A Brief History of Gold Jewelry

Gold has a long and storied history that spans millennia and civilization. Every culture that has come in contact with it has worked with it to some capacity. Nearly all have been in awe of its beauty, in turn making gold a ripe candidate for decorative jewelry, currency and ornamentation.

Gold has been used in jewelry for thousands of years, a particularly popular choice because of its brilliant color and incorruptibility. The Egyptians began producing gold jewelry using electrum as far back as 5000 B.C.E. The city of Ur was making gold chains in 2500 B.C.E. and, in the Americas, the Nazca and Chavin civilizations were perfecting their own methods of engraving and casting gold.

Going back as far as 4,000 B.C. in Eastern Europe and Iraq in 3000 B.C.  Evidence suggests that the Roman Empire went to great lengths to smelt gold from iron pyrites.

So, with all that being said, why the fascination with gold? It’s a beautiful color, sure, but it serves no utilitarian purpose and is easily malleable, making it less than ideal for weapons. Gold has fascinated every civilization it has reached, simply enough, largely for those reasons. Since it doesn’t react with other elements, it is incorruptible, meaning it won’t turn a different color if exposed to water or tiny particles of elements in the air. It withstands the test of time and the wear and tear of nature’s whims. Apart from that, gold is rare enough to be valued but not as rare or hard to extract as other precious metals like platinum. With ancient technology at their disposal, archaic civilizations were able to find gold and turn this precious metal into the beautiful artifacts we all know and love today. 

Now, in the 21st Century, we have tools and access to all different types of elements and metals. Still, there is something about laying your eyes on a beautifully crafted piece of gold jewelry. Here at JB Jewelry, we represent the next era of craftsmanship and we hope you’ll find something you love in our online shop.

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