“Jewellery became a part of human life many centuries ago, long before clothing, footwear and household appliances. We have never given it up since then, and perhaps jewellery will never give us up either. “
Fashion trends change, new techniques arise, and with them innovative materials. This, in turn, broadens the horizons of design, offering new ways of working with precious materials and, correspondingly, new ways of wearing jewellery. Has this progress changed the developing role of jewellery in the life of a modern-day woman? And what does jewellery now actually mean to us? To discover answers to these questions, read on.
Early humans used to adorn themselves with animal claws and teeth, articles that were viewed as protective talismans and ‘marks of distinction’. Upon seeing a hunter with a necklace made entirely from teeth and claws hanging around his neck, other humans immediately understood that he was courageous and prosperous. It could be said that jewellery was already serving as a status symbol even then.
The ascribing of social status through jewellery is probably something that will never disappear. American politician and diplomat Madeleine Al bright, the first woman to become US Secretary of State, once said: “Jewellery and pins have been worn throughout history as symbols of power, to send a message.” It is fascinating that jewellery has, since time immemorial, been associated with affluence and initially played the role of money.
In the Stone Age, beads, pieces of bone and shells worked as ‘currencies’, and these were threaded onto string to be proudly displayed for everyone to see. The desire to demonstrate one’s wealth and success is maintained to this day, and so we regularly observe how members of the elite wear their most striking pieces to society banquets, how celebrities done elegant necklaces, cocktail rings and statement earrings with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies for the red carpet.
Jewellery is now associated with certain points in either a designer’s or a client’s life. It thus assumes a conceptual weight, turning from a ‘currency’ and soulless status symbol into a heart-warming object of art. It is the idea, theme and emotional connection that are given pride of place by many modern designers when they create their collections. For example, Sheikha Intisar, founder of the INTISARS jewellery brand, says: “ I have always looked for jewellery that adds meaning to life.” This is just one example of emotion being responsible for the conception of a precious collection. People in antiquity believed in the magic of jewellery, that it could give them the strength they lacked, endow them with opportunities they desired. Despite the fact that we now look at objects with a more realistic eye and rarely wear amulets, the desire to wear jewellery as a reflection of the “ I” has never waned. This is why these personalized pieces of jewellery, such as the rings, pendants and bracelets included in Sheikha Intisar’s collection Me-Oh-Me are more pertinent now than ever before. Created in 18K gold and crowned with ethically sourced diamonds, this collection features reversible intaglios which can be revealed or hidden at will, reflecting an inner strength.
I could talk about jewellery endlessly. Its history, which began an unfathomably long time ago, has not ended, leaving jewelers with the chance to delight us again and again with new forms of jewellery and materials. We, in our turn, love their creations and wear them with pleasure, without fear that someone might accuse us of obsessing over earthly pleasures.