Introduction to Jewelry
Jewelry is a personal ornament, such as a ring, bracelet, necklace or any other item made from jewels, precious metals or any other material. The word 'jewelry' is derived from the Latin word ‘jocale', which means plaything. In the language of today, the word jewelry is used to describe any piece of precious metal or gemstone used to adorn oneself. Jewelry has fascinated, thrilled and impressed the world for thousands of years and played an important role in growth of human civilization.
Jewelry is one of the oldest forms of body adornment and was in use before clothing came into existence.In primitive times, jewelry was created from natural materials, such as bone, animal teeth, shell, wood, and carved stone. After the discovery and extraction of minerals and metals, jewelry has been created by setting sparkling gemstones into precious metals. These minerals and metals are extracted in a rough state and usually require some treatment before their use in jewelry.
Gemstones are cut and polished to exhibit their sparkle, whereas alloys are mixed in with metals to make them strong and colorful. Jewelry is made to adorn nearly every body part from head to toe. Since ancient times, it has been used for different reasons and purposes within different cultures and periods.Jewelry has been used for following reasons and purposes:
Artistic and Fashionable Purposes
From the very beginning, jewelry has been primarily used as an artistic and fashionable item. In most cultures, jewelry is used as an ornament to enhance and exhibit the beauty of the human body.
Many jewelry items, such as pins and buckles were invented as purely functional or practical items, but have evolved into decorative jewelry items as their functional or practical use has changed or diminished.
Jewelry is often used as status symbol and considered one of the most influential ways to display wealth. Jewelry is also used to exhibit culture and feelings. For example, in many cultures, married people wear a jewelry item such as wedding ring, necklace etc.
Currency and Investment
Traditionally, jewelry was used as currency or barter goods. From ancient times to current day, it is also used as a mode of investment.
In many cultures, it is common to wear talismans or amulets either for devotional purposes or for providing a safeguard from evil spirits and bad luck.