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Jewelry Blog: Jewelry Tips
Why is the gift of jewelry the ultimate form of affection?
Sep-16-2008
Many a frustrated male has wondered into a jewelry store asking himself this question: "why does a diamond say 'I love you' and a sweater doesn't?" In order to understand our current fascination with jewelry, we must first take a look into the past.

Early jewelry was most commonly thought to serve practical purposes such as to pin clothes together, but a recent find has broadened our ideas on the subject. Thought to be the oldest form of body adornment is a 100,000 year-old string of Nassasrius shells that had been made into beads. Common early materials used to fashion jewelry were carved stone, animal teeth, wood, and shells. Throughout history jewelry was primarily worn by the wealthy or revered as a sign of status and many were buried with their jewelry.

It is thought that gold was discovered as recently as 5,000 years ago and at that time it may have been associated with the sun due to its attractive properties and similarities in light reflection, symbolizing warmth. Seen as a gift from a sun god, gold was used to craft religious objects and used in early religious ceremonies. In fact, gold is the first atomic element to be mentioned in the Bible. A soft metal, gold was easily fashioned into adornments, a trend which continues today.

The Pharaohs in Egypt can be credited with forming metals into a circle symbolizing eternity, and hence symbolizing unending love, but it wasn't until Roman times that wedding rings became common to wear as a public declaration of marriage and commitment. From there, jewelry adornment took on many forms due to both fashion and function.

During the 15th-17th centuries, jewelry began establishing itself as one of the most important elements of fashionable clothing. Wearers of fine jewels were either royalty or the wealthy and as time went on, gifts of jewelry were given among the lesser class as a means to express devotion and to promise to provide for them. Specifically diamonds began to increase in popularity in the 18th century when prong setting of stones was introduced thereby increasing the brilliancy of the stone. Diamonds themselves are the most unyielding element in nature and it would suit to follow this line of thought with giving the gem as a symbol of unyielding love.

When it comes right down to it, why do we buy jewelry? The motivation behind a gift is as limitless as the possibilities you are given once you enter a jewelry store.  What are you trying to convey? Love? Flirtation? Devotion? How will your feelings be received? Impetuous and fleeting? Or that of a complex, ornate, unique web? The gifts you give out of love reflect the love itself. Each setting is different and each gem is different, combined in a specific way to characterize your feelings for the bearer of your gift.

Motivation behind giving jewelry as gifts used to vary from wishing to warrant protection for the wearer to being an offering for the respected. It was a comparison of beauty, a symbol of unbreakable bonds. After all these years, after all the changes in trends, classes, social status and government, the gift of jewelry boils down to this: you are giving a physical token of a feeling you cannot put into words. That affirmation of love, devotion, adoration is what the bearer is seeking, and is so happy to receive. In the biggest sense of the cliche, it is the thought that counts. So when you are faced with case after case of gems, each different in their size, shape, brilliance and setting, think of how you feel about the bearer of your gift, and you'll know just what to choose.
Posted by Kim G at 7:09 AM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
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