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Jewelry
Fine Genuine Gemstone Jewelry at AfricaGems - Huge Selection - Excellent High Quality Gemstones & Workmanship
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AfricaGems - Presents a History of Gemstone Jewelry
Jewelry has been around since the dawn of time, although most early jewelry was made of bone, stone, shells and mother-of-pearl. Gemstone jewelry appeared in the time of the Egyptians. Elaborate jewelry has been found in the tombs of the Pharaohs. Favorite gemstones of the Egyptians included carnelian, jasper, quartz, turquoise, lapis lazuli and malachite.
Ancient Mesopotamian craftsmen produced gemstone jewelry using thin metal leaf. Most of the gemstones used, such as lapis lazuli, agate, carnelian, onyx and jasper, had to be imported from places like Persia and Egypt, as they were not found locally.
1600-1400 BCE marked the entrance of gold and gems into Greek jewelry. Colored gemstone jewelry hit its stride by around 300 BCE. Greeks used amethyst, pearl, emerald, ruby, sapphire, topaz and other gems, many of which were imported from places as distant as Sri Lanka and the Far East. Greek gemstone jewelry was often intended to give the wearer protection from the Evil Eye or imbue them with other supernatural powers. Gemstone jewelry was rarely worn for everyday use, and instead used for public appearances or special occasions.
India is blessed with an abundance of natural gemstones. By the 6th century BCE India had its own classification of precious and semi-precious stones, which was reflected in its jewelry. The nine