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The Allure of Jewelry

The Allure of Jewelry As a woman, I have never understood why Eve wanted to eat the forbidden fruit. Why would she risk her life for some fruit? Now if that dreadful snake had offered her a beautiful gold necklace or a diamond tennis bracelet that would be a different story. We have always been tempted by the allure of jewelry whether it be the little girl who must have the elaborate set of Barbie glamour jewelry or the woman who must have a Tiffany bracelet. We simply cannot resist jewelry, never have and never will. It's like we have a jewelry gene that makes us crave gold, silver, or platinum to adorn ourselves. Since Eve had no clothes before the fall, she didn't even know what jewelry was, but I bet as soon as she put on the first set of fig leaves, it wasn't a week before she was adorning them with rocks she thought were pretty.

So I guess we can say we aren't responsible for our cravings for jewelry. Just like everything else, the Devil made us do it. As far back as BC times, people have worn jewelry for a variety of different reasons. The first jewelry was crafted from materials such as stones, feathers, shells, and even bones.

Often in primitive times, jewelry was worn for one of three reasons: as a religious talisman, to show status, or to protect the wearer. The ancient Egyptians often wore various types of jewelry to encourage positive results like good luck. Unlike today's society, people did not wear jewelry simply because it was pretty.

At least, that is, until the Roman times. The Romans were notorious for their hedonistic lifestyle, and loved wearing jewelry crafted from gold and gems. They not only wore jewelry to show their social standing, they wore it because it was pleasing to the eye. These days, jewelry is worn by men, women and even children the world over. Just as in ages past, people today wear jewelry for a variety of reasons.

Birthstone jewelry is a popular type of jewelry commonly worn today. While the origin of the birthstone is a mystery, the tradition has held strong for ages upon ages. Each month of the year is assigned a birthstone. For example, January's birthstone is Garnet, while the birthstone of August is Peridot.

Each gem is associated with certain qualities as well. Garnet is believed to protect the wearer from nightmares, depression and encourage lasting love. Peridot, for example, is symbolic of protection and success. Each birthstone has its own special qualities and folklore. Just like in ancient times, much of the jewelry worn today is symbolic. The best example of this is of course the engagement ring and wedding band.

The single diamond in an engagement ring not only symbolizes a promise, but also something rare and beautiful. The wedding ring symbolizes an unbroken circle and the sanctity of marriage. There are even promise rings that are given by boyfriends to their girlfriends as a symbol of their affection. High school students often exchange class rings for this purpose as well.

And let's not forget about mothers' rings. These rings contain a birthstone for each child and symbolizes a mother's never-ending love and pride for her offspring. Then again, there's jewelry that doesn't mean anything but is beautiful to behold. From expensive fine jewelry to cheap costume jewelry, you can find personal ornamentation to suit your every whim and match your every outfit. The allure of jewelry has existed since the beginning of mankind, and will surely continue to do so for ages to come. Selecting and Caring for Antique Jewelry Antique jewelry is defined by most experts as jewelry that is at least 100 years old.

Often, people confuse antique jewelry with vintage jewelry. Vintage jewelry can be old, but is usually defined as jewelry that's made after 1920. There are a variety of places where you can find stunning pieces of antique jewelry to wear, collect, hand down, or even resell.

Before beginning your search for antique jewelry, it helps to know more about the different eras and types of jewelry you might come across. Here is a brief guide to different jewelry eras: Late Georgian (1760-1837) Because necklines were often low, necklaces were designed to flatter them. Often, necklaces were multi-tiered designs featuring diamonds or gemstones. Cameos and other pendants were often worn this way as well, with rows of draping chain in between.

Berlin Iron is a material that you may find from this era. Patriotic citizens donated their gold for the war effort, and were given ornate replicas crafted from this iron. Miniatures were popular as well, which were similar to today's lockets containing photographs, only the likeness was painted instead of photographed. Victorian (1837-1901) The Victorian era is a highly popular one for antique jewelry collectors. Ornate gemstone jewelry, cameos, and shapes like hearts and flowers were highly popular. Serpents were another surprising motif, as they were considered good luck and a favorite of Queen Victoria.

Diamonds became more accessible due to the discovery of plentiful mines, so more and more Victorians wore diamond jewelry. Onyx and jet were popular as well, and were often worn as mourning pieces. Art Nouveau (1890-1915) This period emerged in Paris during the last years of the reign of Queen Victoria. This era of jewelry making focused more on the style and form of a piece rather than the materials the jewelry was made from. Some popular materials included horn, bone, shell, ivory and glass.

Semi-precious stones were popular as well, as were enamel and styles like cloisonne. Asian theme jewelry was popular also. You will even find opal and moonstone featured in jewelry from this time period. It's likely that anything crafted after the Art Nouveau period would not be classified as antique jewelry, but vintage jewelry, depending on who you ask. When shopping for antique pieces, a good place to start is at estate sales. Auctions are also often great places to find antique jewelry from many different time periods.

You may want to do some research before shopping, so you'll know what to look for and what denotes a piece as authentic.

Frances Coleman on behalf of http://www.jewelry.lovegiftsshop.com

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