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A Brief History of Designer Jewelry


It can be claimed without a doubt that the lives of the prehistoric men were simple. Their main aim was survival by fighting against hunger, wild animals, and natural calamity. As and when, the civilization evolved and social norms came into being, the human society began to form complex hierarchies. 

It is not only famous brands where exclusive designer jewelry is available. Some of the freelance designers also display their works in various other stores like Windsor Fine Jewelers. They can be as good as their branded counterparts.

One of the salient features of such societies was a status symbol. To denote status symbols of various statutes, jewelry came into existence.

Jewelry: The definition

Jewelry or ornaments are defined as decorative adornments worn either on various body parts or on clothes, to look good. Typically, jewelry is made of precious metals and gemstones, which not only make the wearer look nice but also, depict their high social prominence. Various other kinds of materials are also used for making jewelry, like cheap imitation metals and stones, flowers, wood, porcelain, terracotta, shells, etc.

The earliest mention of jewelry is found about 7000 years ago in ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian societies. Some of those archeological artifacts are available for public displays in famous museums all over the world. Just like the various historical periods, jewelry design has also undergone similar eras reflecting the ethos and pathos of those periods in their patterns and artistry.

The Vocation of Jewelry Design

Jewelry Design has got its oomph quite recently, leading the jewelry designers to sky-kissing celeb status. However, if we carefully look closely at history, traditional goldsmiths, and gem cutters can be easily denoted as the ancestors of modern days’ jewelry designers. Theophilus Presbyter has been often celebrated as the first-ever gemstone cutter.

It was prevalent during the medieval period in Europe that jewelry designers were appointed to furbish designs only for the church, nobility, or royalty. Their methods of repoussé, enameling, etc. paved the way to the baroque period of jewelry design. Before the 1900s jewelry was revered as something not only precious but also sacred, both in occidental and oriental worlds.

It was only at the beginning of the 20th Century when objectification of jewelry design began. The various design eras of post-modern times like Art Nouveau, Cubism, Bauhaus, Art Deco, etc. can be easily found in various designs of jewelry as well. While ancient jewelers were often left anonymous, during this age, their names came into prominence also. Some of the notable monikers include Raymond Templier, H.G. Murphy, Wiwen Nilsson.

Jewelry Design went into the same ranks of art when notable artists like Picasso, Dali, Max Ernst, Jean Cocteau amongst others invested their artistic acumen in jewelry design as well. Today, almost all of the major fashion houses like Channel, Dior, etc. have their lines of designer jewelry. Besides major merchants like Tiffany, Cartier, Swarovski have their in-house teams of gifted designers.

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