History of the Necklace

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The history of the necklace as a piece of jewelry can be traced back throughout history as being worn by both men and women. Often they were used as ways to make a distinction among many cultures.

Many historians and archeologists have found out that the necklace originated maybe forty thousand years before originally believed. In South Africa they have excavated a cave that had over 41 mollusks that were strung as possible neck jewelry nearly 75,000 years ago.

Long time ago archeologist had believed the oldest known finding was from 30,000 B.C. This was made of stones, animal teeth and bones and claws and shells strung onto thread, similar to the concept of today’s necklaces.

Many years later, in 2500 B.C., necklaces were being made from gold. These gold choker and adornments were discovered in Ur. Years later Sumerian’s began using beaded neck jewelry using examples of colored stones, copper and other metals.

The ancient Egyptians were more evolved. They grew from simple stringed bead necklaces to the more complicated patterns. They also had the broad collar and pectoral type necklaces that both men and women wore, especially the wealthy and royalty. Many of these necklaces were buried with them. These necklaces were often richly ornamented and were a big part of the dress attire.

Mostly three-dimensional necklaces were created during the classic Greek period of around 480 to 300 B.C. These necklaces were hung from a row of flat rosette type beads.

Gold was abundant during Alexander the Great period of ruling the Greek Empire. They used gold to make necklaces and many other types of jewelry for many centuries.

Now the Ancient Romans frowned on wearing jewelry. There were laws that dictated how much gold a woman could wear or be buried with. During the first century, the Roman style of jewelry started using gemstones cut in circular or rectangular shapes.

The end of the second century brought about piercing. This technique produced a lace like effect to gold necklaces. The most popular style was the chain with different colored gems connected by links of gold.

Later on, it became popular for women to wear many necklaces at once. This would indicate her level of wealth or her class. For a few years, the popularity of necklaces waned until the late 14th century when they regained popularity.

Now necklaces are popular among all classes of people. The favorite gift from kids to their mothers is the infamous stringed macaroni necklace. All mothers love these since they are a gift from their child’s heart.

Necklaces are worn for a variety of reasons. One of them is for personal decoration. Another reason people wear necklaces is for religious significance. Necklaces with images of Saints or a simple cross are among these.

Necklaces have been around for many, many years and will most likely remain a type of jewelry that can be constantly redesigned to stay versatile and trendy. They have been made from everything from animal bones and teeth to rare gemstones, from shells and macaroni to beads and simple metals.


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