A Look At The Early History of Jewelry

In doing the needed research on the history of jewelry, the writer of the following article was pleased to note mention of jewelry in ancient Persia. In the past, the same writer had given a number of presentations about the Persian New Year. The writer was already familiar with the degree to which the history of jewelry coincided with the emergence of that ancient holiday. When the Persians came to Persepolis, the site of the New Year celebration, they brought with them gifts for their ruler. Gorgeous pieces of gold and silver jewelry were most certainly found among those gifts.

Antique Jewelry Collection

Antique Jewelry Collection

The initial saga in the early history of jewelry makes no mention of the metal that is found in present-day jewelry. The very first pieces of jewelry were made of objects that were familiar to Stone Age men. Such men liked to wear necklaces made out of animal bones and animal teeth.

By wearing such a necklace, a man could show-off the number of animals that he had killed. Over time, some Stone Age “medicine men” claimed that certain pieces of jewelry delivered great healing powers. They allowed the history of jewelry to link the wearing of adornments with superstitious beliefs about the shooing away of evil spirits.

As mankind emerged from the Stone Age, the Babylonian civilization welded its influence on ancient peoples. Some skilled members of the Babylonian society discovered how to heat and mold gold, causing it to form all sorts of attractive shapes. They thus moved the world into the nest stage, a stage along the history of jewelry.

History of Jewelry

History of Jewelry

The Babylonians did not manage to put a lock on their knowledge about shaping gold. Trade with Egypt soon brought beautiful gold jewelry to that growing civilization. The pharaohs welcomed the beautiful ornaments, using them as a way to express the superiority of the Egyptian ruling class.

Egyptian jewelers perfected the techniques introduced by the Babylonians. They learned how to cut both semiprecious and precious stones. As Egyptians traveled to Nubian and other gem-rich areas, Egyptian jewelers gained more and more stones, stones that could be added to their gold jewelry.

Egyptian traders also brought back samples of silver. Soon the history of jewelry included information about two very eye-catching metals. As the Egyptian jewelers prepared the silver and gold crowns, rings and necklaces that would go on the Pharaohs, the jewelers in another ancient civilization were equally busy.

Persian jewelers made ornaments in the shape of Ahuramazda, the god of Zoroaster. That winged creature represented the god worshiped by the Persians, members of a Zoroastrian society. Students of jewelry history know that the Persians prized metallic depictions of their god. They wore such depictions on a Farvehar pendant. Persians respected the work of the religiously inspired jewelers.

Of course the Persian jewelers did not spend all of their time making such pendants. They also took gold and silver and shaped it into objects that looked exactly like a small chariot. The Persian kings rode chariots to victory, and objects shaped like a chariot came to represent power. A piece of jewelry that looked like a chariot became a much-desired possession among the ancient Persians.

After Alexander the Great marched into Persia, he set fire to Persepolis. Later, Alexander and his soldiers carried-off a lot of the gorgeous gold and silver Persian jewels…

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5 Comments

  1. Lee Zarennie
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 4:24 am |

    i love both of these images!! it’s gorgeous and you can totally wear it to go out or just for work! the style is great i just got a pearl bracelet from my boyfriend that i can’t stop wearing! he got it from internet and it’s absolutely gorgeous!!

  2. Sue
    Posted August 9, 2008 at 6:21 pm |

    I just love antique silver i have some rare bits at home that come from england. I wonder how much they are worth paid a small fortune for them and that was 12 years ago.
    sue

  3. Master
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 4:51 am |

    There can never be more sentimental and precious as the antique. I love classic designs especially with a little history on it.

  4. Neck
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:33 am |

    I just love that necklace, I actually have something similar to that and I’m interested to find the stylish men’s necklace.

  5. John
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 7:11 am |

    i love antique jewelries. they are worthy than new styles of jewelries out there.