Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Formation of Jewelry

Jewelry in Ancient Greece

In the early days of Greece, thousands of years ago, the first forms of jewelry started with beads. They would carve simple beads into animal figures and so on. Until 15th century B.C., this was the main form of jewelry.

Around 15th Century B.C., Greeks started using gold and gemstones. Even though they were advanced in many aspects of arts and crafts, Greek designs at that age were mostly influenced by other cultures. It was first the Egypt culture that impacted Greek jewelry. With the Roman invasion, naturally, the Roman designs became the dominant.

Even though the designs were influenced by other cultures, the gold craftsmanship was second to none. In fact, gold was the single most used precious metal in Greek culture. It was used to represent wealth, social status, as well as offerings to the Gods. Gold was so important to the ancient Greeks, the gemstones were rarely used in their jewelry. There are many jewelry pieces recovered from ancient times that are pure gold. One other significant reason why gemstones were scarcely used was perhaps the fact that Greeks did not share the other cultures’ belief that the gemstones had magical powers. This is not unexpected from a culture with such great advancements in science. Statistically the theory is, the more a culture is advanced in science, the less they believe in magic/miracles. 

The ancient Greeks did not pay much attention to gemstones and they never believed in their magical powers. However, there were many instances where the physicians used different gemstones to heal patients.

As a conclusion, we can claim that, due to its geopolitical location of Greece, the Greek culture has been a bridge to bind many other cultures and sometimes was strongly influenced by them. Greek jewelry is no exception.                                                              
 Written By: Britt Harless  http://www.bohemjewel.com