The History of Handmade Jewelry: Back Then to Now
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.
About 7,000 years ago, the use of metal in hand-making jewelry started, and it started with the use of copper. Some of the very first more prominent handmade jewelry came from that of ancient Egypt back 3,000-5,000 years ago. To them, jewelry symbolized political and religious power, being worn mostly by pharaohs and those of extreme wealth. The wealthy was even buried with their trinkets, thinking that it would carry over with them into the afterlife. The Egyptians used gold, colored glass, and semi-precious gemstones. This is where the colors of gemstones started to have meanings behind them, such as greens meaning fertility to some. Silver and Lapis Lazuli had to be imported as they were not native to Egypt.
Greece was the next big thing when it came to jewelry, using golds and gems similar to the Egyptians. The only difference was that Greece focused a tad more on metal working itself - twisting and contorting the metals and manipulating them to make more detailed designs on their pieces.
Over time, throughout Rome and well into the Middle Ages, jewelry was a number of things. It was adornments for the likes of royalty or for the very wealthy, or it was made by others and used as barter for the trading of goods.
Still to this day, many keep the tradition of handmade jewelry alive, be it simple twisted wire workings or more decorative pieces teeming with gems and pearls, glass beading and beading made from stones and minerals. It is trade that has survived centuries upon centuries, and by the looks of it, has no plans on ever dying out, but only evolving further as life progresses. For more blogs and posts on any and all things handmade when it comes to jewelry, simply contact us, we're always here bringing new and exciting content and how-to's.