People often buy jewellery to show off their wealth but it can also serve other purposes. It can be used to communicate a person’s feelings and beliefs. It can also be used to boost a person’s self-esteem.
Jewellery has evolved into a form of wearable art. Designers such as Rene Lalique and the Wiener Werkstatte pushed the boundaries of jewellery design.
The psychology of jewelry attraction
As humans, we are often drawn to jewelry for a variety of reasons. For some, it may be a way to express their individuality and personality. Others use it to commemorate significant life events or achievements. It can also be a sign of wealth or status. And it can be a tool for social bonding and communication.
People also use jewellery as a symbol of commitment and love. For example, wedding rings are a sign of a lifetime commitment to one another. And pearls are a symbol of elegance and femininity. In addition, jewellery can be used to project power and authority. For example, Elizabeth I of England was known for her lavish use of pearls.
Moreover, jewellery can be a way to relive childhood feelings. For example, if a person was given all the things they wanted as a child, they may use jewellery to relive those feelings of joy. In addition, many people use jewellery as a way to amplify powerful statements about themselves and their relationship to society.
For example, when a person wears studio art jewellery in public, they are displaying their own interpretation of the work. This process is known as transference, which allows the wearer to communicate the meaning of the piece to viewers. It also allows the wearer to establish a relationship with the artist, allowing them to become part of a circle of communication between themselves, the artist, and the audience.
The history of jewelry
The human interest in adorning ourselves has a long, varied and complex history. From the earliest stone amulets and seals to the intricate headdresses found on royal tombs, jewellery has served as an important part of almost every culture on Earth.
In Roman times, jewelry was used primarily as clothing fasteners or to show off social status. During the Middle Ages, the art of gem engraving was revived and many spectacular pieces depicted mythological figures or scenes from classical literature. After the Crusades, trading opportunities grew and jewellery styles began to reflect the richness of European culture. During this period, the use of gold was common for rings and other adornments.
From the late 19th century, growing political tensions and a general reaction against the perceived decadence of the fin de siecle led to simpler forms and to new materials such as plastics and aluminium. In this period, jewellers like Rene Lalique embraced the new Art Nouveau style and created sinuous, organic designs with undercurrents of eroticism.
Contemporary high-jewelry designers continue to work with traditional forms and to explore new materials. However, there is also a trend toward more experimental forms that draw inspiration from other artistic and cultural sources such as the bling-bling style of jewellery popularised by hip-hop and rap artists (a.k.a. the “grills”). The next section of this course will examine these trends and the way they influence our perceptions of jewelry.
The role of jewelry in society
Throughout history, jewellery has played many roles in society. It can be functional, artistic/decorative, a marker of social status, or a symbol of personal meaning. It can also convey a person’s affiliation with a group, for example, a cross or the traditional rings worn by members of the British monarchy, military, and police. It can also serve as a reminder of the past, for instance, a necklace made from beads representing a childhood dream.
In modern society, jewelry is used as a status symbol, but this function has been less important than it was in the past. People can display their wealth and social status in other ways, such as through the clothes they wear or the cars they drive. Additionally, there are other ways to show one’s social standing, such as through a person’s education level or social connections.
The use of jewellery in the modern world is evolving as well. The Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century was based on a dissatisfaction with the industrialisation of jewellery. This led to simplified forms and a move away from large faceted gems to cabochon (shaped and polished) gemstones. The use of non-precious materials, such as plastics and aluminium, also changed the nature of jewellery and pushed it closer to fine art. These changes have enabled designers and marketers to create products that reflect the beliefs and values of their target audience.
The role of jewelry in fashion
Throughout the ages jewellery has been used to prompt a strong response both perceptually and conceptually; a visual sign of status, an expression of love or loyalty, or a token of power. This has been true for both men and women, and in both ancient and modern societies.
The show explores jewelry from various cultures across time and place, demonstrating that despite differences in taste, style and material, there are abiding ideas when it comes to what jewellery can be. The exhibition also demonstrates how jewellery is transformed as a cultural phenomenon, reflecting shifts in social attitudes, fashion, and taste.
Jewellery has been a symbol of wealth, power and status since prehistoric times, with many pieces of jewellery bearing a connotation of a specific religion or culture. A famous example is the Venus of Willendorf, a statuette with a bracelet featuring shells and snails, which were symbols of fertility and motherhood. Burials from the earliest stages of human history also contain necklaces of oyster and snail shells, as well as tusks and teeth from various animals, which were used to represent strength and power.
In modern times, jewellery has been used to express personal style, and is commonly worn as a mark of affection or loyalty. It has also become a symbolic representation of certain values, such as a wedding ring or a diamond engagement ring. It is even sometimes used as a way to commemorate special events, such as a birthday or anniversary.