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Finding the Stories in Hand Crafted Jewelry

Great Sphinx of Giza at Night

Handcrafted jewelry has been around since the beginning of time, with the first records of handmade jewelry dating back to the Neanderthals in Europe. Perforated beads formed of marine shells and tiny stones have been found in caves dating back 115,000 years.

They were discovered in the Cueva de Los Aviones cave, located on Spain's southeast coast. Humans soon made primitive adornments for themselves and others out of things like bones and teeth. 

The usage of metal in hand-making jewelry began around 7,000 years ago, with copper being the first metal used. Ancient Egypt produced some of the first notable handcrafted jewelry between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago.

Jewelry was a symbol of political and religious power, and pharaohs and those of great fortune primarily wore it. The wealthy were even buried with their possessions, believing that they would follow them into the afterlife.

The Egyptians employed gold, tinted glass, and semi-precious gemstones. This was when gemstone colors began to have symbolic implications, such as greens denoting fertility to some.

Because silver and lapis lazuli are not native to Egypt, they had to be imported.

Greek Statue | Bust Statue

Greece was the next great wave in jewelry, employing gold and stones the same way the Egyptians did.

The main difference was that Greece emphasized metalworking, bending, and contorting metals and manipulating them to create more intricate designs on their pieces.

Jewelry has been a variety of things throughout history, from Rome to the Middle Ages.

Many people continue to make handmade jewelry, whether twisted wirework or more elaborate items brimming with gems and pearls, glass beading, or stone and mineral beading.

It is a craft that's lasted for centuries and, by all appearances, has no indication of fading out but will continue to evolve as societies evolve. 

Colosseum | Historical Landmark

Inspiration Gallery: The Stories Behind Different Jewelers

Here's a type of travelogue that depicts ten of the most famous pieces, as well as the history and cultures that inspired them:

1. Pamukkale World Heritage Site

Pamukkale is a World Heritage Site located in Turkey, and these earrings are named after it.

The area's tiered terrain inspires the branched design, and the soft aquamarine depicts ponds of the same hue that form everywhere over the white travertine deposits.

These earrings show the imagination and majesty of Pamukkale with splashes of turquoise and sparkling crystal reflecting the close connection to the natural surroundings.

Pamukkale | Heritage Jewelry

2. San Andrés Xecul Church

Turquoise and red cubic zirconia are set on a vivid gold-plated base to capture the magnificent view of the church of San Andrés Xecul in Guatemala.

We adore Central American colors, which can be found in architecture, fashion, and food, making every day feel like a fiesta.

3. Phainomērídes Cuff

Spartan women, too busy to care about fashion, wore the side-opening peplos garment for much longer than other Greek cultures, earning them the nickname phainomrdes, or "thigh-showers."

Around 500 B.C., this bronze statue depicts the Spartans' preference for function over fashion.

4. Battalion Earrings

Lace-up jackets may have started as a military uniform, but their distinct look has a way of catching on.

The lace-up coats of the imperial battalions are the inspiration for these unique earrings.

Their appealing design has a contemporary edge, as evidenced by our Battalion earrings and this magnificent Balmain military jacket.

Battalion Earrings | Jewelry | Handcrafted Jewelry

5. Sumela Heights Necklace

The Sumela Heights Necklace is inspired by a beautiful old-world monastery positioned high above Trabzon.

On a handcrafted necklace, nine lush jade stones are enthroned in gold-plated halos with pearl accents.

The attractive design represents the historic landmark's blend of natural beauty and artificial awe.

6. Apollo Salon, Palace of Versailles

A lot of rooms in the Palace of Versailles are named after mythological gods. Still, the Apollo salon was particularly opulent, maybe because King Louis XIV was known as the Sun King.

With their burning gold-plated coronas, these stunning earrings are reminiscent of the sumptuous Apollo Room and Sun King motif seen throughout Versailles.

7. Lotus Root Necklace

The lotus root, or "renkon," is an auspicious symbol and food used throughout Asia, and this exquisite necklace and matching earrings are inspired by it.

Lotus root is historically eaten for health and is thought to bring prosperity in the new year, with its many holes symbolizing an open mind to fresh ideas.

Lotus Root Necklace | Handcrafted Jewelry

8. Joyful Nomad Earrings

The Yörük people have a wonderful happy demeanor and fortitude despite living in a reasonably uncertain environment, according to firsthand testimonies.

These handcrafted earrings have a rich red crystal centerpiece with turquoise on a bright gold-plated setting, alluding to the nomads' traditional colorful dress, which seems to mirror their joyful spirits!

9. Golden Textile Cuff

Master embroiderers were significant members of the Ottoman royal court during the 16th century. The Cemaat-i Zerduzan, for example, worked nearly entirely with gold threads, and their needlework style became known as "zerzud."

This handcrafted cuff's beautiful filigree design is reminiscent of the embroidery found on fabrics from the period, such as this kaftan in the royal museum.

10. Cool Rakı Earrings

Raki is a clear anise-flavored alcoholic beverage generally served cold with small meze dishes and frequent toasts.

These handcrafted earrings have an excellent, clear crystal set conveying both the celebration and subtle delicacy that one must feign while sipping powerful raki!

11. The Taylor-Burton Diamond

Harry Winston, the King of Diamonds, bought a raw diamond weighing 241 carats in 1966 and cut it into a pear-shaped, approximately 70-carat, perfect stone.

Richard Burton eventually purchased the Taylor-Burton Diamond and fashioned it into a necklace as a gift for his wife Elizabeth Taylor, garnering it the glamorous moniker.

12. La Peregrina

Few jewels can match the legendary La Peregrina's excitement, glitz, and lineage. The La Peregrina, which means pilgrim in Spanish, was reportedly discovered in the Gulf of Panama in the 16th century and given to King Phillip II of Spain, who gave the jewel to Queen Mary of England (Mary Tudor) as a wedding gift.

The French Bonapartes and the British Marquis of Abercorn have both possessed it.

In 1969, Richard Burton bought it for Elizabeth Taylor, who had Cartier reset it with pearls, diamonds, and rubies. It sold for $11,842,500 at Christie's in 2011 as part of a sale of Elizabeth Taylor's renowned jewels, significantly above its high estimate of $3,000,000 million.

La Peregrina | Handcrafted Jewelry

13. The Berlin Ruby Ring

The legendary composer and lyricist Irving Berlin gave this 4.59-carat Burmese ruby-and-diamond ring, mounted by Tiffany & Co., to his wife Ellin Mackay for their 40th wedding anniversary in 1966.

The dazzling ruby is a lovely monument to their great American love tale and testifies Berlin's sharp gemstone taste. It sold for $1,152,500 at Christie's "Magnificent Jewels" auction in 2008.

14. Belle Epoque Emerald and Diamond Brooch

The Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala purchased this fabulous crescent brooch for his wife, Anita Delgado. Delgado, a stage dancer from Malaga, grabbed the eye of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, a charming Indian monarch visiting Spain for a royal wedding.

The Delgado family was initially protective of their daughter but finally allowed her to meet the prince. The latter soon proposed and whisked her away to Paris, where she studied for months to become a true lady and Maharani of Kapurthala.

The Maharaja's most valued elephant wore this gorgeous stone until it was handed to Anita as a reward for learning Urdu. In formal pictures, she was frequently photographed with the gem on her forehead.

15. The Rockefeller Emerald

For his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, in 1930, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased a brilliant brooch centered on a vast, finely colored emerald.

When she died in 1948, Rockefeller commissioned New York jeweler Raymond Yard to disassemble the set to distribute the individual emeralds to his children.

The 18.04-carat center stone was handed to his son David Rockefeller, who fashioned it into a ring by Yard.

It was auctioned at Christie's Magnificent Jewels in New York and sold for $5 million to jeweler Harry Winston.

16. Brooke Astor's Emerald Engagement Ring

Vincent Astor gave this 22.84-carat emerald-and-diamond ring to the soon-to-be Mrs. Astor at their wedding in 1953.

Beaton, a bridesmaid's friend, was commissioned to photograph the couple during their engagement at St. Regis.

She wore a ball gown in several colors of green satin. She wore the ring that evening "to complete the color scheme," she writes in her autobiography.

The exquisite artwork recently sold for $1.2 million at Sotheby's.

17. Arpels Jarretière

This union ended a tumultuous romance between the American and the British heir to the throne, who renounced his position in 1936 to marry "the woman he loved."

Wallis Simpson married the Duke of Windsor in 1937 and therefore became the Duchess of Windsor.

She was given a statement-making diamond and sapphire jarretière for her wedding day.

The bracelet was created by Van Cleef & Arpels as a sparkly take on a bride's garter or jarretière.

The couple, who adored jewelry, would spend hours with the designers to create commissioned pieces.

Their love story is mirrored in several products by the legendary French Maison.

18. Barbara Sinatra's Engagement Ring

This 20-carat emerald-cut diamond ring was one of two given to Barbara Sinatra during her four-year relationship with famed Rat Pack crooner Frank Sinatra at a critical juncture in their four-year courtship.

Frank allegedly put the two massive pebbles onto the bed and instructed her to choose one. He dropped her chosen stone into her glass of champagne after it had set. 

She pushed him to choose which finger to place the ring on when he still hadn't proposed, and the rest is history. It was sold for $1,695,000 at Sotheby's in 2018.

19. Marella Agnelli's Beaded Necklace

Marella Agnelli, one of Truman Capote's social "swans," was an international jet-set beauty and style emblem. Gianni Agnelli, an Italian business billionaire and Fiat president gave her a magnificent necklace of ruby and emerald beads accentuated with seed pearls in 1955.

He was visiting the Kasliwal family's famous Gem Palace in Jaipur, a go-to source for some of the world's most powerful and rare gemstones when he came upon a strand of beads that had formerly belonged to a Maharaja.

He wanted them re-strung into a necklace for his adored wife. Marella immediately fell in love with the jewelry and wore it repeatedly throughout her life.

She wore it with everything from shift dresses and cotton shirts to glittering evening gowns, as evidenced by photographs taken throughout the years.

The surviving beads from Marella's original version were recently used to construct a pair of modern necklaces dubbed "The Last Swan."

20. David Webb Double Headed Frog Bracelet

The Duke of Windsor presented the Duchess of Windsor with this amusing Double Headed Frog Bracelet in 1964.

Cabochon rubies, circular-cut diamonds, platinum, and gold were used to create one of the legendary American jeweler David Webb's first animal bracelets.

It was bought in New York, shipped to Palm Beach, and then shipped to France on an ocean liner.

David Webb Double Headed Frog Bracelet | Handcrafted Jewelry

What does jewelry mean to a woman?

Jewelry has always been associated with prestige, riches, and power.

When the correct jewelry is worn for the right time, it may bring out a woman's personality and her best qualities.

Overdoing it by wearing too much jewelry, on the other hand, can completely spoil an otherwise excellent look.

After all, how do you feel when you wear jewelry?

Jewelry that evokes positive emotions can become an extension of your body and soul. The need to express yourself is a fundamental human desire.

So, indulge your passion by wearing jewelry that reflects your mood.

Wearing hand crafted jewelry insures you'll be wearing the only one of its kind while at the same time, ensuring the artisans behind your unique style are fairly compensated for their original designs, unique materials and generational skills.Jewelry Model | Jewelry | Handcrafted Jewelry