Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gold Jewelry Fashions

By Eric Hartwell

Gold has been in fashion since the early Egyptian societies adorned almost every part of their bodies with gold jewelry over 3000 years ago. Earrings appeared in Egyptian fashion around 1500BC. However, Pharaohs have not been recognized as wearing earrings. Mycenaeans wore gold finger rings while the Greeks adorned themselves in many gold jewelry varieties. Women wore necklaces, diadems, rings, bracelets and wreaths. Men ornamented themselves with finger rings and wreaths. Aphrodite, Eros and Artemis were worn as decorative figures on necklaces. Chokers figured prominently in Greek gold jewelry adornment. Greek men wore earrings that were thought to be an effeminate expression.

From 300-400AD in China, hair ornaments were crafted of gold. Ornamental filigree and granulation was applied as well as the setting of precious stones. Ancient Chinese men and women wore gold earrings as a sign of popular adornment, with the higher status peoples wearing gold and silver and the lower classes bronze and copper. Necklaces were not popular among the Ancient Chinese prior to 700AD. In ancient Japanese culture, jewelry was very rare aside from a few hair ornaments. India began the tradition of wearing gold nose rings circa 900-1000AD, which was introduced by the Muslims.

In Medieval times, gold jewelry of brooches, rings, pendants, belt clasps and hat badges were generally worn adorning clothing and by both men and women. From the 14th century on, a heart-shaped gold ring brooch became a popular symbol of love between paramours. Jeweled necklaces and tight chokers returned in the late 15th century as necklines plummeted, revealing milky white skin that complemented a bejeweled throat. Bracelets and earrings were again worn by the upper class. The wealthy started to carry gold personal cases (pomanders), often intricately inlaid with jewels and depicted motifs, holding snuff or personal wares.

Another curious style of jewelry was the prayer books, which hung on a chain from the waist to the hem of a woman’s skirts. Italians are credited with the wise decision of wearing jewelry to embellish beauty, rather than as a sign of status. Men of the Italian Renaissance did not adorn themselves with much jewelry, preferring instead elaborate hat jewels. The advent of gold chains returned, with both men and women partaking in the fashion of adorning their necks. In the 17th century, Baroque fashion saw the rise of intricate detail and ostentatious design of flowing silk fabric, bringing the French court to the forefront of fashion trendsetting. In the classic revival period of the 19th century, traditional Roman cameos reemerged as fashionable, pale faces surrounded by gold.

A set of short gold chains, also known as the chatelaine, were used for carrying keys and other wares from a woman’s belt. Louis XIV influenced jewelry fashion when a small gold locket was named after his mistress, Lavaliere. In the later 1800s, after excavations in Etruscan, Roman and Greek tombs and ruins revealed the jewelry of the ancient civilizations. As it happens, fashion would follow in history’s footsteps with this retro-discovery and it became trendy to wear archaeologically correct styles of jewelry.

Eric Hartwell is involved in The World's Best Home Page (please visit to read and share opinions) and Jewels To Love

Article Source:

No comments: