Unique handmade jewelry
Hand crafted jewelry history
Handcrafted jewellery has a long, rich history. It is created by delicately handcrafting components
together instead of using machines, and this process makes each piece unique. It’s thought that the
people of Africa were the first to create their own unique handmade jewellery dating back thousands of
years ago by using shells and teeth. Handcrafted jewellery gives a large insight into the culture of
civilizations throughout history, and continues to be a popular mainstay today.
The materials to make handmade jewellery have slowly evolved over time from a natural object, which
were very abundant, to raw materials which were very expensive and required a large amount of skill to
both mine, process, and then craft. While this led to some very inspirational jewellery, you would be hard
pressed to find it on anyone but the rich and important. The metals such as gold and rare gemstones
were highly important in the crafting process, and thus only available to a small portion of the
In 2000 BC Greece, the rich would wear gold hair ornaments, earrings, and necklace handcrafted by only
the finest craftsmen. Spartan culture gave women more freedom than elsewhere in the Greek world,
and they often wore many different types of jewellery as an added form of expression. As early as 3000
BC, the Maori people of New Zealand have used stones, jade, and bone, to carve and string. As they
developed their own art, and language, these shapes often symbolized a connection to a specific tribe,
in addition to a means of expression. Their handcrafted jewellery was also used to represent strength and
good health. As time passed they began to design and wear jewelry as a means to signify love. Maori
men and women would wear matching designs to symbolize their union as one.
For centuries, the Native Americans handcrafted jewellery for various ceremonies. Different patterns and
styles originated from each tribe. Navajo jewellery would have its own form of expression in contrast with
the Apache. Beads of different shapes and sizes were includes in necklaces, armbands, and pendants.
Tribal leaders would often use jewellery in their feather headpieces during important events. In marriage,
the bride and the groom would wear multiple pieces of jewelry, most often made out of silver and
turquoise as a symbol of protection. The Native American people thought the jewelry would also bring
prosperity to the bride’s household, and ward of bad luck. It symbolized the bride’s official
transformation to womanhood and her new status as a wife.
Handcrafted jewellery played a significant role in Chinese culture for the purpose of weddings. Not only a
fashion statement, but a Chinese bride would also be adorned in a golden crown. Jade was a very important
addition to the jewellery worn in Chinese culture, as it symbolized grace, morality, protection, and love.
Unique handmade jewellery
The unique handmade jewellery is often passed down through generations in families and cherished.
Jewellery was often given as gifts in Chinese culture. Unique handmade jewellery often featured animals, or
other distinctive characteristics, depending on the decorative style of the craftsman.
A significant element of Indian culture, handcrafted jewellery was used as a status symbol, religious
expression, and for formal occasions. Spiritual jewellery would vary greatly from religion to religion, with
each variation using its own specific stones and designs. Some designs would contain as many as 9
stones in a single ornament. Indian culture included their own unique handmade jewellery for wedding
ceremonies as a symbol of good luck. Brides would often wear multiple pieces, sometimes each fitted
with gems. This would include Earrings, nose rings, toe rings, wrist and ankle bracelets. This is still
common in modern day Indian culture.
Ireland’s use of handcrafted jewellery reaches back thousands of years, back to when the Celts ruled the
land. They were master metalsmiths and craftsmen. Warriors would often wear jewellery as a form of
battle prowess, experience, and intimidation. Some would often run into battle with nothing but jewellery
to show their opponents their importance and success. Their status in society was indicated by the
amount and quality of the jewellery worn. One of the favourite items worn by warriors would be neck
rings, covered in engravings, depending on how wealthy the warrior was. Jewelry followed culture into
the modern era, and as early as the 18th century, the Irish would wear ornate rings to symbolize
friendship or love. Each ring had a specific meaning. The wearer could be showing they were looking for
love or had found love. They would be worn on the left hand if involved in a serious relationship or
marriage. This has followed many cultures into modern day, as both engagement rings and wedding
rings are worn on the left hand.
When the Victorian era came to be, the industrial revolution made manufacturing jewellery much
cheaper, and faster. This made jewellery more available to everyone, regardless of status or money.
Unique handcrafted jewellery began to decline due to the cost and time it took to create, although it did
not completely disappear. It has become both a status symbol and a hobby in the modern world. To
some handcrafted jewellery is preferred. This is due to its uniqueness. Modern-day trends include unique
necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings. The stringing of both genuine and artificial stones is popular, as
is layering small pendants and charms. There is a dedication and art required to make unique
handcrafted jewelry, and this is one of the main reasons it has been making a spike in popularity in
modern times. Its beauty is often unrivaled by modern mass manufacturing.
Handmade jewelry is important, as it is individually crafted with love and skill. It is rich in culture, and
has had worldwide importance for thousands of years. Some of it is highly valuable, some of it is highly
sentimental, but one thing is for sure, whether it is made from plastic or gold, its history and popularity
has carried it into the modern world.