It is a socially accepted norm in most countries to wear jewelry as an everyday accessory. Of course there are different types of jewelry. Casual, evening, statement, bohemian, bold, etc. - but through the ages and in different cultures, jewelry has meant a great many different things. We’ve been checking around and here are some of the more fun and intriguing facts about jewelry that you may not have known before. We hope you enjoy.
- The oldest known jewelry ever found are Nassarius shells found in a Moroccan cave that are 82,000 years old.
- Throughout history and in many cultures, jewelry is thought to ward off evil, the famous Egyptian ankh is just one example.
- Live insect jewelry has been popular many times throughout history. The Egyptians are thought by some to have been the first to do so, by wearing scarab beetles into battle. The Mexican Maquech Beetle and Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach have also been used in jewelry in the past.
- Venetian glass masters on the island of Murano developed many creative and revolutionary ways to make glass beads. As early as the 1200s, these Venetian glass necklaces were sought after; they are still made today.
- It is believed that diamonds were first mined in India.
- Engagement rings date back to 1477, first made popular by the marriage of Maximilian the First to Mary of Burgundy.
- The gem amber is made of fossilized tree resin. It must be at least a million years old to qualify as amber, but it can be as old as 120 million years.
- Emeralds were mined by the Egyptians as early as 3500 BC.
- Jade is sometimes called ‘the stone of heaven.”
- In Sanskrit, the word for ruby is isratnaraj, which means ‘kind of precious stones.’
- Throughout history jewelry was mainly about status. In ancient Rome, only some high ranking people were allowed to wear rings.
- Snail shell beads, found in the ancient Blombos Cave in Africa, dated back 75,000 years.
- In Russia, there have been ancient bracelets carved from mammoth tusk.
- Kunzite a beautiful pink gem will lose its intensity if left in bright sunlight for too long. It was originally known as the ‘Evening Stone.’
- In some African cultures enormous earrings are a sign of masculinity, prowess, power and status.
How fascinating was that?! There, of course, are so many more interesting facts about jewelry and its history that we didn’t even get a chance to touch on yet. Do you have a fun fact about jewelry that we haven’t mentioned? We’d love to hear about it - share it below or on one of our social media pages. Interested in learning more? Check out some of the related blog posts - True or False: Top 3 Jewelry Myths Debunked - 8 Jewelry Hacks You Can't Live Without - Hamsa Fascination in Fashion.