When we envisage the Neanderthal man we imagine a savage warrior focussed on surviving in a harsh world using stone toolsto make weapons for hunting. Yet it seems that even 135,000 years ago man had an intrinsic desire to adorn their bodies with jewellery. An archaeological discovery in Croatia of eagle talons cut in precise locations revealed this to be one of the earliest examples of man’s need to create such ornaments, confirming a seemingly fundamental wish of human beings to wear items of beauty. And as such jewellery and the reasons for its creation has provided us with fascinating stories about what it means to be a human being.
In early societies, the hunters and warriors wore amulets to protect them from danger as well as utilising items from the hunt or battle to reflect their prominence within the group – the great warriors adorned accordingly to show their prowess in battle. Indeed, the magical and mythical properties of gemstones have survived the centuries and today many choose crystals for their healing properties or for what they symbolise, for example Rose Quartz being the stone associated with matters of the heart and unconditional love.
Jewellery as a way to express one’s wealth and power has been prevalent for centuries with Ancient Egytpians creating wonders in gold and gemstones, most notably Tutankhamun’s death mask. Whilst we rarely hear of riches being offered as gifts to gods in modern society, it is still common place for people to wear jewellery revealing their religious beliefs: from the Christian crucifix to the Buddhist mala beads, the symbolic nature of such pieces project an unspoken message from the wearer to those around them.
Indeed, concepts sometimes difficult to put into words can be expressed through jewellery. One of the most common reasons to purchase fine jewellery today is to denote connection and commitment to another person in the form of an designer engagement ring or wedding band. Giving and accepting such a ring tells the rest of the world that this couple are united in love and the ritual is one which has survived hundreds of years.
To celebrate our individuality we adorn our body with jewellery chosen specifically to reflect our heritage, the places we have travelled or to commemorate significant life events. We may choose to wear jewellery to enhance our mood or to send out a message about how we are feeling. Like the male peacock who regales the female hen with an elaborate display of colour, the human too can utilise jewellery to celebrate their individuality, their inherent uniqueness.
As a fine jewellery brand, we understand that for all its gleam and exuberance, for all the fascinating reasons why we choose to wear jewellery, a piece can never outshine the wearer, it is there to enhance and illuminate their beauty, to invigorate and compliment how they communicate with society. Since man began his journey in the world, there has been an inherent need, above that of basic survival, to revere and to create things of beauty. It is indeed, food for the soul.