt Artists" Colony and also Wiener Werkstaette listed perhaps the most far-ranging German input in the direction of this trend, when in Denmark Georg Jensen, though best known because that his Silverware, also contributed far-reaching pieces. In England, Liberty & Co and the brothers arts and also crafts movement of Charles Robert Ashbee added slightly an ext linear yet still characteristic designs. The new style changed the focus of the jeweler"s art from the setting of stones come the artistic style of the item itself; Lalique"s renowned dragonfly architecture is one of the best examples of this. Enamels played a big role in the technique, if sinuous essential lines room the most recognizable design feature. The finish of civilization War I as soon as again adjusted public perspectives when a much more sober style began to take precedence.<14>

Art Deco

Growing political tensions, the aftermath of the war, and also a basic reaction against the regarded decadence the the turn of the century (fin de siecle) led to easier forms, an unified with an ext effective production for the mass production of high-quality jewelry. Spanning the duration of the 1920s and 1930s, the layout has end up being popularly recognized as art Deco. Walter Gropius and also the German Bauhaus movement, with their philosophy of "no barriers between artists and craftsmen" led to some interesting and also stylistically streamlined forms. Modern materials were likewise introduced: plastics and aluminum were an initial used in jewelry, and also of note are the chromed pendants the Russian-born Bauhaus grasp Naum Slutzky. Technical mastery became as valued as the material itself; in the west, this period saw the reinvention the granulation by the German Elizabeth Treskow (although advance of the re-invention has continued into the 1990s).


Modern jewelry has never to be as varied as that is in the present day. The modern jewelry movement began in the late 1940s in ~ the finish of civilization War II v a renewed interest in artistic and also leisurely pursuits. The motion is most provided with functions by Georg Jensen and other jewelry developers who advanced the concept of "wearable art." The introduction of brand-new materials, such as plastics, Precious steel Clay (PMC) and different color techniques, has actually led to increased variety in styles. Other advances, such as the advance of enhanced pearl harvest by civilization such together Kokichi Mikimoto and also the breakthrough of enhanced quality synthetic gemstones such together moissanite (a diamond simulant), has actually placed jewelry in ~ the economic grasp the a much bigger segment the the population. The "jewelry as art" movement, spearheaded by artist such together Robert Lee Morris and also continued by developers such as Anoush Waddington in great Britain, has kept jewelry on the leading edge of creative design. Influence from other social forms is also evident; one instance of this is bling-bling format jewelry, popularized by hip hop and rap artist in the early on twenty-first century. V the world"s designs an ext accessible to jewelers, designers have blended aspects from numerous different cultures and also from plenty of different time periods.

The so late twentieth century saw the mix of European architecture with oriental techniques such together Mokume-gane. The adhering to are noted as the primary advancements in the decades roughly the year 2000: "Mokume-gane, hydraulic dice forming, anti-clastic raising, fold-forming, reactive metal anodizing, covering forms, PMC, photoetching, and CAD/CAM."<15>

Social implications

Artisan jewelry continues to flourish as both a hobby and also a profession. With an ext than seventeen U.S. Periodicals around beading alone, resources, ease of access and a short initial cost continues to broaden production the hand-made adornments. Popular due to the fact that of the uniqueness, artisan jewelry can be uncovered in just about any price range. Some fine instances of artisan jewelry have the right to be watched at The urban Museum in new York City.<16>Throughout background and into existing day jewelery has been provided to represent status. In old Rome, because that instance, only certain ranks could wear rings. Later, sumptuary legislations dictated who might wear what form of jewelery; again based upon rank. Social dictates have additionally played a far-ranging role; for example, the wearing of earrings by Western males was thought about "effeminate" in the 19th and also early 20th centuries. An ext recently, the display screen of human body jewelery, such together piercings, has come to be a mark of accept or seen as a badge of vessel within part groups, yet is fully rejected in others. Likewise, the hip-hop society has popularized the slang hatchet bling, which refers to the ostentatious display screen of jewelery by males or women.

In the at an early stage twentieth century the jewelery sector launched a project to popularize wedding rings because that men—which recorded on—as well as engagement ring for guys - which did not. By the mid 1940s, 85 percent that weddings in the U.S. Featured a double-ring ceremony, up from 15 percent in the 1920s. Religion has likewise played a role: Islam, because that instance, considers the wearing of yellow by guys as a society taboo, and many religions have actually edicts versus excessive display.<17> <18>

Body Modification

It have the right to be difficult to determine where jewelry pipeline off and also body modification takes over, due to the fact that they are different sub-categories of body art. Because that the many part, jewelry supplied in body alteration is plain; the usage of straightforward silver studs, rings and also earrings predominates. In fact, usual jewelry pieces such as earrings, are themselves a form of body modification, as they room accommodated by producing a little hole pierced in the human earlobe.

Padaung females in Myanmar place large gold rings approximately their necks. Indigenous as beforehand as five years that age, girl are presented to their an initial neck ring. End the years, an ext rings room added. In addition to the 20-plus pounds of ring on she neck, a woman will additionally wear simply as numerous rings on she calves too. Some necks modified prefer this have the right to reach a size of ten to fifteen inches. This exercise has evident health ramifications, however, and has in recent years declined from usage as a social norm to mere tourist curiosity.<19> Tribes pertained to the Paduang, as well as other societies throughout the world, usage jewelry to stretch their earlobes, or enlarge ear piercings. In the Americas, labrets have been worn due to the fact that before very first contact by Innu and an initial Nations individuals of the northwest coast.<20> Lip plates space worn by the afri Mursi and Sara people, and some southern American peoples.

In the late twentieth century, the affect of modern-day primitivism led to plenty of of these techniques being integrated into west subcultures. Numerous of these techniques rely on a combination of body change and decorative objects; for this reason keeping the distinction between this two varieties of decorate blurred. Just like other creates of jewelry, the crossing of social boundaries is among the more far-reaching features that the artform in the beforehand twenty-first century.

In many cultures, jewel is offered as a temporary body modifier, v in part cases, hooks or even objects as huge as bicycle bars being placed into the recipient"s skin. Although this procedure is often lugged out by tribal or semi-tribal groups, regularly acting under a trance during religious ceremonies, this practice has actually seeped into western culture. Plenty of extreme-jewelry shops now cater to people wanting large hooks or spikes set into your skin. Many often, this hooks are provided in conjunction with pulleys to hoist the recipient into the air. This exercise is said to offer an erotic emotion to the person and some couples have also performed their marital relationship ceremony whist being suspended by hooks.<19>



Holland, J. 1999. The Kingfisher history Encyclopedia. London: Kingfisher books.Moss, Madonna L. "George Catlin among the Nayas: knowledge the exercise of labret wearing on the Northwest Coast." Ethnohistory 46 (1)(Winter 1999): 31-35

External links

All links retrieved might 5, 2018.

See more: Convert Gallons Per Hour To Gallons Per Minute (Gph To Gpm), Converter Gallons Per Hour To Gallons Per Minute


New civilization Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and also completed the Wikipedia articlein accordance with brand-new World Encyclopedia standards. This short article abides by regards to the an imaginative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 license (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with suitable attribution. Credit transaction is due under the terms of this patent that have the right to reference both the new World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors the the Wikimedia Foundation. To mention this article click right here for a perform of acceptable citing formats.The background of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researcher here:

The history of this post since it was imported to new World Encyclopedia:

Note: Some constraints may apply to use of individual images which are independently licensed.