Almost everyone has given or received a piece of jewelry as a gift at some point in their lives. We love to give our loved ones rings, necklaces, or bracelets for special occasions, such as graduations, engagements, weddings, births, and anniversaries. These objects will often have a special meaning to us, because of the occasion and our relationship to the person who gave them to us.
Whenever you wear jewelry, whether it is a necklace, a ring, or a pair of earrings, you are following in the footsteps of a tradition that is thousands of years old. Humans have been wearing jewelry since the dawn of time, and some of the oldest known pieces of jewelry can be traced back as far as 100,000 B.C.E. But what type of jewelry did ancient humans wear and why did they wear it?
Creating handmade jewelry has been around practically since the dawn of time, with the earliest records of handmade jewelry being made by Neanderthals in Europe. Perforated beads that were made of sea shells and small stones have been dated as far back as 115,000 years ago. They've been found in a cave called Cueva de los Aviones, which is located on the southeast coast of Spain. Shortly after, humans moved on to using items such as bones and teeth to make primitive adornments for themselves and others.
From flapper dresses to pinstriped suits, the 1920's was an era that defined fashion. No element of the roarin' 20's was quite as unique as the accessories. Beaded jewelry was all that jazz and handmade lampwork pieces were an iconic testament to the fashion scene of the time. Discover the rich, rowdy history of prohibition era gems -- and how you can incorporate lampwork beads into your own wardrobe!
It is amazing how far back in time that beads of all sizes, shapes, colors, and materials have been the desired collectible and how they have been used not only for personal adornment and jewelry but also as “money” to use in trading for goods and services, as good luck talismans, for religious ceremonies, and in a large variety of spectacular crafts.