History of Jewelry As decorative objects, jewelry is usually made of platinum, gold, silver and other precious metals often set with precious and semi precious stones. Jewelry is also made from various non-precious materials like glass, corals, wood, enamels, ceramics, bronze, copper, lead, gun metal, fedders and bone fragments. Since prehistoric times, jewelry has been worn by women and men on many parts of the body including the neck, head, wrists, waist, fingers, ankles, nose and ears. Archeology provides us with significant information on the jewelry of ancient times. For ancient Egyptians the most popular ornaments were signet rings, elbow bracelets, diadems, necklaces and bracelets made of stone or glass beads. The jewelry articles found in burial tombs provide us with vast information on the history of jewelry making in ancient times. The most important finding – Tutankhamen’s tomb discovered by Howard Carter – was filled with hundreds of priceless objects of egyptian art. In the burial tombs of Mesopotamia and the Near East, dated thousands of years BC, archeologists have discovered large quantities of jewelry made of gold and silver – rings, earrings, pendants, crowns and diadems. The similarities in design and style to Egyptian art, found in different parts of Mesopotamia and Persia, points to undeniable evidence of the interaction and trade between people in this part of the world.In the same period and until 400 BC Greek and Roman jewelry showing striking similarities – rings, earrings and necklaces were made using chains or wire links, with thin foil formed into leafs and ornaments. Stampato was often used as well as enamels. In later periods, mosaic was widely used in jewelry such as brooches, pins and bracelets. Gold coins connected together to form necklaces were common in Greece and Italy, as well as cameos of sea shells and corals. During the Etruscan period 700 and 500 BC, most of the jewelry was imported by Mediterranean merchants. Stampato articles were the main element which was later refined by Etruscan craftsmen to a higher degree.During the medieval period jewelry continued to exhibit the Roman artistic tradition with some regional variations. Articles made of precious and semi-precious metals were often inlaid with thin sliced colored gems, especially garnets. Enamels, the animal motif and the cloisonne tradition began to reappear in various parts of the continent. The most popular types of jewelry during this period were brooches, pendants and pins of religious motifs, mainly crosses inlaid with gems, enamels and pearls. Emblems increasingly became an important addition to a woman’s dress. Jewelry continued to evolve during the Renaissance period of the 15th-17th century and began to establish itself as one of the most important parts of fashionable clothing. The jewelry of this period is characterized by rich gamma and distinct classical architectural elements. Enamels, pearls and precious gems of different shapes began to play a much more important role in jewelry fashion. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, diamond jewelry became popular and jewelry began to express changing trends in fashion. The popularity of diamonds was on the rise thanks to the invention of a revolutionary new stone setting technique – the prong setting, which multiplies the brilliancy of a diamond. At the same time, along with precious metals other metals such as gun metal, cast iron, copper or melhior (german silver) were used in jewelry manufacturing. Engraving and stampato, along with gems and multicolor inlaid gold, were often used in mass production. Sets comprising a tiara, ring, earrings, and necklace or pendant became an important part of a woman’s outfit. At the end of the 19th century, jeweled accessories became very popular. Small snuffboxes, jewelry boxes, perfume bottles, watch cases, dresser accessories (combs, mirrors, brushes, scissors, etc., often finished with enamels), mother of pearl and egg-shell pieces were manufactured in Europe by artists such as Carl Fabergé. The beginning of the 20th century was characterized by the beginning of a new era in jewelry making. René Lalique, the French glass and jewelry designer, perfected the art nouveau movement first invented by Louis Comfort Tiffany. René Lalique’s stunning creations which featured nature themes using semiprecious gems, plick-ajour enamel, carved ivory and colored glass, are displayed in many museums throughout the world. At the same time, state of the art objects made of sterling silver began to emerge throughout Europe and the United States. In the 1920’s, Art Deco, another popular movement, was introduced in France. Art Deco incorporated geometric shapes not only in jewelry, but also in many aspects of decorative art.