Historically jewelry was worn daily by all of Egypt's socioeconomic groups, though poorer people wore simpler items. Typical pieces of Egyptian jewelry included amulets, chains, necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets, anklets and rings. They were worn both for decoration and to ward off malevolent supernatural forces. Jewelry was also a common gift for guests at parties, banquets, and weddings
Less costly Egyptian jewelry was made from common materials such as flowers, leaves and papyrus. More expensive pieces were crafted from silver and gold, which represented the gods, the sun and eternity. Many pieces had inlaid gemstones, and each type had a specific meaning. Gems purported to grant the wearer good luck included turquoise, lapis lazuli and feldspar, while amethyst was believed to bring happiness.
Sea shells were often included in bracelets for both sexes. Due to the cowrie shell's resemblance to an eye, the ancient Egyptians believed it offered protection from evil forces.
During the 1920s, over 100 exquisite pieces of jewelry were discovered in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. They are now displayed at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum. Some were decorated with a scarab beetle, which symbolized the sun, fertility and rejuvenation. One of the largest pieces was Tutankhamun's gold, obsidian and quartz mask, which was designed to unite his soul with his mummified remains.Learn More
Monet is a line of costume jewelry that was developed by Michael and Joseph Chernow. The brothers founded the company to offer an alternative to some of the more expensive pieces offered by Coco Chanel and Elso Schiaparelli. The key to their plan was to create a costume jewelry style that mixed the two designers' ideas.Full Answer >
The numbers 750 stamped on jewelry means that it is 18-karat gold. The jewelry piece is 18 parts pure gold and six parts metal alloy.Full Answer >
The abbreviation "DWT" in jewelry means "pennyweight." A pennyweight is a unit of mass equal to 24 grains, 0.05 troy ounce or 1.56 grams. Jewelers and gold buyers use pennyweights or grams to weigh gold and other precious metals.Full Answer >
The mark 825 on jewelry indicates that the piece is made from real gold and has a gold purity rating of approximately 19 karats. Jewelers use three-digit marks to represent the gold purity level since standard markings, appearing stamped as 14K for example, can be off by a half-karat.Full Answer >