Jewellery such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets and cufflinks have been in existence for millions of years. They are decorative items worn for personal use and adornment and are often combined with gemstones. Shells and other plants may be used in jewellery, and in artistic jewellery, many other materials are used. They run the gamut. Coral, precious metals, beads and enamel are also often used in jewellery.
The word jewellery is derived from the word jewel, an anglicised word from the “jouel” (Old French). It also owes its roots to the Latin word “jocale”, which means plaything. It is spelled jewellery in British English, New Zealand English, Indian English, Hiberno-English, Australian and South African English. In American English, it is jewellery. Both forms are used in Canadian English. In French and other European languages, the same term, joaillerie, may also mean decorated metalwork in valuable metal. This includes objets d’art and church items.
Jewellery’s forms vary amongst cultures. In Europe, Africa and Asia, the most common forms of jewellery have been around since ancient times. More recent countries, such as the United States have less history with jewellery. In most cultures, jewellery is used as a status symbol.
Jewellery can adorn many parts of the body, such as the hair, the toes and the genitals. Males typically use less jewellery than females.
Jewellery Manufacturers Around the Globe
There are thousands, if not millions, of jewellery manufacturers in the world today. Many of them are small, independent companies that are just starting. Many jewellery manufacturers run their businesses from home. In general, these are owned by hands-on, creative types.
More prominent jewellery manufacturers who are popular include Van Cleef et Arpels, Cartier, Buccellati, Tiffany & Co, Bulgari, and Boucheron. They are all high end and are grouped in Paris’ Place Vendome, which is known as one of the biggest jewellery brand hubs in Europe.
China has thousands of jewellery manufacturers who make jewellery that is not necessarily high end. Jewellery manufacturers in China are a dime a dozen and are one reason the Chinese remain top-of-mind in the manufacturing world today.
There are also many jewellery manufacturers in Africa, most of whom source the gemstones on the continent.
Why Jewellery is Important
Jewellery can make or break an outfit. A look isn’t truly complete without the right jewellery. Take Chanel pearls, which is an absolute must for a classic look. And what would Marilyn be without her best friend, AKA diamonds? Jewellery can make an outfit whole.
Jewellery is essential on all occasions of a woman’s life. Women receive jewellery when they get married when they have an anniversary or a birthday. There are gemstones and jewellery that correspond to the month you were born. Jewellery symbolises many things, such as royalty and riches. Jewellery celebrates milestones.
Jewellery is also the most precious gift a man can give to his wife. It symbolises love, elegance and beauty. It is presented with admiration and respect. It is often used in the courtship of young lovers.
Jewellery is a significant investment. Jewellery, like the cost of land that rises when it is developed into cities, appreciates over time. Just like money, jewellery prices are subject to inflation. Great jewellery, like great art, costs millions.