Women have changed the history of jewelry for over 5,000 years. From shells to gemstones, intricate designs adorn the fairer sex around the world. Jewelry makes a statement. It grabs your attention like a billboard.
Deciding what to wear can be a tough call. You want a piece that’s smart, stylish, and sexy, but you don’t need any judgment. It would be nice if people would understand what you’re going for, wouldn’t it?
Well, take a lesson out of the history books. Get some timeless inspiration so people get you before you even meet. Here’s a history of jewelry through the ages.
In many cultures, royalty wore gold, silver, and precious gems. But even those outside high society wore beautiful pieces of copper, pewter, and stone. You don’t have to be rich to have style.
The Ancient Greeks were some of the first who wore jewelry made of precious metals. These creations signaled their status. Ornate brooches kept clothes pinned together. Charms offered protection from danger.
The Mesopotamians wore gold jewelry inlaid with bright, colored stones. Jewelry was often crafted in the shape of leaves, spirals, and grape bunches. The ancient Chinese wore jewelry as a status symbol. They held jade and silver in the highest regard.
The nobility wore jewelry to symbolize power, wealth, and prestige. Gold was coveted because it was rare, timeless, and luxurious. Gold jewelry was a convenient way to get credit, store wealth, and show status. Gold rings were the original Gold MasterCard.
Some believe that jewelry brought good luck. Even if it was only superstition, jewelry at least got its wearers some likes. And it probably caught the eye of a suitor a time or two.
Before the late 14th century, bigger was always better. Size and lustrous color set the value of a gem. But in the late-1300s, enamels allowed goldsmiths to color their designs on jewelry. For the first time, they could enhance the beauty of the gemstones.
During the Renaissance, enamels that covered both sides of a jewel added splendor. And advances in cutting techniques made gemstones glitter. Gems went from shiny to sparkly.
In the 1600s, softer pastel shades became beautiful backdrops for gems and pearls. Global trade made gemstones even more popular. Travelers circulated exotic pieces for trade. New cutting techniques made radiant gems dance in dim candlelight. Women dazzled their dinner dates like never before.
New York City spawned some of the country’s most famous designers and manufacturers. And it all started in Lower Manhattan’s jewelry district. Even the French recognized Tiffany & Co.’s brilliance. They received an award for excellence at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867.
Tiffany & Co. set the benchmark for the solitaire engagement ring with its patented six-prong setting. Later, Tiffany & Co. created the first luxury jewelry catalog. In the 1800s, the Blue Book release was huge. Like when Kim broke the internet huge.
In 1888, De Beers controlled the world diamond trade. But even into the 1930s, many Americans view diamonds as extravagant purchases. But then De Beers hired N.W. Ayer & Son, a Philadelphia advertising agency in 1948.
Thanks to N.W. Ayer & Son, the slogan “A Diamond is Forever” was born. Since then, diamonds have had a strong emotional value to wearers. They symbolize lasting love in a marriage. If you need a diamond cut for your ring, check out this site.
Mining of sapphires in Montana and tourmalines in San Diego started during the 1890’s Alaska Gold Rush. Soon, prospectors found pearls in the Mississippi River. Then Colorado started mining vast amounts of turquoise. These valuable materials gave U.S. jewelry and American women their own style.
Celebrities like Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Princess Diana reminded the jewelry world that size matters. Then in the 1980s and 1990s, bigger, bolder stones made statements on TV shows like Dynasty and Dallas.
In recent years, popular engagement rings have solidified the size trend. Victoria Beckham, Sophie Turner, and Karlie Kloss popularized beautiful, glittering designs. They’re big pieces too. You’d love to show off Cardi B.’s enormous diamond too, wouldn’t you?
Well, you’ve got your fresh mani-pedi, your slingback pumps, and your little black cocktail dress. Pick a ring, necklace, or bracelet that helps people understand your style. And don’t be afraid to go big. Make them take notice.
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