Jewelry has enchanted human beings right from pre-historic times. Even in ancient times man used to adorn himself with various ornaments. Archeologists have found various pieces and forms of jewelry
dating back to thousands of years. Jewelry adds an exciting dimension to the world of fashion. These days many types of jewelry are available. They can be expensive fine jewelry or inexpensive costume or fashion jewelry. Precious metals or precious gemstones are used in making fine expensive jewelry. Whereas fashion jewelry can be made from base metals, ceramic or wood and may be set with imitation or semiprecious stones.
These days wide range of jewelry is available for both the sexes – men as well as women. Wide range of qualities and styles are available in different price ranges. Jewelry for women consists of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches, rings and any other ornamental pieces used for personal adornment. Jewelry for men include cuff links, belt buckles, tie accessories, key rings, money clips, watch bands, identification bracelets etc. Some men like to wear ring, chain, lapel pins etc.
Trends in jewelry design keep on changing with times. Jewelry designs are also sensitive to fashion and new ideas. Designers use every opportunity to create innovative and exotic shapes and designs. They like to experiment with various combinations of different metals and gemstones.
A variety of metals are used to produce various kinds of jewelry. Gold, silver, platinum and its kindred metals palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium are precious metals. These metals have unusual beauty, unique qualities, rarity and working properties that make them expensive and precious. Aluminum, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, tin and zinc are the base metals, used in making fashion jewelry. These metals are non-precious and readily available. They are not as attractive and as expensive as the precious metals.
Similarly, there are various types of gemstones available. They may be precious or semiprecious. Gems are rated according to certain qualities. Mainly ratings of gems are based on four C’s-which are clarity, color, cut and carat weight. Gemstones are valued depending on combination of these qualities. Traditionally, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies are considered as precious gems. Precious gems exhibit a special quality of beauty, color, hardness and clarity. Pearls are also considered as precious gems. They are judged by size, shape, color, luster and purity. Amethysts, aquamarines, topaz, garnets, tourmalines, alexandrite, opal, moon stones, jade, blood stone, sardonyx, turquoise, amber, onyx etc are semi-precious stones. Other variations in gemstones are synthetic stones, treated or altered stones, assembled stones, imitation stones etc.
Thus, there is a huge of variety and selection for jewelry designers. The art of jewelry making is very ancient. Jewelry enchants everyone including men and women, rich and poor, young and not so young.