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Jewelry is defined as an adornment made of precious metals and very often set with precious, semi-precious or imitation gems.
Findings and discoveries from far past confirm that humans had a strong need to adorn themselves and decorate their bodies. Jewelry has been worn by people of every culture and every origin since ancient times. It played different roles and functions, indicated social, political or religious affiliation.
Depending on the culture even objects made of hair, feathers, stones, bones, teeth, shells, wood, ceramics or minerals were considered jewelry.
The art of making jewelry started 22 000 years ago and is continuously evolving. Early in its inception, it played major role in religious rituals and was used as gifts for the maintenance of worship. It was also believed to possess magical and protective powers and quickly became inseparable attribute of primitive people.
Jewelry became an art practiced by skilled craftsmen. Metal workers with advanced knowledge became jewelers creating beautiful earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, rings and pins used for adornment of almost every part of human body.
Our current knowledge about beginnings and history of jewelry comes from jewelry collections found at excavation sites and burial places. Also paintings and sculptures are a very valuable source of information about past jewelry trends and fashion.
Today jewelry became a symbol of wealth and social status. It many cases it is considered a financial investment of great value and still plays important role in our lives.
History of jewelry has been written throughout centuries and generally can be divided into following chapters: