Sabrina Cusson

Artisane joaillière

A little history on jewels

Sabrina Cusson

For many people, jewels are a luxury that can be ill afforded. For others, gems are a must, constituting the crucial element to any outfit.

What’s your take on jewels? Do you like the minimalist, bohemian, modern, retro or vintage look? Whatever your preference, we have to admit that jewels have always been imbued with value: sociological, religious, utilitarian, sentimental or otherwise.

Did you know that people started wearing jewels during the prehistoric period, 135 000 years ago? Back then, people decorated themselves with sea shells and animal teeth. (Hey, you have to use what you can find, right?).

During the antic period, the discovery of metal and gold helped move things along. Slowly but surely, jewelry-makers and craftspeople fine-tuned their skills to please their customers who became adventurous in their requests. In the Mediterranean region, jewelry centers began cropping up as the demand for necklaces and earrings rose. Some peoples, such as the Celts and the Egyptians, continue to have a beautiful and symbiotic relationship with jewelry because they strongly believe in the protective forces of each stone and every gem. For these people, wearing a jewel is akin to protecting oneself thanks to a talisman or an amulet. Finally, it is around 1990 that jewels become officially respected and cherished. The Art Deco and the Art Nouveau are two important movements which helped cement the reputation of jewels across the world.

Today, jewels are prized from all four corners of the globe. Think of actresses like Elizabeth Taylor who could never be seen without an elaborate necklace adorning her neck. She was once quoted as saying: “I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire it.”

Taylor’s right. Who can resist such beauty?