Originally, all jewelry was custom made.
Even in the earliest days of man, tokens of affection were given. It may have been an interesting rock the man found while out hunting, that he would give to his mate to let her know he had been thinking about her. It may have been a pretty flower she found while gathering berries that went into her hair.
The concept eventually evolved into jewelry, more permanent adornments that could be worn on the body. Soon metals came into the picture, as a way of giving permanence to gemstones. Archaelogists discovered 100,000 year old beads made from Nassarius shells. Jewelry remnants have been found all over the world, with some civilizations preferring it as adornment for the nose or ankle, and much of the world’s jewelry history comes from Asia.
In most cultures, jewelry is considered a status symbol. The word “jewelry” is actually derived from the word “jewel” which was anglicized from the old French word, “joule” and he Latin word “jocale”, which means “play thing”.
For thousands of years, jewelry was a way of keeping large amounts of wealth stored. In many cultures, wedding dowries came in the form of jewelry. It was also
used as a form of currency.
Many types of jewelry, like brooches and buckles, originated as functional items, but then evolved into becoming more decorative.
Throughout European history, jewelry making evolved into its own art form, with highly trained craftsmen taking over the job of carving waxes, using precious
metals such as gold, and then gemstones and diamonds. They became prized not just as a means of keeping wealth portable, but also as pieces of art.
For hundreds of years that has been the way jewelry was made.
Now, with the advent of Computer Assisted Design (CAD) and 3D printing, a whole new industry is developing and thriving, because it enables jewelry artists to do things that have not been able to do easily in the past. Jewelry can become more intricate and individual in design than ever before.
Experts believe by 2018 the 3D jewelry printing industry will grow to $16.2 billion. 3D printing allows for true custom, one-of-a-kind design at a reasonable cost, and it also enables designers to develop prototypes more efficiently and economically, reducing and eliminating design flaws before jewelry goes into mass production.
Now, jewelry truly can be like a snow flake, with no two pieces ever exactly the same.
And in modern society, with billions of people inhabiting the planet, it is still nice to be recognized as a unique individual.