Culture Inspired Jewelry

Jewelry has been around forever. Some cultures used pieces of jewelry to distinguish status within clans, while others believed certain jewelry held protective properties within their materials.

Victoria and Alberta Museum in London gives a detailed lesson on jewelry’s history.

A History of Jewellery

Ancient world jewellery

Collar known as The Shannongrove Gorget, maker unknown, Ireland, late Bronze Age (probably 800-700 BC). Museum no. M.35-1948. © Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Jewellery is a universal form of adornment. Jewellery made from shells, stone and bones survives from prehistoric times. It is likely that from an early date it was worn as a protection from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank.

In the ancient world the discovery of how to work metals was an important stage in the development of the art of jewellery. Over time, metalworking techniques became more sophisticated and decoration more intricate.

Gold, a rare and highly valued material, was buried with the dead so as to accompany its owner into the afterlife. Much archaeological jewellery comes from tombs and hoards. Sometimes, as with the gold collars from Celtic Ireland which have been found folded in half, it appears people may have followed a ritual for the disposal of jewellery.
See the full history here…

In modern times, jewelers often get inspiration from the way different regions incorporate jewelry into their cultures. Including different cultures into the design of jewelry can often be the motif for an entire line of jewelry.

Thomas David, from, provides some ideas on how to integrate culture into your jewelry creations.

Jewelry Ideas from Around the World

Different cultures have very different ideas about what makes great jewelry. In the western world, a wealthy man might expect an expensive watch as a present. In the eastern world, a hand carved bracelet or necklace might be more appropriate. Different people and different cultures have been creating jewelry for centuries. Here are some of the best jewelry ideas from around the world.

A Mix of Stones

Bracelets or necklaces made of different kinds of stones can look absolutely incredible. Different stones give off different colors and can be used together to create a very artistic or very classy look. You can use different stones to create patterns, to create visual effects or even just create an entire necklace with one kind of stone.

Many of these necklaces will have an emphasis on a center stone. For example, you might use small black onyx stones throughout the necklace and have the centerpiece of the necklace be a white colored gem. The black brings out the white’s color.
It’s beautiful to see different cultures being represented in pieces of jewelry. You can even cultivate a story out of each piece of cultured jewelry you create or wear. What story would you create with your jewelry?

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