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How Culture And Religion Has A Profound Influence On Jewelry

An example of jewelry and religion impacting nations can be seen in the treasures preserved in ancient Egypt. Statues of Egyptian gods and goddesses were fashioned in gold, adorned with gemstone and precious metal symbols. A majority of the religious emblems like the lotus, scarab and others were used as motifs in bracelets, necklaces and rings, which adorned the higher echelons of the society as well as priests and priestess.

The stages in historical epochs and the rise of different religious practices, and their impact on jewelry, can be observed in the ancient cultures of Greece, Asia, Africa and other nations across the world. When Christianity was exposed to the Egyptian culture, a radical change was observed: Jewelry items using less gold and inexpensive gemstones began to dominate.

Another transformation in jewelry began with the spread of Islamic influence on Egyptian jewelry. Islamic religion forbade the use of gold by the men-folk, and this led to the slow transition with silver beginning to be the primary metal in making jewelry. The influence of Christianity on jewelry is still evident today. The commonest religious symbols are the Crucifix and the Hebrew Star of David. The Christian crucifix is believed to be the most widely recognized religious symbol in history while The Star of David symbolizes a strong belief in Jewish faith and good fortune.

Rings, bracelets and necklaces, which flaunt the Symbol of Cross, identify the person as a Christian. Similarly, the Christians have strong faith in Rosary beads, bearing the Cross, that are used during prayers. These prayer beads are embellished with gemstones and baubles of different types. Another powerful ornament in Christian jewelry is the ring, which signifies certain tenets of faith like chastity and purity. Baptism, a sacred and very important rite among Christians, has heralded the growth of numerous pieces like rings, pendants and pins. Such ornaments are commonly gifted to the baby during the ceremonial event.

Similarly, Hindu gods and goddesses of India have a major influence in the creation of jewelry items. Certain types of ornaments are worn at specified periods of the year during festivities, and this trend is governed by the culture and religion of the nation. Other ranges of jewelry materials and themes are available. These comprise of medals and pendants depicting saints, gods and goddesses, prayer beads, pins and rosaries. The most popular religious jewelry is designed out of the precious metal gold, but sterling silver is also used. For embellishment purposes, gemstones are extensively utilized.

The Importance Of Jewelry In Our Daily Lives

Jewelry is categorized under two subdivisions, contemporary and traditional, each displaying attractive and eye catching designs. Both classic groups exhibit jewelry constituting of precious gem stones, gold, silver, other metals and natural materials.

The primary objective of wearing jewelry as pieces of ornament is to look beautiful and this trend is not confined to recent times but rather from time immemorial, as jewelry has been associated with women for their personal beautification. The origin dates back to ancient times when beads and shells were used as body ornaments, while bones, wood, elephant tusk and ornamental stones were carved and etched to produce attractive artifacts.

They had widespread usage ranging from functional utility like pinning clothes or were status symbols and adorned the person from head to toe. However, nowadays the increasing demand for jewelry pieces has made craftsmen more creative and stunning items in gold, silver, platinum and gem stones have flooded the market in variety of styles and designs. The major items include necklaces, amulets, bangles, bracelets, earrings, nose ring, anklets to name a few.

Today, the jewelry designs are not merely based on the traditional metals, rather the contemporary jewelry items reveal a gamut of materials ranging from wire, tumbled stone and other lesser known elements. They create affordable and inexpensive items which are popular with masses and are used as accessories to highlight the wearer’s appearance. The manifold functions of jewelry are widely acknowledged. It is still used as a form of currency and exhibits the affluence of the owner. The lesser known usage includes buckles, clasps, brooches or pins, as well as amulets which are mostly worn to ward off evil influences, according to ancient superstition.

From the ancient periods, the trend of amassing wealth through jewelry acquisition still continues today. This is believed to stem from the fact that this pattern of stocking of jewelry is a source of future security against economical blow down or other such unforeseen eventualities. Wedding in the Asian countries still centers around jewelry gifts and exchanges between the two parties which again reinforces the phenomenon of security considerations. In some nations, it is a renowned practice for commercial trading while in other countries, jewelry, especially ornaments of gold, symbolizes group bonding and wearing a ring connotes the marital status of people.

The purity of American or European gold is specified in karats. While the American gold jewelry has at least 10K purity, the European ornaments center around 9K purity. In the Asia, Middle East and Africa, the gold jewelry of highest purity of 22K or 24K is mostly prevalent. Other precious metals such as Platinum alloy range of jewelry are of 90% and 95% purity while silver jewelry is predominantly known to be of sterling silver.

Collectors’ items of jewelry have been known to be produced from excellent craftsmanship of silversmiths and goldsmiths. Tiaras and rings from dazzling diamonds have captivated the market for a long time, especially within the affluent class. Precious stones, besides diamonds, such as emerald, sapphire, ruby, jade and quartz, etc., have also been used to create and design spectacular range of attractive jewelry items.