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World of Jewelry? Jewelry has always been one of women’s favorite ways to enhance face and body around the world and it has been used as a form of adornment and self-expression since the early days, even before clothing and make-up. In the very beginning vines and flowers were used as personal decoration and as the years passed the materials used for jewelry shifted to gold, stones and precious gems. Check out this practical jewelry guide highlighting special pieces from around the world.
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A dive in the fabulous world of jewelry
Why is jewelry so important?
One may choose to wear jewelry for a number of reasons, ranging from beauty, self-expression, tradition and culture (for example, engagement and wedding rings). Though to some they might seem as expensive ‘extravagant’ items, jewelry has always had its place in society, once they were even used as for trading, as a form of currency. Nowadays, the reason for owning and wearing jewels and jewelry are various but normally is tied to sentimental value and/or fashion.
Many people receive important jewelry via family heritage, this is a tradition that is widely spread around the globe and most of the times, these are the pieces that have more value, may it even be simply sentimental. Aside form this, jewelry is very commonly a fashion statement piece that compliments outfits and defines a person’s style and personality.
Today, the array of jewelry available is incredibly vast: from different materials to styles and prices, there is something for everyone and any occasion. Purchasing jewelry via the web has also become more and more frequent as brands, even the more high-end ones, sell via their pieces online. A perfect example is the APM Monaco Jewelry brand that is now available on online stores like Luisaviaroma, along with many other designer brands.
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Top materials and styles
Gold has been a popular choice throughout history and still today is the number one material of choice. Yellow gold jewelry is the most classic and still is very popular but in recent years, white gold and even more so, rose gold have also gained tremendous popularity. Rose gold is very feminine and sophisticated; it goes well with all skin tones and is perfect for a dainty and classy style.
There are many different types of silver available on the market, ranging from pure silver to jewelry that is usually an alloy. Silver jewelry should have a quality stamp on it which tells you what type of silver a piece is made of. For example, the highest quality is Fine .999 silver (99.9% pure) and Sterling .925. Silver jewelry is timeless and never goes out of style, just think of the famous charms by Tiffany.
- Gems and Stones
Although fairly expensive, this kind of jewelry is definitely something worth investing in, if you have the means. Gems are usually found in rings and earrings and can be of different cuts and sizes. Some of the most ‘precious’ are definitely diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. There is also Jade, which is called the Stone of Heaven, and turquoise that carries a strong positive message and believed to have spiritual powers in ancient cultures.
- Fashion jewelry
Needless to say that there is also a high volume of costume jewelry available: from more expensive and high quality brands like Pandora for example, to the more affordable options like Accessorize, there really is no limit. This kind of jewelry is perfect for following trends and for buying statements pieces to compliment a particular outfit. The small price tag lets you play around with different styles and follow trends, even for just one season.
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Jewelry from around the world
Throughout history jewelry has been worn as a symbol of power, a statement piece, or a piece that carries a specific meaning. Specific pieces and styles have also been a key to culture of civilizations. For example, in ancient Greece jewelry and jewels were worn for special occasions. Still today there are many traditional and cultural ties when it comes to jewelry. Here are some of the most fascinating form around the world:
- Faith Pendant Necklaces: A necklace with a pendant for religion, such as a cross, the star of David, Hand of Fatima etc. is often an everyday piece of jewelry for many people around the globe. Karenni people in Thailand, for example, wear layered necklaces with rings around their neck.
- The Irish Claddagh Ring: Rings are often worn as a symbol of status. Engagement rings, marriage rings, and a special ring such as the Irish Claddagh are worn as a symbol for relationship status. The Claddagh ring is a piece of Celtic jewelry with the traditional symbol of two hands holding a heart in the middle, with a crown atop the heart. When a Claddagh ring is worn with the heart pointed towards the person’s body on the right hand, it indicates the individual is in a relationship. The ring on the left hand with the heart pointed away from the body signifies the person is engaged. Once married, the ring is worn on the left hand and the heart points towards the body.
- Cleopatra Arm bracelet: A popular arm bracelet or better, ‘cuff’ that many will recognize is the snake bracelet of Cleopatra, a gold fabric snake that fits snugly to the upper arm. This was the queen’s favorite and probably most iconic jewelry piece.
- Crowns and Tiaras: A jeweled crown is most commonly associated with royalty and monarchies. It is a symbol status, tradition, and beauty tied into one piece. Today smaller crowns, known as tiaras are common for brides on their wedding day.
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These are just a few of the many different unique traditional jewelry pieces and traditions from around the world. For example, in Chinese culture a bride on her wedding day will pair a golden crown, which stands for happiness and good health, with a traditional red bridal gown. Gold jewelry is then presented to and worn by the bride during a tea ceremony that follows immediately after the wedding ceremony.
In the Native American culture, jewelry has been a key part in ceremonies of the Navajo, Apache and Hopi. Native American culture focuses primarily on unprocessed natural materials but also incorporates silver and turquoise worn by high-ranking tribal members.
Turquoise particularly symbolizes happiness, health, luck, and a connection to the natural world.
Wearing jewels is a way to feel even more confident and elegant, be it something small and precious or more fancy and flashy for special occasions. No matter the style the most important thing is that it makes you feel fabulous.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry?