Jewellery has been around since the beginning of human evolution. We’ve always had the need to look and feel beautiful and as a way to assess our identity as individuals, and this need has inspired us to innovate and create different types of jewellery throughout history.
In the medieval period jewellery was worn to reflct hierarchy and status of one self in society. Royalty and nobility were only allowed to wear gold. Mid level clerks were allowed to wear silver, and lower ranks were allowed to ware base metals like copper or pewter.
Its very interesting to note that until the late 14thcentury gems were usually polished rather than cut. Think about it, an uncut diamond does not have the same charm and brilliance as a cut diamond. To anyone of today’s society a diamond would have looked like glass. Till then, Size and Colour would determine the value of the stone.
Enamels were invented around the same time, and allowed goldsmiths to place colour on their jewellery as per design. Enamling is still widely used today for jewellery designing.
In the Renaissance period, enamels became more elaborate and advances in cutting technique increased the glitter of the stones. The importance of religion started showing in the jewellery. Many spectacular pieces were worn as a display of political strength. It is around this time when peope realized that particular types of stones were thought to protech against specific ailments or threats.
By the 17thCentury fashion had started to evolve, and new styles of jewellery started showing up. Pastel shades became graceful backdrops for gemstones and pearls. The global trade started to expand, and gemstones were more easily available. Jewellery pcs also begane to change. Large Bodice or Breat ornaments were the new trendy items. There was also a new fascination for Bow Motifs and botanical ornaments.
By now fashion and jewellery were fast evolving
By now the brilliant cut with multiple facets was developed. Diamonds sparkled like never before and came to dominate the jewellery designs.
Light swords with short flexible pointed blades appeared around this time. They were a form of male jewellery with elaborate gold and silver hilts mounted with precios stones and fine enameling. They would offer a means of self defence for the well dressed gentleman.
While the history of jeweler has been fascinating and an integral part of society, i want to take time to explain the same without it being a big read. I have therefore broken the same into 2 parts,a nd the 2ndpart of the evolution will be continued next week.