It wasn’t until around 4000 BC that gold was used in the making of objects. It was the Thracians that started this trend and the Ancient Egyptians couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon. Around that very same time, production of gold jewelry – on the backdrop of animal designs and goddesses – began in Egypt.
It has been said that the Ancient Egyptians were among the first people to wear jewelry made from precious metals. Some of the most popular pieces during those times were statement necklaces and cuff bracelets. However, pieces made of gold were not affordable by many. Such pieces were reserved for the elite class, making gold jewelry a symbol of power, wealth, and status. It was a normal practice among Ancient Egyptians to bury individuals with jewelry in their possession. In modern-day Egypt, it is not permissible to bury Muslim individuals with any personal items or jewelry, in compliance with Islamic law.
So it’s safe to say that a lot of traditions and jewelry trends have changed since. But in some aspects, it remains quite the same. In Ancient Egypt, jewelry was a multi-person job that involved different people in different stages. The main metals used in jewelry making were gold and copper, both of which were mined in Nubian deserts. Today, gold is still used heavily in jewelry making and is often a source of investment for many people who want to spend their money in style. Copper isn’t used much in the making of valuable jewelry because (1) it loses value over time, unlike gold and (2) it develops a natural green layer over time.
Now in terms of gems, Ancient Egyptians incorporated both precious and semi-precious stones into their jewelry. They are believed to have valued certain gemstones including emeralds, pearls, amethyst and turquoise. In terms of style, wide collar necklaces – mostly carrying flower or animal designs – were quite popular at the time and were generally made of beaded rows. Beaded necklaces were widely admired among Ancient Egyptians, fusing amulets and charms onto strings of beads. The latter were made from minerals, semi-precious stones, clay and glass.The jewelry items were often fused with protective amulets, which Ancient Egyptians believed offered them protection and safety. This trend is arguably still around today in the form of charm bracelets and evil eye necklaces. Isn’t it?