Jewellery has been used through the ages to bring good fortune and to protect against danger as well as for ceremonial dressing. For example, amulets worn by the Romans were inlaid with specific gemstones to fend against dangers while in battle.
In modern day some elements of superstition have been retained since many people are draw to wear jewellery containing their birth stone believing it will bring luck, protection, prosperity or clarity for example.
Traditional use of jewellery
Jewellery is still used for traditional religious ceremonies such as weddings and engagements where rings are exchanged as a symbol of commitment. It is also given as a gift to mark a momentous occasion such as coming of age, christenings or retirements and graduation ceremonies in some countries such as America.
Jewellery for fashion
And of course, jewellery is worn for the purpose of pleasure as a way to compliment an outfit or to express oneself. There is such a vast array of different styles available nowadays catering for all age groups and occasions, spanning a broad spectrum of color preferences for every personality. I have certain necklaces and earrings which I wear with certain pieces from my wardrobe bought specifically for that purpose.
. I saw as of late how for all intents and purposes all garments shops including substantial chain stores and even lead superstores now have an extensive region of floor space devoted to hued mixes of hoops, armlets and pendants
Next time you are in a shop, notice how jewellery the colors’ of the rainbow are perhaps strategically placed to compliment each other glistening and glinting under the spotlights enticing you in like a moth to candlelight. What I would say about this kind of jewellery is that its normally silver plated and moderately priced but then its probably mass produced and cash rich chain stores have buying power to retain the affordable prices we pay. Though the downside is that if you buy something from this kind of shop, the chances are your next door neighbor may turn up at your barbeque wearing the same necklace you brought at the weekend!
In contrast to handmade jewellery on the other hand, at least you can be assured each piece has been individually crafted. That in itself gives the piece a uniqueness not found in high street chain stores. Handmade jewellery still has the same magnetism and if ever you visit a craft fair, notice how all the stalls selling jewellery have clusters of females who are drawn to those stands dripping with colored beads.
There are some very talented artists finding their forte in designing jewellery with their own specific signature. I came across a UK designer recently whose jewellery range is completely inspired by nature. There was a breathtaking pair of earrings based on the fuchsia flower made from hundreds of seed beads. I was stunned by the detail each earring had in it, so much care and skill had been used to recreate a living flower out of beads.
Handmade jewellery is produced all over the world and I have noticed how the colours and designs to me reflect the country’s culture.
Jewellery in Africa
A good example of this observation is jewellery hand made in Africa which to me has a very tribal feel about it. I notice how some of the designs are reminiscent of ceremonial necklaces with quite bold designs using vibrant colors contrasted with natural wooden beads in all shapes and sizes. When I see this kind of jewellery, it conjures up a notion of African tribes making use of sustainable mterials in their environment they are putting to a good use.
Handmade Jewellery in Chile
Another example I have come across recently is a range of fair trade jewellery made in Chile. The range is simple where blocks of solid fused glass in contrasting colors have been shaped and fitted to silver findings creating very striking earrings, pendants and rings. The colors they have used are rich and bright rather than dull and dowdy and remind me of the vibrancy and energy of Chilean culture such as the brightly colored food and the passionate music.
As well as reflecting the country’s culture, each piece is hand made with traditional skills used by communities transferred from generation to generation with perhaps the use of specific stones or colors important to their cultural beliefs.
In India the ancient religion of Jainism is still practiced which is incredible since it is the oldest monastic tradition and can be traced way back to 599-527 BC. Their beliefs are based upon the law of karma, its effects on the living soul and the conditions for extinguishing action and the souls release.
In the present day, there is a small community of Jains making hand made silver fair trade jewellery inlaid with semi precious gemstones.
. As indicated by the Jain view, the spirit is a living substance that consolidates with different sorts of non-living issue and through activity amasses particles of issue that hold fast to it deciding its destiny. The fascinating thing is that a large portion of the issue noticeable to human detects, including all creatures and plants, is appended in different ‘qualities’ to living the living soul and is in this setting it is along these lines alive. Any activity has results that essentially take after the exemplified soul, however the most noticeably awful aggregations of issue originate from savagery against other living creatures. Therefore, creating adornments is an industry that does not hurt creatures or plants or some other living issue as is adequate
When I look at the jewellery made by these people, I definitely feel a certain calmness from the simple but elegant designs and the beautiful choice of stones. When I physically hold the jewellery, I have a great admiration for the people who made them, respectful of the strength and power of their beliefs which has truly withstood the test of time.