Sunday, December 7, 2008


Jewellery (also spelled jewelry, see spelling differences) is a personal ornament, such as a necklace, ring, or bracelet, made from gemstones, precious metals or other materials.

The word jewellery is derived from the word jewel, which was anglicised from the Old French "jouel" circa the 13th century.[1] Further tracing leads back to the Latin word "jocale", meaning plaything. Jewellery is one of the oldest forms of body adornment; recently found 100,000 year-old beads made from Nassarius shells are thought to be the oldest known jewellery.[2]

Although during earlier times jewellery was created for practical uses such as wealth, storage and pinning clothes together, in recent times it has been used almost exclusively for decoration. The first pieces of jewellery were made from natural materials, such as bone, animal teeth, shell, wood and carved stone. Jewellery was often made for people of high importance to show their status and, in many cases, they were buried with it.

Jewellery has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings and many more types of jewellery. While high-quality is made with gemstones and precious metals, there is also a growing demand for art jewellery where design and creativity is prized above material value. In addition, there is the less-costly costume jewellery, made from less-valuable materials and mass-produced. New variations include wire sculpture (wrap) jewellery, using anything from base metal wire with rock tumbled stone to precious metals and precious gemstones.

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