Adorned in the finest jewellery, from head to toe, priceless diamonds and gems sparkle in the sunlight, dazzling the kingdom as the empress approaches the podium. They’ve never seen her up close, but they know it’s their leader by the radiating adornments. In ancient times, being in possession of valuable items was an indicator of being linked to a family of status or royalty.

Rocks, crystals and ‘metals’ shaped into accessories, sold at a price, accompanied by considerable influence by those who wear them. Different cultures and religions around the world have relics that are still regarded as sacred to them. 

Even the ultimate display of love is symbolised by a ring, pledging your love and commitment Archduke Maximilian was the first man to represent an engagement ring to his fiance, Mary, and it’s been used to demonstrate the belief that your undying love can only be shown through ‘putting a ring on it.’ 

The connotations surrounding these pieces evolved into beliefs and later, symbols to support the ideas; it could be attached to the validity of a ritual or esteem. There’s much to unpack, let’s look at the common themes jewellery represents, and how we’ve made it a part of modern culture. 

It’s part of the family 

A mother opens her jewellery box and passes down a ring to her daughter on her wedding day. It’s been a part of their family, and cherished, it’s said to bring good luck to the marriage. 

What influenced the belief that it would solidify the union? Maybe it was made with a special diamond, dug up by their ancestors and embroidered with the word “love” in Latin and now significance is placed not on the value of the heirloom but on the meaning behind it for the women in the family. 

In today’s age, we still have families who share the belief that jewellery that’s been passed down brings luck or should remain with them as it symbolises a part of who they are.

To display thou riches or not. 

In the 19th century, It would be a shame for a young duchess to be invited to a ball and not have a show-stopping necklace on, to compliment the neckline and attire,  not only for the beauty it enhances, even so, to let potential suitors know she comes from wealth.

In modern times, we see our favourite celebrities spend thousands, and at times millions on jewellery to display their net worth or wear it at red-carpet events, or the diamond-encrusted Rolex watches affluent men wear. It’s evident the value of wealth has been placed on the accessories one wears. 

Gaga for Prada?

Fashion and diamond-studded apparel can’t be separated, they go hand-in-hand. Designers have statement necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings made for their new collections. The latest trend is accompanied by jewellery, a must-have accessory. Collaborations between major fashion houses and jewellery brands for years. 

Even the media and ‘Hollywood’ echo the idea. Breakfast At Tiffany’s, we see Audrey Hepburn in stylish outfits and eye-catching jewels. Having her morning meal in front of her favourite jewellery store. Being adorned in jewels makes you stylish. 

Diamonds that could cast a spell

Mythical stories speak of jewellery’s hidden power; pendants shielding from the clutches of enemies or transporting you to your desired location. It doesn’t end there, tales of magic rings have been told to bring the wearer immortality, riches or love.  

What about today’s artefacts? Once revered objects wielding great power to bring fear to those who hear of its life-alternating magic. The Egyptian dynasty had sceptres, talismans and amulets they deemed to symbolise power or protection. The current generation is waking up to the healing & mystic qualities of crystals,  It’s placed in chains, rings and so much more. 

It’s more than silver or gold

We know that jewellery becomes a symbol of many beliefs and values, more than just the love you have for your partner. What about expressing yourself through your accessories? Earrings were placed at the bottom of the earlobe to enhance beauty, and now it has gradually turned into a form of self-expression, where we see the entire circumference of the outer ear decorated as an extension of someone’s personality. 

Women have gone from wearing conservative accessories to jewels that express who they are. It’s drastically evolved into more than a flashy object. There’s beauty in it, and persona can be found in the finer details. You can’t separate them from what the individual wears, as it symbolises something much more profound. 

They come in gold, silver, and platinum, you can select your design. You wear them to finish off an outfit, to show that you’ve got the money or to showcase the love for your partner, but is there more to it? Whether you’re rocking it on the runway, passing it down to those after you or investing in a charmed wedding ring – meaning arises and develops into symbolic relics of the belief and value you placed on them. Maybe you should do your own research before walking into your next jewellery store?

Ultimately, it’s more than how you look in it but how you feel in it.