The Romance of Jewelry

“Well,” you may ask, “isn’t jewelry romantic by it’s very nature?”

To some extent this is true, but we wear jewelry for any number of reasons that are not romantic… to look sophisticated, to look professional, to impress our friends and neighbors.

So what about the romance of jewelry?

In this case I’m talking about romance in a broader sense than simply relationships.

Something more like this definition from the dictionary:

“A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life”

That wonderful fission, that bit of a chill that you get from something that is just, well, more than day to day life.

Romantic jewelry is that jewelry that makes you feel special, different, like a princess or a prince. That jewelry that takes you out of your normal hum drum life each time you put it on. The little something extra that comes of wearing something truly special.

Perhaps that is why gold is such a popular metal for jewelry. I love silver and platinum and there are other metals (titanium comes to mind) that make great jewelry, but there is nothing like the romance of gold. To wear gold is to wear the jewelry of kings and queens. In ancient Egypt only the pharaohs and those especially favored by the pharaohs were permitted to wear gold. This feeling of being special and above the fray has continued to the modern day. If you want to feel like royalty (or if you want to give a gift that says you think of your beloved as a king or queen), gold is the answer.

Other jewels that inspire feelings of romance are pearls, emeralds and rubies… and, of course, for many people, diamonds.

Somehow though diamonds don’t seem to have the same warmth and romance as the other stones. Actually diamonds were not historically valued as highly was we do today. Much of the romance that has been generated around diamonds is do to de Beers in the early part of the 20th century instituting a brilliant and very effective advertising campaign… so I will leave diamonds for another day.

On the other hand pearls… Pearls feel wonderful against your skin. They are sensuous and mysterious. To look deeply into a fine pearl is to look into eternity. There is also something intriguing about a pearl, knowing that is came not from the cold hard ground, but from an industrious mollusk.

Pearls have been prized in all time periods and all cultures. Historically baroque pearls (large irregularly shaped pearls) were used to make wonderful and fantastic jewelry by embellishing them with gold an gems. Frequently these took the shape of Neptune or other greek gods, sirens, beautiful women and animals. The Canning Jewel in the Victoria and Albert museum is a famous and elaborate use of a baroque as the base for a handsome merman.

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