Jewelry’s history is long and fascinating. Since the dawn of time, jewels have been worn to enrich one’s figure, adding a touch of prestige and class to a person’s outfit. There are, however, several factors that determine a jewel’s value.
The rarity of materials, just to mention one, as well as the availability of precious stones, the quality of the craft, and so on. As a result, jewelry survived centuries and centuries of human history without losing its unique and unrepeatable charm. And that’s a fact.
Every single jewel, even those crafted by jewelers and goldsmiths of our time, has its history and meaning, properties that have the unique capability to keep jewelry’s value intact. A jewel is much more than a “simple”, precious stone designed by an artisan or brand. It is a special item, a symbol whose stories and curiosities are unknown to most of us. Don’t despair though, we have selected 5 of the most fascinating ones. Ready? Let’s dive into it!
1- The oldest of them all
The oldest jewel ever found dates back to 75,000 years ago and comes from southern Africa. At that time, one of the most common practices was to make jewels from daily life objects. That’s why the oldest jewel ever made is a shell necklace created with 41 sea pearls.
The value of this discovery is simply extraordinary because the necklace would have been produced 30,000 years before any form of art was found so far. In short, homo sapiens would have started much earlier than previously believed to engage in the creation of tools not related to daily needs.
2- Ruby and Sapphire? Not so different
Let’s dispel one of the most common myths related to jewelry. Rubies and sapphires are among the most precious stones ever found. However, despite having two different names and presenting themselves in different colors (one is reddish while the other one has bluish tones), they both derive from the same stone, which takes the name of “corundum”.
Corundum is nothing more than an allochromatic mineral. In simple words, it can appear in nature in all possible colors. Red, for instance, but also blue. Interesting, isn’t it? Especially for those who keep praising one stone’s superiority over the other…
3- To be or not to be…gold. That is the question
Gold is one of the most precious materials out there, and we all love it. The same can be said for jewelers, who, over the years have been able to create jewelry of various types, shapes, and sizes, taking advantage of the excellent physical properties of this metal.
However, a person with little experience could make a tiny but crucial mistake when evaluating gold. He or she might confuse gold with another, common material: Pyrite. And believe us, it happens more often than you may think.
But what does the trick? Pyrite’s color, unfortunately, since it’s very similar to the one of gold. That’s why it has often been called the “Fool’s Gold “. Not a very nice label to live with, is it?
4- The biggest (pearl) of them all
Pearls, perhaps the most elegant and unique gemstone there is out there, is for sure one of the most used ones in handcrafted jewelry. For ages, its size has been a very effective way to communicate a person’s status. That’s probably why many dream of buying or receiving the biggest pearl ever.
The largest one in the world hit the headlines in 2016 when a fisherman from the island of Palawan in the Philippines went to the Puerto Princesa tourism office to show an interesting object, something that had been in his home for about 10 years and which he had always considered nothing more than a lucky charm.
You’re getting it, aren’t you? That massive pearl weighed 34 kg and could have a potential value of over 100 million dollars. Not bad. Not bad at all.
5- Men’s engagement rings…what you didn’t know
One of the most curious stories about jewelry is related to engagement rings. Men’s ones, at that.
For centuries, women’s wedding rings have represented marriage, love, and passion, becoming one of the most desired items ever. However, not many are aware of the fact that the male version of this beloved object was introduced only around the twentieth century, and simply for marketing reasons.
At that time, as you may guess, engagement rings were starting to become a huge source of income for many jewelry manufacturers and brands. Their potential was therefore undeniable and jewelers started to think of a way to increase sales even more. And what better way to do so than to create a whole new category of engagement rings, specifically suitable for men?
After all, marriage is a special moment for both members of the couple who want to celebrate their forever love, isn’t it?