• The significance of jewellery in different cultures
  • How jewellery unites people around the globe

In the modern era, jewellery is primarily used as a fashion accessory that is worn for its beauty. However, in many cultures jewellery also has a much deeper and far-reaching significance that reflects certain traditions in addition to wealth an social status.

Chinese wedding jewellery

Wedding jewellery plays an important role in Chinese culture. An integral element of the traditional red bridal gown is a golden crown, which stands for happiness and good health. The wedding ceremony is followed by a tea ceremony, during which the wedding guests present the bride with golden jewellery. This gold jewellery is immediately worn by the bride and is supposed to bring good luck.

Jade jewellery also has a long tradition in China; amulets and carvings made of jade are usually inherited as talismans over many generations in the family. They depict represent animals, for example, the dragon stands for power and happiness, the goldfish for wealth; almost every animal has a very special meaning.

Native American jewellery

For centuries jewellery has been worn by the Navajo, Apache or Hopi for various ceremonies or rituals. In contrast to modern jewellery, the materials used are mainly pure and unprocessed natural materials, such as shells, feathers or bones. Silver and turquoise, which were processed predominantly for the jewellery of the chiefs or high-ranking tribal members, have very special value. Like in many other cultures, jewellery is indispensable for wedding ceremonies here, too.

Jewellery and tradition in India

India’s unique jewellery tradition notably includes temple jewellery, which is used to decorate gods and goddesses in temples and shrines. This jewellery usually consists of heavy necklaces, rings, earrings, nose rings and toe rings. Similar jewellery, crafted a little more delicately, is worn by the temple dancers. Depending on the region, the jewellery design is strictly based on certain specifications regarding the materials, number and type of gemstones, etc.

Indian brides are richly decorated with jewellery for the wedding with at least 16 pieces of jewellery spread over the body according to tradition. Bangles are significant; the bride usually wears a large number of fine gold bangles, but always in unequal numbers on the left and right, which should prevent misfortune.

Similarities

Despite all differences, no matter which culture you look at, jewellery unites people and is notably worn on occasions that have a high social or personal significance. Especially at weddings, the most beautiful celebration of all, jewellery is an integral element of the ritual, whether a tiara, necklace or wedding ring.

Are you interested in diamond jewellery? The BAUNAT team look forward to hearing from you and will happy to advise you on your choice.

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FRÉDÉRIQUE VANHOUTTE