Jewelry History

Since the beginning of humanity, man has worked with raw materials to obtain tools that
make life easier. Similarly, and as an ornamental element, stones and metals were used
for decoration. At first it was possible to shape the stones, and later with the advance of
time it was possible to tame materials such as metal. All this gave way to new professions.
Jewelry was not exempt from such evolution and became an increasingly sophisticated
craft due to the ability of master goldsmiths to shape metals and gems. With the use of
gems for jewelry, other trades were born, such as the study of gems; gemology.

At first, many of the gems were considered true wonders due to the belief that they had
magical elements as well as sacred properties. It was thought that some gems could cure
certain diseases, others were discarded due to the belief that they brought bad luck.
Others, on the contrary, were said to bring good luck to those who wore them. To date,
certain beliefs continue to exist in this regard, being that the emerald is considered a gem
that attracts good luck. Over the years, industrial development has allowed certain metals
and gems to be used for certain industrial sectors. Powdered diamond is a clear example
of how, and due to its hardness, it has been implemented in various sectors of the industry
such as the oil industry through diamond powder drill bits.

In the same way, many polishing discs incorporate diamond dust in order to be able to
shape materials that would otherwise be practically impossible to work effectively.
However, the fate of certain metals such as gold, platinum and silver, as well as certain
gems such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, has been increasingly linked to
the jewelry industry. Therefore, jewelry has evolved in the same way that other sectors
have over time, and the different industrial revolutions have allowed jewelry to be
increasingly sophisticated and elaborate.

Jewels have always been part of the culture of humanity. This fact has been known for
more than a hundred thousand years, from the very moment in which we know that human
beings began to use clothes and tools. The materials used at the beginning were produced
through the materials available at that time. Stones, bird feathers, the bones of the animals
they hunted, sea shells, wood and even obsidian, considered a semi-precious stone, were
elements used to make jewelry.

With the passage of time and the advancement of technology, artisans began to shape the
materials they used in a more professional way. This is how they began to use precious
metals and stones in true works of art, influencing their own culture and certain styles of
current jewelry. In certain historical times of humanity, jewelry represented a non-verbal
form of expression. Its meaning was linked to wealth, social rank, political and even
religious affiliation. Also on some occasions the jewels were carried out of affection to
another person. Jewelry has passed throughout history as a timeless art in continuous
evolution and improvement.

There are three historical stages in the development of jewelry. First of all we have the
ancient civilization with Egypt, India and China. It was in Egypt and Mesopotamia where
certain standards were established in the materials linked to metals, gems and something
very important when it came to understanding the art of jewelry of that time, the
manufacture of glass. This time marks certain guidelines for the European civilizations that
came later. Many of today’s fashion trends date back more than 3,500 years.

India made jewelry an integral part of its daily life by extolling it through religious
ornamentation. They were the first to conquer gold processing, developing the art of gold
jewelry long before anyone else. China, later, promotes the development of jewelry as an
art and slowly spreads its development throughout the rest of Asia. The Chinese style is
based on nature itself, animals and especially on dragons, a traditional element in their
culture and that continues to this day and continues to develop today.

Once the Egyptian civilization fell, Europe took over and entered with force in the jewelry
of innovation. It took many years to become the epicenter of the jewelry sector as a
consequence of the innumerable historical situations that Europe went through. We cannot
forget that Europe was isolated for more than a thousand years due to famine,
innumerable wars and the continuous plagues that devastated the continent. It was in
Western Europe, once they made contact with other civilizations through the famous
crusades, that the knowledge and ideas that allowed the birth of the Renaissance era. The
wealth that began to have the nobility, the church and the royalty, later gave way to a
middle class through the discoveries and the industrial revolution. This notably contributed
to popularize jewelry with new designs and new trends in fashion. It was a time of constant
evolution of trends. The designers were in many cases daring in their modeling, others
searched through the finds in the ruins for designs that inspired the jewels of Art Deco and

For more than one hundred thousand years, humanity has sought non-verbal language
through art as a whole and ornamental art in particular. With the birth of metallurgy, the
development of jewelry intensified, since it has served great historians to better
understand the history of ancient cultures. Therefore, and without a doubt, we can affirm
that jewelry will remain forever as an intrinsic part of humanity in each and every one of
the civilizations that have existed and will exist.