Archive for the '●Interesting Information' Category

What is the Meaning of each Finger for Rings?

1.The thumb symbolizes the will power in a person. This finger is connected with the inner self of a person. In case you have been told to wear a ring on this finger, you would need to be especially attentive to the changes that happen in your life. The ring would then help to boost your willpower.

2.The index finger represents authority, leadership and ambition. This finger is considered to represent a certain kind of power. This was particularly seen in the ancient days when powerful Kings wore rings on their index finger. Therefore, wearing a ring on this finger would help you get a boost in this direction.

3.The middle finger represents individuality of a person. Located in the middle, it symbolizes a balanced life. Wearing a ring on this finger would help you to add balance to your life.

4.The ring finger is the fourth finger. This ring finger of the left hand has a direct connection with the heart. Therefore, the wedding ring is worn on this finger. It also represents emotions (affection) and creativity in a person. Wearing a ring on the right hand would help you to become more optimistic in your life.

5.The little finger represents everything about relationships. This finger is all about our associations with the outside world as compared to the thumb; where in the latter is all about the inner self. This little finger represents our attitude towards others. Wearing a ring on this finger would help one to enhance their relationships particularly in terms of marriage and helps to improve business relationships as well. It also helps to change a person’s attitude towards relationships for better. The creativity is associated with emotional as well as material things.

Article by http://www.buzzle.com/articles

Cullinan Diamond

cullinan_diamond

The Cullinan diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g). The largest polished gem from the stone is named Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, and at 530.2 carats (106.0 g) was the largest polished diamond in the world until the 1985 discovery of the Golden Jubilee Diamond, 545.67 carats (109.13 g), also from the Premier Mine. Cullinan I is now mounted in the head of the Sceptre with the Cross. The second largest gem from the Cullinan stone, Cullinan II or the Lesser Star of Africa, at 317.4 carats (63.5 g), is the fourth largest polished diamond in the world. Both gems are in the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

Article by WIKI

The History of Jewellery: Origins of Jewellery Design

0-1,2Jewelry From The Dawn of Man

Jewelry in its most basic form has been used since the dawn of of man, in conjunction with the earliest-know use of both clothing, and tools. Evidence of the first humans dates back some 6 to 7 million years, based on a recently discovered skull that was found in the Central African country of Chad. These first humans were nicknamed the “Toumaï,” but very little is known of their lives.

Until recently, researchers had believed that the ability to use/appreciate symbolism did not develop until humans had migrated to the continent of Europe some 35,000 to 40,000 years ago, but it now appears as though the spark of creativity was ignited far earlier than previously believed.

Before written language, or the spoken word, there was jewelry. In the late 1800s, British archaeologist Archibald Campbell Carlyle said of primitive man “the first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration”. More than just a curio from the past, jewelry, like art, is a window into the soul of humanity, and a poignant reminder of that which separates humankind from the animal kingdom — a desire to capture the essence of beauty, to posses its secrets, and to unlock its mysteries.

Recently discovered mollusk or nassarius kraussianus shells that had been perforated to be strung into beads (photo above, left) are now thought to be some of the oldest known man-made jewelry. This mollusk jewelry was discovered in a cave in Blombos, South Africa, and dates back to the Middle Stone Age, some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago.

The word “jewelry” is derived from the Latin word jocale, meaning “plaything,” and the word jewel, which was anglicised during the 13th century from the Old French word “jouel.” The word “jewelry” (spelled jewellery in European English) is used to describe any piece of precious material (gemstones, noble metals, etc.) used to adorn one’s self.

Early Jewelry Function & Design

The first jewelry was made from readily available natural materials including animal teeth, bone, various types of shells, carved stone and wood. It is believed that jewelry started out as a functional item used to fasten articles of clothing together, and was later adapted for use as an object for purely aesthetic ornamentation, or for use as a spiritual and religious symbol.

The first gemstones were probably “gathered” in much the same manner as was food. It is likely that gems were found inadvertently at first, maybe while searching for food by picking through gem-bearing alluvial gravels in a dry river-bead. What must these primitive humans have thought of these dazzeling, yet seemingly useless objects — harder than any other naturally-occurring material, and capturing/possessing the warmth of fire, the brilliance of the sun, or the blueness of the sea and sky.

0-3,4

As mankind progressed, jewelry was used as a symbol of wealth and status, as well as to protect against harm, ward of evil, and heal ailments. Jewelry was used by early man to adorn nearly every part of the human body, and has been made out of almost every natural material known to mankind.

Prolific jewelry making began with the ancestors of Homo Sapiens. Over 40,000 years ago the Cro-Magnons (c. 45,000 BC—10,000 BC) began to migrate from the cradle of civilization in central Africa to the Middle East, the Indus Valley, and to the continent of Europe. As these early humans traveled the land they collected objects of curiosity, fashioning them into jewelry which would tell the story of their journey.

Jewelry and the ‘Golden Age’ of the Late Paleolithic Period

Within the paleolithic cave site known as Mas d’Azil, located in the Pyrénées mountains of France, 19th century archaeologist Edouard Piette found crudely fashioned necklaces and bracelets made of bone, teeth, mother-of-pearl, shells and stone that were strung together with a single piece of twine, or possibly a strip of animal sinew. The inhabitants of this site were known as the Azilian culture, and lived in this region between 17,800 and 6,500 BC.

The earliest known metal employed by humans was native, or “free gold” which was found within Spanish caves. Artifacts from Cuevas de Maltravieso (Maltravieso Caves) in Cáceres, Spain, and the El Mirón caves in Cantabrian, Spain date back to the “golden age” of late Paleolithic period (c.40,000 BC—10,000 BC).

Metallurgy and Early Man

The earliest signs of crude metallurgy occurred over 10,000 years ago, when humans first began using native copper, meteoric iron, silver and tin to create tools and possibly even jewelry ornamentation. Copper awls that date back to around 7,000 BC have been found on the Anatolia plateau of eastern Turkey. The tools were found at the “pre-pottery” Neolithic Site of Çayönü Tepesi near the upper Tigris River valley, and the copper appears to have been mined from an ore deposit at Ergani Maden, some 20 km away.

These first crude attempts at metalworking appeared to be lest than successful, as the native copper was not annealed (hardened) using cold-hammering, but was instead hammered using pyrotechnology, or the controlled use of fire. The first alloying of metal to make bronze was not developed until around 3,500 BC, ushering in the “Bronze Age.”

Unfortunately, the oldest evidence of written language dates back to around 3,000 BC, so the motives, customs and practices of Stone Age humans is subject to interpretation, and vast amounts of speculation. Human behavior was documented in petroglyphs (cave drawings) that are 10,000 to 12,000 years old, but these pictographs are very basic, and their “meaning” is not fully understood.

Until recently it was believed that the Sumerians had developed the first written language in around 3,000 BC, but a recent discovery by a German archeology team has carbon-dated Egyptian hieroglyphic writings (sadly, tax records) that were found in Abydos (near Luxor, Egypt) at approximately 5,300 years of age.

Article by AllAboutGemstones

The History of Jewelry: Ancient Egyptian Jewellery Design

Ancient Egypt Timeline

The first evidence of jewelry making in Ancient Egypt dates back to the 4th millennia BC, to the Predynastic Period of along the Nile River Delta in 3100 BC, and the earlier Badarian culture (named after the El-Badari region near Asyut) which inhabited Upper Egypt between c.4500 BC and c.3200 BC. From 2950 BC to the end of Pharaonic Egypt at the close of the Greco-Roman Period in 395 AD, there were a total of thirty-one dynasties, spanning an incredible 3,345 years!

The first pharaohs of Egypt were kings Serket I and Narmer, at the beginning of the “Early Dynastic Period” (1st-3rd Dynasties, from 2850—2575 BC). The remaining twenty eight dynasties were divided into eight sub-groups which ended with the demise of the Greco-Roman Period in 395 AD. It was during this final chapter that Egypt was ruled by the Macedonians, Ptolemies, and finally the Romans.

1-1,2Egyptian Jewelry Motifs & Materials

The ancient Egyptians placed great importance on the religious significance of certain sacred objects, which was heavily reflected in their jewelry motifs. Gem carvings known as “glyptic art” typically took the form of scarab beetles and other anthropomorphic religious symbols. The Egyptian lapidary would use emery fragments or flint to carve softer stones, while bow-driven rotary tools were used on harder gems.

Monument building, along with opulent collections of furniture, art, and jewelry helped to symbolize the glory, power, and religious dominance of the Pharaohs, both within the community, and throughout the broader region. This projection of wealth was not only important in one’s earthly life, but became especially important in their after-life.

1-3,4

In ancient Egypt both men and women wore jewelry; not only as a symbol of wealth and status, but also for aesthetic adornment, and as protection from evil. Although the deceased was always buried with their earthy possessions, tomb-robbers have plundered much of Egypt’s buried treasures long ago. Amazingly, much of the stolen treasure would be recycled by successive Kings for their own use in the afterlife.

Gold was the metal of choice for the Ancient Egyptians, and it was used extensively throughout the several thousand year history of pharaonic Egypt. Bronze was also used extensivly, and would sometimes be covered in gold-leaf. The Egyptians also used an alloy of gold, silver and a trace amount of copper called “electrum,” which occurred naturally in Lydia (Western Anatolia). Electrum was mentioned in an expedition sent by the Fifth dynasty Pharaoh, Sahure.

1-5,6

Although the Egyptians had access to many precious gemstones, they preferred to emulate their colors using polychrome glass, because natural gemstones were much harder to work with. The use of cold-worked glass in jewelry may have been an invention of the Middle Kingdom, around 2000 BC. Solidified glass was also formed into beads, amulets and shawabtis, which were small figurines that were buried with the deceased. Clay objects known as “faience ware” were coated with vitreous glass glaze made of silica-sand, clay, and soapstone (steatite), and glass was used as an enamel inlay in metal jewelry. Egyptian enameling was the precursor to cloisonné, and the rich opaque enamel colors included cobalt or turquoise blue, green, purple, and white.

There were also several softer gems that were perennial favorites with the ancient Egyptians. Carnelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, malachite, rock crystal (quartz) and turquoise were all used extensively throughout ancient Egypt. In many ancient cultures royalty was represented by the color blue, and this was especially true in ancient Egypt, making lapis one of the most prized of all gemstones.

1-7,8

Most of the raw materials that were used to make jewelry were found in, or near Egypt, but certain prized materials such as lapis lazuli were imported from as far away as Afghanistan. One locally-obtained gemstone which was said to be Queen Cleopatra’s favorite was emerald, which was mined near the Red Sea, at the Wadi Sikait Emerald Mines in Mons Smaragdus, Egypt.

Jewelry coloration was very important to the ancient Egyptians, and each color had a different symbolic meaning. jewelry that featured the color green was meant to symbolize fertility and the success of new crops, while according to the Egyptian “Book of the Dead” a deceased person would wear a red-colored necklace which was meant to satisfy the God Isis’ need for blood.

1-9,10A jewelry item’s motif was as important as its color, and no symbol was as important to the ancient Egyptians as the scarab, or dung beetle. Scarab amulets were symbolic of rebirth due to the dung beetle’s proclivity for rolling a piece of dung into a spherical ball, then using it as a brooding chamber from which the newborn beetle will emerge.

1-11,23Egyptian jewelry items included such commonly found ornamentation as bracelets, brooches, clasps, coronets, girdles, and earrings, but also included items that were unique to ancient Egypt. The pectoral, which is an ornamental item that has been found on many mummies, is an elaborate breast decoration that was suspended by chain or ribbon, and decorated to represent various dieties. There was also a unique headdress that formed a type of outer wig, flowing like waves of hair in long, flexible strands of gold beads. This was held in place by a gold diadem, which was designed to secure the wig during ceremonies. The diadem was also worn by the mummy, to protect the king’s forehead in the hereafter. Even mundane household objects such as vases, plates and furniture were made of hammered gold, festooned with jewels.

Although many treasures were lost to tomb-robbers and piracy, one insignificant king’s treasure remained intact and unmolested for thousands of years. That king was the now famous Pharaoh Tutankhamun, son of either Amenhotep III or Akhenaten. His short reign as Pharaoh began at age 9. Although he ruled for only 9 years (1336—1327 BC), he was able to amass a modest legacy of wealth and treasure that lives on today. Given the size and scope of Tutankhamun’s wealth it is hard to imagine the vast treasure accumulated by long-reining kings such as Seti I or Ramesses II.

Article by 2010 AllAboutGemstones

The History of Asiatic Jewellery: Ancient China

Jewellery of China

The practice of jewelry making in China began over 5,000 years ago, during the Yangtze Delta’s Middle Neolithic Yang-Shao and Lungshanoid cultures. As Chinese jewelry design developed, elaborate design motifs were adopted which had specific religious significance, and were traditionally used in Buddhist ceremonies.

Early Chinese history begins with the mythical “Three Sovereigns” (Three August Ones) who were Fu Xi (Fu Hsi) the “Heavenly Sovereign,” Nuwa the “Earthly Sovereign,” and Shennong the “Human Sovereign.” The Three Sovereigns were mythological rulers of China, and god-kings, during the period from c. 2852 BCE to 2205 BCE, preceding emperor Yu (aka Sì Wénmìng or “Yu the Great”) of the Xia Dynasty. Nuwa was a feminine creator goddess who was credited with creating mankind, and repairing the wall of heaven. Nüwa was typically depicted with a serpent’s body.

According to Chinese mythology emperor Huang-di (known as the “Yellow Emperor”) is said to be the ancestor of all Han Chinese, becoming a main deity of Taoism during the Han Dynasty. Huang-di reigned from 2497 BCE to 2398 BCE, and is said to have lived to 100 years of age, fathering over 25 children. Legend has it that his wife, Luo Zu, taught the Chinese how to weave the silk from the silkworm. Upon Huang-di’s death it is said that a Dragon came down from Heaven, carrying him away. Alternativly, Huang-di himself turned into half-man half dragon and flew away.

Chinese Jewellery Motifs & Materials

The dragon and phoenix were popular motifs in early Chinese jewelry, and remain so today. The dragon represents the primal forces of nature, and the universe, and are associated with wisdom and longevity. The “five-clawed” dragon was a symbol of Chinese emperors, while the phoenix, or fenghuang was the symbol of the Chinese empress.

2-1,2

The earring was one of the more common items of Chinese jewelry, which could be worn by either the man and the woman. Earrings could be quite complicated and large. Early Chinese jewelry was fabricated using silver as a dominant metal, along with modest amounts of gold and bronze.

Without a doubt, one of the most prominent, and prized materials used in Chinese jewelry was jade, known as “Chinese Imperial Jade.” Jade was ascribed with human-like attributes such as beauty and toughness. Jade was used as a talisman to protect the wearer and as a status symbol indicating the dignity, grace and morality of the owner.

2-3,4Most of the jade used in China prior to the 17th and 18th centuries was nephrite, which was also known as “Ming Jade.” There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says: “gold is estimable, but jade is priceless.” Early jade rings show evidence of being worked with an early type of compound milling machine. Saltwater pearls were another indigenous gem that was popular throughout China.

2-5,6

Blue was, an still is an “Imperial” color in China, used to symbolize royalty and/or rank, and blue enameling was used to embellish royal ornamentation. Blue kingfisher feathers were sometimes affixed to jewelry headpieces as decorative accents.

In China, jewelry was worn by both sexes to show both nobility and wealth. Women wore an assortment of jewelry which could include a headdress or a simple head-band that was similar to the women of the Indus Valley. Jewelry, religious amulets and other decorative items were often placed in the graves of the deceased upon burial. Rulers and high officials were buried with jade artifacts to protect in the afterlife, and some royalty were even buried in a full suite made of green jadeite.

2-7,8

Today in China, pearls (freshwater and saltwater), jade (nephrite and jadeite), and cloisonné enameling remain the most popular gemstone materials in China. The Chinese don’t forget the past, and these gems are an integral part of their culture, heritige, and spirituality.

China’s Ancient Silk Route

The ancient “Silk Road,” or “Silk Route,” was not a single passage-way but an extensive interconnected network of 5,000-mile-long trade routes that traversed the Asian continent connecting China and Southeast Asia with the Indus Valley and Persia, as well as the ancient Mediterranean cultures of Canaan, Egypt, Mycenae and Rome.

Although the name implies that silk was traded along these routes, this was certainly not the only commodity to be imported from east to west. During the 3rd millennium BC, semiprecious gems such as lapis lazuli, and goods such as Egyptian cotton made their way east along the Silk Road, while jade, ivory, beeswax, camphor, musk and silk from China, Borneo and India made their way westward.

Under the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907), and its powerful general Su Dingfang, China controlled the entire Silk Road as far west as Aria (present-day Herat, Western Afghanistan), enforcing its rule with the help of the Göktürks who now carried Chinese titles, and fought side-by-side with the Chinese to maintain control.

During China’s Eastern Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) a sea route was added to the Silk Road land routes. The sea route began at the mouth of the Red River near modern-day Hanoi, traveling through the Malacca Straits of Southeast Asia, to Sri Lanka and India, then on to the Persia, Axum (modern-day Ethiopia) and Rome.

Article by AllAboutGemstones

Next Page »