Some moments and occasions are so special that you want to capture them for eternity. For this reason, a piece of precious jewellery that will endure for ever has always been a popular gift to mark truly special events such as a new baby, a baptism or an engagement. However, it is also readily given or received on other special days like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or when two people marry. Jewellery is more than just an accessory – it symbolises the most important and most beautiful moments of happiness in your life and is a stylish way to express them.
But have you ever wondered where this tradition comes from and what meaning and significance various pieces of jewellery hold? Find out more about the history of jewellery and its significance and make the right choice when you next want to give a loved one an enchanting item of jewellery.
A brief history of jewellery
Whether in the form of eye-catching earrings, delicate necklaces or traditional wedding rings, many people these days like to wear jewellery every day – often as an expression of love or a common bond, but also, and not infrequently, to emphasise their own style and uniqueness. And this underlying idea was probably in the forefront of people’s minds when they began wearing jewellery back in the Stone Age. Back then, what is nowadays made from precious materials like gold or platinum was still being fashioned from animal bones, wood, stones and shells or dried fruit. Later on, especially when valuable metals and precious stones came to be worked, jewellery was not only worn decoratively but was also seen as an item of value and worn as a status symbol.
Giving jewellery as a present
Giving someone a gift of jewellery is probably one of the most beautiful tokens of love there can be. The gesture allows the person giving the gift to express the special place that the recipient holds in their life.
Since ancient times, and particularly since the Middle Ages, jewellery, especially rings, has been used as a sign of love, fidelity and a common bond when two people marry. Even today, therefore, jewellery is linked to emotions and given to mark special occasions. A bracelet for your godchild’s baptism, a watch given by a father to his son, a fancy necklace for your mum, something pretty for yourself... Giving a piece of jewellery as a present symbolises appreciation, love and timelessness.
Struggling to decide between a ring, a bracelet, a necklace and earrings? With the sheer range available from jewellery shops and jewellers, choosing the right gift can be a challenge. After all, it doesn’t just depend on the recipient’s taste – a more important consideration is the relationship between the two of you.
The meaning and symbolism behind the most popular pieces of jewellery
No other piece of jewellery is perhaps as charged with symbolism as the ring, particularly the wedding ring. It stands for eternity and steadfastness, e.g. in the form of a signet ring bearing a family’s coat of arms, or, of course, marks the bond of fidelity that unites two people in love. An engraved message adds a very personal note to this individual piece.
Nowadays, glitzy stud earrings are often seen as women’s jewellery, with even little girls having their ears pierced while still very young. In the past, however, it was mainly men, particularly sailors, who wore gold earrings to ensure that they always had something valuable on their person in the event of an emergency or even death. From the 17th to 19th centuries, earrings were worn because of their purported protective properties. Strangely enough, they used to be recommended as a treatment for eye complaints.
Bracelets and bangles
In days of yore, the bracelet served as a small protective shield for the wrist and was mainly worn by soldiers and hunters. It was also a very popular sign of nobility and power in centuries gone by. The most popular models these days have charms attached to them and are worn to bring luck or as a memento.
Necklaces and chokers
In many cultures, people’s necks have been adorned with chains and bands of different lengths since time immemorial. Giving a man or a woman a necklace as a present is a subtle way of expressing your desire to protect and embrace them.
A family heirloom with a rich tradition
Jewellery, especially custom-made items, often forms part of large bequests and is protected and looked after like treasure. People like to pass on things of sentimental and personal significance to other family members, including in their wills. This ensures that stories worth remembering are preserved and recounted to the next generation with the help of valuable jewellery.
Looking on the bright side with valuables insurance from Baloise
As well as their personal significance, valuables are often of great monetary worth too, which is why you will always be keen to treat them with care. You cannot afford not to keep them in a safe place and look after them properly and carefully. If