Jewelry History

How Jewellery & Culture Are Connected Throughout Human History

How Jewellery & Culture Are Connected Throughout Human History

Jewelry has long been connected with power and wealth, as seen by the art form’s history. Readymade jewelry and mass market diamond or gemstone accessories might be used today to complement the rest of one’s attire. However, historically with the availability of only personal customised jewelry it had been used to enhance social status, flex power of wealth or show how well travelled one was. In a sense the ideas behind one’s decision to don jewelry has come full circle. Going from wearing bones of a hunted animal strung together by sinew costing only time to craft to the elitist expenditures and commissions of royal houses and returning to being something accessible to all – Jewelry is once again becoming a way to express your individuality and do so affordably.

Fred Flintstone Jewellery

Have you watched Fred Flintstones? Teeth as necklaces were considered jewelry for Stone Age times. Recently discovered from what is now modern-day Turkey, the world’s first instance of teeth turned into jewelry shows this to be historically accurate. Between 6300 and 6700 BCE, the teeth were found in the vicinity of Atalhöyük, a Neolithic village.

Two premolars and one molar, were unearthed from a cave, and the teeth show signs of being worked on after extraction (most likely after death) and crafted into ornaments for wearing to serve as what are some of civilizations first ever heirloom jewelry.

Flexing Wealth With Fancy Jewelry

Once a person has amassed a large amount of jewelry in many tribes and civilizations, it is either utilized as cash or traded for goods. Dowry paid by a bride or groom to the other’s family accounts for the majority of this. Traditionally jewelry makers are mostly males, but it is the women who own and care for the jewels. The jewelry was given to the family in times of need by the ladies in order to save them from going bankrupt. It was expected that the jewels would be renewed in times of prosperity. Wampum beads, pearls, and shells, as well as other types of jewelry, were exchanged by Native Americans in the United States, in Asia and Africa by tribes; or by European traders using Venetian glass beads.

Native American Jewelry Traditions

Native Americans have been making jewelry for ceremonial purposes for generations. Each of the Native American tribes has its own distinct style and design. Seashells and feathers, and also rudimentary metalworking methods, were among the materials they utilized. They were often arranged in geometrical shapes or carved with designs. By far, silver and turquoise gemstones were the two most often used materials. Turquoise was used to make a variety of jewelry, including beads, rings, necklaces, custom wedding bands, and pendants. Tribal chieftains used ornate feather headdresses that contained little quantities of what they thought were valuable gemstones.

Religious Jewelry

Although the relationship between jewelry and religion has remained strong throughout history, the recent surge in interest in religiously-themed jewelry shows how influential the Internet and jewelry e-commerce or online jewelers have become. Consumers may now choose from an unrivaled range of aesthetically stylish religious jewels rather than functional ones such as diamond encrusted crucifixes and gem studded stars of David among others.


Where one person sees Jewelry as an investment, others may see it purely as an indulgence and history has provided ample examples where the role of Jewelry has changed in tandem with the advancement of civilization and the interaction of peoples and their ideas.

Modern Jewelry designers are digging through history to draw inspiration from what our ancestors wore. Today auction houses are hitting the hammer at 7 figure bids for buyers looking to acquire functional jewelry or antique jewels that cost ancient woman or man nothing to make from the by-product of a good day’s hunt.

And it is this vastly varying intrinsic value that people associate with Diamonds, Gems and Fine Jewelry that sees Gemrize receive more and more enquiries for customised bespoke jewelry.

We at Gemrize have worked with clients to build their unique story into a one of kind brooch, earring or cocktail ring. How to incorporate the relationship between two blood relatives using their birthstones or craft a jewel that represents the coming together of two families by curving a diamond halo around a rare gem in a specific way is what Gemrize speacilises in. We welcome you to contact us now or take our quiz and start the journey of having your tailor made jewelry crafted to perfection.

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