Jewelry is classified into two subdivisions, contemporary and traditional, each with attractive and eye-catching designs. Both classical groups display jewelry made of precious stones, gold, silver, other metals, and natural materials.
The main objective of wearing jewelry as ornaments is to look beautiful and this trend is not limited to recent times but from time immemorial as jewelry has been associated with women for personal beautification. The origin dates back to ancient times, when beads and shells were used as body ornaments, while bones, wood, elephant tusks, and ornamental stones were carved and engraved to produce attractive artifacts.
They had a generalized use that ranged from functional utility such as pinning clothes or were status symbols and adorned the person from head to toe. However, today the growing demand for jewelry pieces has made artisans more creative and dazzling items in gold, silver, platinum and gemstones have flooded the market in a variety of styles and designs. The main items include necklaces, charms, bangles, bracelets, earrings, nose rings, anklets, to name a few.
Today, jewelry designs are not simply based on traditional metals, but contemporary jewelry items reveal a range of materials ranging from wire, carved stone, and other lesser-known elements. They create affordable and inexpensive items that are popular with the masses and are used as accessories to enhance the wearer’s appearance. The many functions of jewelry are widely recognized. It is still used as a form of currency and exhibits the wealth of the owner. Lesser known use includes buckles, brooches, brooches or pins, as well as charms that are used primarily to ward off bad influences, according to ancient superstition.
Since ancient periods, the trend of accumulating wealth through the acquisition of jewelry still continues today. This is believed to be due to the fact that this jewelry storage pattern is a source of future security against economic loss or other unforeseen eventualities. Weddings in Asian countries still focus on jewelry gifts and exchanges between the two parties, which again reinforces the phenomenon of security considerations. In some nations, it is a recognized practice for commercial exchange, while in other countries, jewelry, especially gold ornaments, symbolizes group bonding, and wearing a ring connotes people’s marital status.
The purity of American or European gold is specified in karats. While American gold jewelry has a purity of at least 10 carats, European ornaments focus on a purity of 9 carats. In Asia, the Middle East and Africa, the highest purity 22K or 24K gold jewelry is predominant. Other precious metals, such as the platinum alloy jewelry range, are 90% and 95% pure, while silver jewelry is known to be predominantly sterling silver.
Costume jewelery is mainly made up of items made from enamel, natural clay, stainless steel, glass, and other similar raw materials. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and belts, etc., made of beads are also very popular, especially among the younger generations. Necklaces and bracelets made from various sizes of beads were very popular during the Victorian era, however this type of jewelry has always been in fashion in African countries. This trend has also made new advances in other parts of the world.
Collectible jewelry items are known to be produced from the excellent craftsmanship of silversmiths and goldsmiths. Dazzling diamond tiaras and rings have long captivated the market, especially within the well-to-do class. Gemstones, in addition to diamonds, such as emerald, sapphire, ruby, jade, and quartz, etc., have also been used to create and design a spectacular range of attractive jewelery items.