How Culture And Religion Has A Profound Influence On Jewelry
An example of jewelry and religion impacting nations can be seen in the treasures preserved in ancient Egypt. Statues of Egyptian gods and goddesses were fashioned in gold, adorned with gemstone and precious metal symbols. A majority of the religious emblems like the lotus, scarab and others were used as motifs in bracelets, necklaces and rings, which adorned the higher echelons of the society as well as priests and priestess.
The stages in historical epochs and the rise of different religious practices, and their impact on jewelry, can be observed in the ancient cultures of Greece, Asia, Africa and other nations across the world. When Christianity was exposed to the Egyptian culture, a radical change was observed: Jewelry items using less gold and inexpensive gemstones began to dominate.
Another transformation in jewelry began with the spread of Islamic influence on Egyptian jewelry. Islamic religion forbade the use of gold by the men-folk, and this led to the slow transition with silver beginning to be the primary metal in making jewelry. The influence of Christianity on jewelry is still evident today. The commonest religious symbols are the Crucifix and the Hebrew Star of David. The Christian crucifix is believed to be the most widely recognized religious symbol in history while The Star of David symbolizes a strong belief in Jewish faith and good fortune.
Rings, bracelets and necklaces, which flaunt the Symbol of Cross, identify the person as a Christian. Similarly, the Christians have strong faith in Rosary beads, bearing the Cross, that are used during prayers. These prayer beads are embellished with gemstones and baubles of different types. Another powerful ornament in Christian jewelry is the ring, which signifies certain tenets of faith like chastity and purity. Baptism, a sacred and very important rite among Christians, has heralded the growth of numerous pieces like rings, pendants and pins. Such ornaments are commonly gifted to the baby during the ceremonial event.
Similarly, Hindu gods and goddesses of India have a major influence in the creation of jewelry items. Certain types of ornaments are worn at specified periods of the year during festivities, and this trend is governed by the culture and religion of the nation. Other ranges of jewelry materials and themes are available. These comprise of medals and pendants depicting saints, gods and goddesses, prayer beads, pins and rosaries. The most popular religious jewelry is designed out of the precious metal gold, but sterling silver is also used. For embellishment purposes, gemstones are extensively utilized.