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History

The history of jewellery is a long one, with many different uses among different cultures.
It has endured for thousands of years and has provided various insights into how ancient
cultures worked.

[edit] Early history

The Nassarius beads thought to be the oldest form of jewellery.

The first signs of jewellery came from the Cro-Magnons, ancestors of Homo sapiens,
around 40,000 years ago. The Cro-Magnons originally migrated from the Middle East to
settle in Europe and replace the Neanderthals as the dominant species. The jewellery
pieces they made were crude necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth and stone hung on
pieces of string or animal sinew, or pieces of carved bone used to secure clothing
together. In some cases, jewellery had shell or mother-of-pearl pieces. In southern Russia,
carved bracelets made of mammoth tusk have been found. Most commonly, these have
been found as grave-goods. Around 7,000 years ago, the first sign of copper jewellery
was seen.[4]

[edit] Egypt

Amulet pendant (254 BCE) made from gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise and carnelian, 14 cm
wide.

The first signs of established jewellery making in Ancient Egypt was around 3,000-5,000
years ago.[16] The Egyptians preferred the luxury, rarity, and workability of gold over
other metals. Predynastic Egypt had Jewellery in Egypt soon began to symbolize power
and religious power in the community. Although it was worn by wealthy Egyptians in
life, it was also worn by them in death, with jewellery commonly placed among grave
goods.
In conjunction with gold jewellery, Egyptians used coloured glass in place of precious
gems. Although the Egyptians had access to gemstones, they preferred the colours they
could create in glass over the natural colours of stones. For nearly each gemstone, there
was a glass formulation used by the Egyptians to mimic it. The colour of the jewellery
was very important, as different colours meant different things; the Book of the Dead
dictated that the necklace of Isis around a mummy’s neck must be red to satisfy Isis’s
need for blood, while green jewellery meant new growth for crops and fertility. Although
lapis lazuli and silver had to be imported from beyond the country’s borders, most other
materials for jewellery were found in or near Egypt, for example in the Red Sea, where
the Egyptians mined Cleopatra's favourite gem, the emerald. Egyptian jewellery was
predominantly made in large workshops attached to temples or palaces.

Egyptian designs were most common in Phoenician jewellery. Also, ancient Turkish
designs found in Persian jewellery suggest that trade between the Middle East and
Europe was not uncommon. Women wore elaborate gold and silver pieces that were used
in ceremonies.[16]

[edit] Europe and the Middle East

[edit] Mesopotamia

By approximately 4,000 years ago, jewellery-making had become a significant craft in


the cities of Sumer and Akkad. The most significant archaeological evidence comes from
the Royal Cemetery of Ur, where hundreds of burials dating 2900–2300 BC were
unearthed; tombs such as that of Puabi contained a multitude of artefacts in gold, silver,
and semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli crowns embellished with gold figurines,
close-fitting collar necklaces, and jewel-headed pins. In Assyria, men and women both
wore extensive amounts of jewellery, including amulets, ankle bracelets, heavy multi-
strand necklaces, and cylinder seals.[17]

Jewellery in Mesopotamia tended to be manufactured from thin metal leaf and was set
with large numbers of brightly-coloured stones (chiefly agate, lapis, carnelian, and
jasper). Favoured shapes included leaves, spirals, cones, and bunches of grapes. Jewellers
created works both for human use and for adorning statues and idols; they employed a
wide variety of sophisticated metalworking techniques, such as cloisonne, engraving, fine
granulation, and filigree.[18]

Extensive and meticulously maintained records pertaining to the trade and manufacture
of jewellery have also been unearthed throughout Mesopotamian archaeological sites.
One record in the Mari royal archives, for example, gives the composition of various
items of jewellery:

1 necklace of flat speckled chalcedony beads including: 34 flat speckled chalcedony bead, [and]
35 gold fluted beads, in groups of five.
1 necklace of flat speckled chalcedony beads including: 39 flat speckled chalcedony beads, [with]
41 fluted beads in a group that make up the hanging device.
1 necklace with rounded lapis lazuli beads including: 28 rounded lapis lazuli beads, [and] 29
fluted beads for its clasp.[19]

[edit] Greece

Gold earring from Mycenae, 16th century BCE.

The Greeks started using gold and gems in jewellery in 1,400 BC, although beads shaped
as shells and animals were produced widely in earlier times. By 300 BC, the Greeks had
mastered making coloured jewellery and using amethysts, pearl and emeralds. Also, the
first signs of cameos appeared, with the Greeks creating them from Indian Sardonyx, a
striped brown pink and cream agate stone. Greek jewellery was often simpler than in
other cultures, with simple designs and workmanship. However, as time progressed the
designs grew in complexity different materials were soon utilized.

Pendant with naked woman, made from electrum, Rhodes, around 630-620 BCE.

Jewellery in Greece was hardly worn and was mostly used for public appearances or on
special occasions. It was frequently given as a gift and was predominantly worn by
women to show their wealth, social status and beauty. The jewellery was often supposed
to give the wearer protection from the “Evil Eye” or endowed the owner with
supernatural powers, while others had a religious symbolism. Older pieces of jewellery
that have been found were dedicated to the Gods. The largest production of jewellery in
these times came from Northern Greece and Macedon. However, although much of the
jewellery in Greece was made of gold and silver with ivory and gems, bronze and clay
copies were made also.

Ancient Greek jewellery from 300 BCE.

They worked two styles of pieces; cast pieces and pieces hammered out of sheet metal.
Fewer pieces of cast jewellery have been recovered; it was made by casting the metal
onto two stone or clay moulds. Then the two halves were joined together and wax and
then molten metal, was placed in the centre. This technique had been practised since the
late Bronze Age. The more common form of jewellery was the hammered sheet type.
Sheets of metal would be hammered to thickness and then soldered together. The inside
of the two sheets would be filled with wax or another liquid to preserve the metal work.
Different techniques, such as using a stamp or engraving, were then used to create motifs
on the jewellery. Jewels may then be added to hollows or glass poured into special
cavities on the surface. The Greeks took much of their designs from outer origins, such as
Asia when Alexander the Great conquered part of it. In earlier designs, other European
influences can also be detected. When Roman rule came to Greece, no change in
jewellery designs was detected. However, by 27 BC, Greek designs were heavily
influenced by the Roman culture. That is not to say that indigenous design did not thrive;
numerous polychrome butterfly pendants on silver foxtail chains, dating from the 1st
century, have been found near Olbia, with only one example ever found anywhere else.[20]

[edit] Rome
Roman Amethyst intaglio pendant, c. 212 CE; later converted to St. Peter medallion.

Although jewellery work was abundantly diverse in earlier times, especially among the
barbarian tribes such as the Celts, when the Romans conquered most of Europe, jewellery
was changed as smaller factions developed the Roman designs. The most common
artefact of early Rome was the brooch, which was used to secure clothing together. The
Romans used a diverse range of materials for their jewellery from their extensive
resources across the continent. Although they used gold, they sometimes used bronze or
bone and in earlier times, glass beads & pearl. As early as 2,000 years ago, they imported
Sri Lankan sapphires and Indian diamonds and used emeralds and amber in their
jewellery. In Roman-ruled England, fossilized wood called jet from Northern England
was often carved into pieces of jewellery. The early Italians worked in crude gold and
created clasps, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. They also produced larger pendants
which could be filled with perfume.

Like the Greeks, often the purpose of Roman jewellery was to ward off the “Evil Eye”
given by other people. Although women wore a vast array of jewellery, men often only
wore a finger ring. Although they were expected to wear at least one ring, some Roman
men wore a ring on every finger, while others wore none. Roman men and women wore
rings with a carved stone on it that was used with wax to seal documents, an act that
continued into medieval times when kings and noblemen used the same method. After the
fall of the Roman Empire, the jewellery designs were absorbed by neighbouring countries
and tribes.[16]

[edit] Middle Ages


Merovingian fibulae, Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

6th century bronze eagle-shaped Visigothic cloisonné fibula from Guadalajara, Spain.

Post-Roman Europe continued to develop jewellery making skills; the Celts and
Merovingians in particular are noted for their jewellery, which in terms of quality
matched or exceeded that of Byzantium. Clothing fasteners, amulets, and to a lesser
extent signet rings are the most common artefacts known to us; a particularly striking
celtic example is the Tara Brooch. The Torc was common throughout Europe as a symbol
of status and power. By the 8th century, jewelled weaponry was common for men, while
other jewellery (with the exception of signet rings) seems to become the domain of
women. Grave goods found in a 6th-7th century burial near Chalon-sur-Saône are
illustrative; the young girl was buried with: 2 silver fibulae, a necklace (with coins),
bracelet, gold earings, a pair of hair-pins, comb, and buckle.[21] The Celts specialized in
continuous patterns and designs; while Merovingian designs are best known for stylized
animal figures.[22] They were not the only groups known for high quality work; note the
Visigoth work shown here, and the numerous decorative objects found at the Anglo-
Saxon Ship burial at Sutton Hoo Suffolk, England, are a particularly well-known
example.[16] On the continent, cloisonné and garnet were perhaps the quintessential
method and gemstone of the period.
Byzantine wedding ring.

The Eastern successor of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, continued many of
the methods of the Romans, though religious themes came to predominate. Unlike the
Romans, the Franks, and the Celts, however; Byzantium used light-weight gold leaf
rather than solid gold, and more emphasis was placed on stones and gems. As in the
West, Byzantine jewellery was worn by wealthier females, with male jewellery
apparently restricted to signet rings. Like other contemporary cultures, jewellery was
commonly buried with its owner.[23]

[edit] Renaissance

Sardonyx cameo.

The Renaissance and exploration both had significant impacts on the development of
jewellery in Europe. By the 17th century, increasing exploration and trade lead to
increased availability of a wide variety of gemstones as well as exposure to the art of
other cultures. Whereas prior to this the working of gold and precious metal had been at
the forefront of jewellery, this period saw increasing dominance of gemstones and their
settings. A fascinating example of this is the Cheapside Hoard, the stock of a jeweller
hidden in London England during the Commonwealth period and not found again until
1912. It contained Colombian emerald, topaz, amazonite from Brazil, spinel, iolite, and
chrysoberyl from Sri Lanka, ruby from India, Afghani lapis lazuli, Persian turquoise, Red
Sea peridot, as well as Bohemian and Hungarian opal, garnet, and amethyst. Large stones
were frequently set in box-bezels on enamelled rings.[24] Notable among merchants of the
period was Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who in the 1660s brought the precursor stone of the
Hope Diamond to France.

When Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned as Emperor of the French in 1804, he revived
the style and grandeur of jewellery and fashion in France. Under Napoleon’s rule,
jewellers introduced parures, suites of matching jewellery, such as a diamond tiara,
diamond earrings, diamond rings, a diamond brooch and a diamond necklace. Both of
Napoleon’s wives had beautiful sets such as these and wore them regularly. Another
fashion trend resurrected by Napoleon was the cameo. Soon after his cameo decorated
crown was seen, cameos were highly sought after. The period also saw the early stages of
costume jewellery, with fish scale covered glass beads in place of pearls or conch shell
cameos instead of stone cameos. New terms were coined to differentiate the arts:
jewellers who worked in cheaper materials were called bijoutiers, while jewellers who
worked with expensive materials were called joailliers; a practice which continues to this
day.

[edit] Romanticism

Mourning jewellery in the form of a jet brooch, 19th century.

Starting in the late 18th century, Romanticism had a profound impact on the development
of western jewellery. Perhaps the most significant influences were the public’s
fascination with the treasures being discovered through the birth of modern archaeology,
and the fascination with Medieval and Renaissance art. Changing social conditions and
the onset of the industrial revolution also lead to growth of a middle class that wanted and
could afford jewellery. As a result, the use of industrial processes, cheaper alloys, and
stone substitutes, lead to the development of paste or costume jewellery. Distinguished
goldsmiths continued to flourish, however, as wealthier patrons sought to ensure that
what they wore still stood apart from the jewellery of the masses, not only through use of
precious metals and stones but also though superior artistic and technical work; one such
artist was the French goldsmith Françoise Désire Fromment Meurice. A category unique
to this period and quite appropriate to the philosophy of romanticism was mourning
jewellery. It originated in England, where Queen Victoria was often seen wearing jet
jewellery after the death of Prince Albert; and allowed the wearer to continue wearing
jewellery while expressing a state of mourning at the death of a loved one.[25]

In the United states, this period saw the founding in 1837 of Tiffany & Co. by Charles
Lewis Tiffany. Tiffany's put the United States on the world map in terms of jewellery,
and gained fame creating dazzling commissions for people such as the wife of Abraham
Lincoln; later it would gain popular notoriety as the setting of the film Breakfast at
Tiffany's. In France, Pierre Cartier founded Cartier SA in 1847, while 1884 saw the
founding of Bulgari in Italy. The modern production studio had been born; a step away
from the former dominance of individual craftsmen and patronage.

This period also saw the first major collaboration between East and West; collaboration
in Pforzheim between German and Japanese artists lead to Shakudo plaques set into
Filigree frames being created by the Stoeffler firm in 1885).[26] Perhaps the grand finalé –
and an appropriate transition to the following period – were the masterful creations of the
Russian artist Peter Carl Fabergé, working for the Imperial Russian court, whose Fabergé
eggs and jewellery pieces are still considered as the epitome of the goldsmith’s art.

[edit] Art Nouveau

In the 1890s, jewellers began to explore the potential of the growing Art Nouveau style.
Very closely related were the German Jugendstil, British (and to some extent American)
Arts and Crafts movement. Art Nouveau jewellery encompassed many distinct features
including a focus on the female form and an emphasis on colour, most commonly
rendered through the use of enamelling techniques including basse-taille, champleve,
cloisonné and plique a jour. Motifs included orchids, irises, pansies, vines, swans,
peacocks, snakes, dragonflies, mythological creatures and the female silhouette. Rene
Lalique, working for the Paris shop of Samuel Bing, was recognized by contemporaries
as a leading figure in this trend. The Darmstadt Artists' Colony and Wiener Werkstaette
provided perhaps the most significant German input to the trend, while in Denmark
Georg Jensen, though best known for his Silverware, also contributed significant pieces.
In England, Liberty & Co and the British arts & crafts movement of Charles Robert
Ashbee contributed slightly more linear but still characteristic designs. The new style
moved the focus of the jeweller's art from the setting of stones to the artistic design of the
piece itself; Lalique's dragonfly design is one of the best examples of this. Enamels
played a large role in technique, while sinuous organic lines are the most recognizable
design feature. The end of World War One once again changed public attitudes; and a
more sober style came in.[27]

[edit] Art Deco


Growing political tensions, the after-effects of the war, and a reaction against the
perceived decadence of the turn of the century led to simpler forms, combined with more
effective manufacturing for mass production of high-quality jewellery. Covering the
period of the 1920s and 1930s, the style has become popularly known as Art Deco.
Walter Gropius and the German Bauhaus movement, with their philosophy of "no
barriers between artists and craftsmen" lead to some interesting and stylistically
simplified forms. Modern materials were also introduced: plastics and aluminum were
first used in jewellery, and of note are the chromed pendants of Russian born Bauhaus
master Naum Slutzky. Technical mastery became as valued as the material itself; in the
west, this period saw the reinvention of granulation by the German Elizabeth Treskow
(although development of the re-invention has continued into the 1990s).

[edit] Jewish jewellery

In the Jewish culture jewellery have played an important role since biblical times. There
are references in the bible to the custom of wearing jewellery both as a decoration and as
a symbol. Now, Jewish jewellery is worn to show affiliation with the religion, and as
talismans and amulets.

The Star of David ("Magen David" in Hebrew) is the symbol most recognized with
Judaism. It was used in Israel in Roman times, but it seems to have become associated
with Judaism in particular only in later centuries. In the 17th century it became a practice
to put the Star of David on the outside of synagogues, to identify them as Jewish houses
of worship; however, it is not clear why this symbol was selected for this. Today the Star
of David is a universally recognized symbol of Jews. It appears on the flag of the state of
Israel, and the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross is known as "the Magen David Adom"
("Adom" is red in Hebrew). One of the most common symbols in Jewish jewellery is the
Star of David, equivalent to wearing a cross by Christians.

Another popular symbol used in Jewish jewellery is the Hamsa, also known as the
"Hamesh hand". The Hamsa appears often in a stylized form, as a hand with three fingers
raised, and sometimes with two thumbs arranged symmetrically. Its five fingers are said
to symbolize the five books if the Torah. The symbol is used for protection and as a mean
to ward of the Evil eye in amulets and charms and can also be found in various places
such as home entrances and cars. It is also common to place other symbols in the middle
of the Hamsa that are believed to help against the evil eye such as fish, eyes and the Star
of David. The colour blue, or more specifically light blue, is also considered protective
against the evil eye and many Hamsas are in that colour or with embedded gemstones in
different shades of blue. Hamsas are often decorated with Jewish prayers of a protective
fashion such as the Sh'ma Prayer, the Birkat HaBayit (Blessing for the Home), or the
Tefilat HaDerech (Traveler's Prayer).

The Chai symbol, popularly worn on necklaces, is the Hebrew word "Chai" (means
'living'), consisting of the two Hebrew letters Chet and Yod. This word refers to God.
According to the gematrian system, the letters of Chai add up to 18. There have been
many mystical numerological speculations about this fact and the custom to give
donations and monetary gifts in multiples of 18 as a blessing for long life is very common
in Jewish circles.

Other motives found in Jewish jewellery are symbols from the Kabbalah (also known as
kabala, cabala) such as the Merkaba, a three-dimensional Star of David, and the Tree of
life. Pieces of jewellery are decorated with parts or initials of known Jewish prayers and
with 3-letters combinations, believed to represent different names of the Jewish God.

[edit] Asia

Jewellery making in Asia started in China 5,000 years ago and in the Indus Valley region
later on.

[edit] China

The earliest culture to begin making jewellery in Asia was the Chinese around 5,000
years ago. Chinese jewellery designs were very religion-orientated and contained
Buddhist symbols, a fact which remains to this day.

Jade coiled serpent, Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD)

The Chinese used silver in their jewellery more often than gold, and decorated it with
their favourite colour, blue. Blue kingfisher feathers were tied onto early Chinese
jewellery and later, blue gems and glass were incorporated into designs. However,
Chinese preferred jade over any other stone. They fashioned it using diamonds. The
Chinese revered jade because of the human-like qualities they assigned to it, such as its
hardness, durability and beauty.[4] The first jade pieces were very simple, but as time
progressed, more complex designs evolved. Jade rings from between the 4th and 7th
centuries BCE show evidence of having been worked with a compound milling machine;
hundreds of years before the first mention of such equipment in the west.[28]

In China, jewellery was worn frequently by both sexes to show their nobility and wealth.
However, in later years, it was used to accentuate beauty. Women wore highly detailed
gold and silver head dresses and other items, while men wore decorative hat buttons
which showed rank and gold or silver rings. Woman also wore strips of gold on their
foreheads, much like women in the Indus Valley. The band was an early form of tiara and
was often decorated with precious gems. The most common piece of jewellery worn by
Chinese was the earring, which was worn by both men and women. Amulets were also
common too, often with a Chinese symbol or dragon. In fact, dragons, Chinese symbols
and also phoenixes were frequently depicted on jewellery designs.

The Chinese often placed their jewellery in their graves; most Chinese graves found by
archaeologists contain decorative jewellery.[29]

[edit] India

The Indian subcontinent has the longest continuous legacy of jewellery making
anywhere. While Western traditions were heavily influenced by waxing and waning
empires, India enjoyed a continuous development of art forms for some 5000 years.[30]
One of the first to start jewellery making were the peoples of the Indus Valley
Civilization. By 1,500 BC the peoples of the Indus Valley were creating gold earrings
and necklaces, bead necklaces and metallic bangles. Before 2,100 BC, prior to the period
when metals were widely used, the largest jewellery trade in the Indus Valley region was
the bead trade. Beads in the Indus Valley were made using simple techniques. First, a
bead maker would need a rough stone, which would be bought from an eastern stone
trader. The stone would then be placed into a hot oven where it would be heated until it
turned deep red, a colour highly prized by people of the Indus Valley. The red stone
would then be chipped to the right size and a hole drilled through it with primitive drills.
The beads were then polished. Some beads were also painted with designs. This art form
was often passed down through family; children of bead makers often learnt how to work
beads from a young age.

Jewellery in the Indus Valley was worn predominantly by females, who wore numerous
clay or shell bracelets on their wrists. They were often shaped like doughnuts and painted
black. Over time, clay bangles were discarded for more durable ones. In India today,
bangles are made out of metal or glass. Other pieces that women frequently wore were
thin bands of gold that would be worn on the forehead, earrings, primitive brooches,
chokers and gold rings. Although women wore jewellery the most, some men in the Indus
Valley wore beads. Small beads were often crafted to be placed in men and women’s
hair. The beads were about one millimetre long.

A female skeleton (presently on display at the National Museum, New Delhi, India)
wears a carlinean bangle ( a bracelet) on her left hand.

India was the first country to mine diamonds, with some mines dating back to 296 BC.
India traded the diamonds, realising their valuable qualities. This trade almost vanished
1,000 years after Christianity grew as a religion, as Christians rejected the diamonds
which were used in Indian religious amulets. Along with Arabians from the Middle East
restricting the trade, India’s diamond jewellery trade lulled.

Today, many of the jewellery designs and traditions are still used and jewellery is
commonplace in Indian ceremonies and weddings.[29]

[edit] Americas
Jewellery played a major role in the fate of the Americas when the Spanish established an
empire to seize South American gold. Jewellery making developed in the Americas 5,000
years ago in Central and South America. Large amounts of gold was easily accessible,
and the Aztecs and Mayans created numerous works in the metal. Among the Aztecs,
only nobility wore gold jewellery, as it showed their rank, power and wealth. Gold
jewellery was most common in the Aztec Empire and was often decorated with feathers
from birds. The main purpose of Aztec jewellery was to draw attention, with richer and
more powerful Aztecs wearing brighter, more expensive jewellery and clothes. Although
gold was the most common and popular material used in Aztec jewellery, silver was also
readily available throughout the American empires. In addition to adornment and status,
the Aztecs also used jewellery in sacrifices to appease the gods. Priests also used gem
encrusted daggers to perform animal and human sacrifices.[16][25]

Another ancient American civilization with expertise in jewellery making was the Maya.
At the peak of their civilization, the Maya were making jewellery from jade, gold, silver,
bronze and copper. Maya designs were similar to those of the Aztecs, with lavish head
dresses and jewellery. The Maya also traded in precious gems. However, in earlier times,
the Maya had little access to metal, so made the majority of their jewellery out of bone or
stone. Merchants and nobility were the only few that wore expensive jewellery in the
Maya Empire, much the same as with the Aztecs.[29]

In North America, Native Americans used shells, wood, turquoise, and soapstone, almost
unavailable in South and Central America. The turquoise was used in necklaces and to be
placed in earrings. Native Americans with access to oyster shells, often located in only
one location in America, traded the shells with other tribes, showing the great importance
of the body adornment trade in Northern America.[31]

[edit] Pacific

Main article: Jewellery in the Pacific

Jewellery making in the Pacific started later than in other areas because of recent human
settlement. Early Pacific jewellery was made of bone, wood and other natural materials,
and thus has not survived. Most Pacific jewellery is worn above the waist, with
headdresses, necklaces, hair pins and arm and waist belts being the most common pieces.

Jewellery in the Pacific, with the exception of Australia, is worn to be a symbol of either
fertility or power. Elaborate headdresses are worn by many Pacific cultures and some,
such as the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea, wear certain headresses once they have
killed an enemy. Tribesman may wear boar bones through their noses.

Island jewellery is still very much primal because of the lack of communication with
outside cultures; some areas of Borneo and Papua New Guinea are yet to be explored by
Western nations. However, the island nations which were flooded with Western
missionaries have had drastic changes made to their jewellery designs. Missionaries saw
any type of tribal jewellery as a sign of the wearer's devotion to paganism. Thus many
tribal designs were lost forever in the mass conversion to Christianity.[32]

A modern opal bracelet

Australia is now the number one supplier of opals in the world. Opals had already been
mined in Europe and South America for many years prior, but in the late 1800s, the
Australian opal market became predominant. Australian opals are only mined in a few
select places around the country, making it one the most profitable stones in the Pacific.
[33]

One of the few cultures to today still create their jewellery as they did many centuries
prior is the New Zealand Māori, who create Hei-tiki. The reason the hei-tiki is worn is
not apparent; it may either relate to ancestral connections, as Tiki was the first Māori, or
fertility, as there is a strong connection between this and Tiki. Another suggestion from
historians is that the Tiki is a product of the ancient belief of a god named Tiki, perhaps
dating back to before the Māoris settled in New Zealand. Hei-tikis are traditionally
carved by hand from bone (commonly whale), nephrite or bowenite; a lengthy and
spiritual process. The Hei-tiki is now popular amongst tourists who can buy it from
souvenir or jeweller shops.

Other than jewellery created through Māori influence, jewellery in New Zealand remains
similar to other western civilizations; multi cultural and varied. This is more noticeable in
New Zealand because of its high levels of non-European citizens.[32]

[edit] Modern
Reversible pendant mimics the constellations representing a star map of the zodiac signs.

The modern jewellery movement began in the late 1940s at the end of World War II with
a renewed interest in artistic and leisurely pursuits. The movement is most noted with
works by Georg Jensen and other jewellery designers who advanced the concept of
wearable art. The advent of new materials, such as plastics, Precious Metal Clay (PMC)
and colouring techniques, has led to increased variety in styles. Other advances, such as
the development of improved pearl harvesting by people such as Kokichi Mikimoto and
the development of improved quality artificial gemstones such as moissanite (a diamond
simulant), has placed jewellery within the economic grasp of a much larger segment of
the population.

The "jewellery as art" movement was spearheaded by artisans such as Robert Lee Morris
and continued by designers such as Anoush Waddington in the UK. Influence from other
cultural forms is also evident; one example of this is bling-bling style jewellery,
popularized by hip-hop and rap artists in the early 21st century.

The late 20th century saw the blending of European design with oriental techniques such
as Mokume-gane. The following are innovations in the decades stradling the year 2000:
"Mokume-gane, hydraulic die forming, anti-clastic raising, fold-forming, reactive metal
anodizing, shell forms, PMC, photoetching, and [use of] CAD/CAM."[34]

Artisan jewellery continues to grow as both a hobby and a profession. With more than 17
United States periodicals about beading alone, resources, accessibility and a low initial
cost of entry continues to expand production of hand-made adornments. Some fine
examples of artisan jewellery can be seen at The Metropolitan Museum.[35]

[edit] Body modification


Young girl from the Padaung tribe.

Jewellery used in body modification is usually plain; the use of simple silver studs, rings
and earrings predominates. Common jewellery pieces such as earrings, are themselves a
form of body modification, as they are accommodated by creating a small hole in the ear.

Padaung women in Myanmar place large golden rings around their necks. From as early
as 5 years old, girls are introduced to their first neck ring. Over the years, more rings are
added. In addition to the twenty-plus pounds of rings on her neck, a woman will also
wear just as many rings on her calves too. At their extent, some necks modified like this
can reach 10-15 inches long; the practice has obvious health impacts, however, and has in
recent years declined from cultural norm to tourist curiosity.[36] Tribes related to the
Paduang, as well as other cultures throughout the world, use jewellery to stretch their
earlobes, or enlarge ear piercings. In the Americas, labrets have been worn since before
first contact by Innu and first nations peoples of the northwest coast.[37] Lip plates are
worn by the African Mursi and Sara people, as well as some South American peoples.

In the late 20th century, the influence of modern primitivism led to many of these
practices being incorporated into western subcultures. Many of these practices rely on a
combination of body modification and decorative objects; thus keeping the distinction
between these two types of decoration blurred.

In many cultures, jewellery is used as a temporary body modifier, with in some cases,
hooks or even objects as large as bike bars being placed into the recipient's skin.
Although this procedure is often carried out by tribal or semi-tribal groups, often acting
under a trance during religious ceremonies, this practise has seeped into western culture.
Many extreme-jewellery shops now cater to people wanting large hooks or spikes set into
their skin. Most often, these hooks are used in conjunction with pulleys to hoist the
recipient into the air. This practise is said to give an erotic feeling to the person and some
couples have even performed their marriage ceremony whilst being suspended by hooks.
[36]
[edit] Jewellery market
According to a recent KPMG study[38] the largest jewellery market is the United States
with a market share of 30.8%, Japan, India and China and the Middle East each with 8 -
9% and finally Italy with 5%. The authors of the study predict a dramatic change in
market shares by 2015, where the market share of the United States will have dropped to
around 25%, and China and India will increase theirs to over 13%. The Middle East will
remain more or less constant at 9%, whereas Europe's and Japan's marketshare will be
halved and become less than 4% for Japan, and less than 3% for the biggest individual
European countries: Italy and the UK.

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