The word jewellery is derived from the word jewel which was anglicised from the Old French "jouel" circa the 13th century. Jewellery is one of the oldest forms of body adornment, recently found 100,000 year old beads made from Narssarius shells are thought to be the oldest known jewellery.
The first signs of jewellery came from the people in Africa where early beads were made from shells. Outside of Africa the Cro-Magnons had crude necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth, berries and stone. The first signs of established jewellery making in Early Egypt were around 3,500-5,000 years ago. The Egyptians preferred the luxury, rarity and workability of gold over other metals. In conjunction with gold Egyptians used coloured glass and precious gems.
The Greeks started using gold and gems in jewellery in 1600 BC although beads shaped as shells and animals were produced widely in earlier times.The Romans used a diverse range of materials for their jewellery. Although they used gold they sometimes used bronze or bone, and in earlier times, glass beads and pearl.
The modern jewellery movement began in the late 1940s with a renewed interest in artistic and leisurely pursuits. The advent of new materials such as plastics, PMC and colouring techniques has led to increased variety in styles. Artisan jewellery continues to grow both as a hobby and as a profession.
Here are some pieces of jewellery from members of the Jet Team each showcasing different techniques: