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A History of Jewelry
The earliest ornaments in the Mediterranean evidently appeared in the Paleolithic Age: seashells were pierced with suspension holes. During this period, adornments were made mainly from stone, clay, bone and seashell.
In Constantinople, jewelry was ornate. Quantities of pearls and precious stones passed through Constantinople as it was the highway of commerce between the East and Europe. Gold work became more delicate and colors were blended in extremely harmonious ways. Enamel and colored gemstones were a chief artistic aspect of Byzantine jewelry. Precious stones predominated, but cloisonné enamel was also very popular.
Ornamentation began to take on a real material significance during this time, forming the cornerstone of a family’s treasures. This was important because the political landscape of the time was rough and changed often; precious possessions had to be portable and jewelry was of course small and easily movable. Jewelry had assumed something of the character of currency and was passed from hand to hand as payment of debts. All jewelry of the period was set with cabochon stones.
During the Renaissance, a revival of interest in classical sources and scientific discovery led artists to copy objects from real life. Sculptures, paintings, and the shallow relief carved into jewelry were full of accurate renditions of animate forms. Artists were competitive about their skills, as well as increasingly engaged with the concept of humanism, Jewelry was uncomplicated in design, though worn in abundance.
The baroque period brought jewelry towards glittering faceted stones. At first it was primarily colored, precious stones that graced the jewelry of the Baroque period. Soon however, the diamond took absolute precedence over all other elements– metalwork and color were quite subordinate to the new glistening cuts available in the 1600s.
The Nineteenth Century was an eclectic time for jewelry; the fashion world was mostly led by the styles out of France. A revival of luxury was afoot, and under the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, the design and wearing of jewelry was a big part of French society. The jewelry of the time was primarily fashioned in yellow gold, enhanced with naturalistic gems such as seed pearls and pink coral, and modeled in delicate openwork.
In the Twentieth Century, styles changed very rapidly and drastically. The Art Nouveau period began, with its curving, undulating lines and erotic symbolism. Later, the naturalistic forms left over from that period were first stylized and simplified, then further abstracted, and with an addition of a kind of geometry, Art Deco was born. Next came costume jewelry, and jewelry made with plastics in the '50 s and '60s. The ‘70s and ‘80s In the Twentieth Century, styles changed very rapidly and drastically. The Art Nouveau period began, with its curving, undulating lines and erotic symbolism. Later, the naturalistic forms left over from that period were first stylized and simplified, then further abstracted, and with an addition of a kind of geometry, Art Deco was born. Next came costume jewelry, and jewelry made with plastics in the '50 s and '60s. The ‘70s and ‘80s were a time when a real sense of fun was re-instilled into jewelry.
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Peridot is the gem of spirit and expression - want to learn why? Browse our extensive library of information of peridot and peridot jewelry.
Learn where peridot got its name
, why the people of Hawaii treasure it, and what it has to do with the wisdom of King Solomon. Read about peridot legends, lore and
. Discover the cultural and religious history of peridot, the
physical properties of peridot as a mineral, and learn how to care for your peridot jewelry
Peridot History and Lore
Peridot the Mineral
Mystical Properties of Peridot
Peridot Stud Earrings
Peridot Filligree Rings
Peridot Men's Rings
Peridot Celtic Rings
Peridot Engagement Rings
Peridot Claddagh Rings
Create a Keepsake
Combine Peridot with any gemstone to create your own unique family keepsake with the birthstones of your loved ones, or your favorite combination of colors.
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More Gem Selections
Lab Pink Sapphire
London Blue Topaz