Jewelry is as old as mankind. It has been central to ritualistic and daily life since ancient civilizations across the globe. People from ancient civilizations like the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Indus Valley all utilized jewelry in many forms and materials. As the knowledge and technology in many civilizations evolved, so did their tastes in jewelry. While very early forms of jewelry were created using organic materials like twig, feathers, or bones, mankind soon discovered metals and learned how to extract them. Gold was initially used to create idols of worship and jewelry; however it first became a commodity when the Egyptians started internationally trading the gold produced in the Nubia region. This was the beginning of gold being used to store value and resulted in the precious metal being used as desirable symbol of status used by nobility to distinguish themselves. Gold jewelry was also a way for women in many old societies as a source of financial security. In these societies heirloom jewelry handed down from one generation of women to another is still an important part of forging family bonds. To this day, gold is widely used as collateral at banks, particularly in South Asia. In the modern world, gold has many practical uses as a conductor of electricity and is still desired for its luster and durability, however, it is still widely used as it always has- as pieces of jewelry with sentimental and financial value.
It’s incredible that 6000 years later, like our ancestors, we still use jewelry, clothes, food, and fire during the most symbolic celebrations in our lives. At Anty, we’re inspired by this rich history and in our first blogpost, we’re excited to have you go down a rabbit hole with us on jewelry trends through the ages for different pieces of jewelry.
Gold rings were first worn by Egyptian pharaohs who believed that rings symbolized eternity as well the sun and the moon, which was religiously important to Egyptians. When the Greeks invaded the Egyptians, they adopted the tradition of giving rings to their lovers as a sign of devotion. Greek gods of love, Eros and Cupid were a common motif of these rings. Consequently, the Romans adopted the tradition and started using iron and copper bands in marriage ceremonies. Gold bands became extremely popular with the Romans and were used to represent friendship, partnership, and were used as a form of contract. The Romans were known for personalizing gold bands by using gemstones like onyx, carnelian, garnet, or amethyst. Eventually, in the Medieval Times, Europeans used stones precious gemstones symbolically and incorporated them into rings.
Anty’s Fusion Ring is a modern interpretation of the classic gold band made with solid 18k yellow gold.
In the Edwardian era (early 1890s to 1910) rings for women were larger, elaborate, and opulent. Metal surfaces of the rings were diamond encrusted with detailed lace like floral designs.
The Chevron Ring is an 18K rose gold ring with an intricate geometric design adorned with 0.78 carats of 24 round diamonds surrounding a 0.12 carat brilliant diamond in the center.
The Art Deco era was encapsulated by the excesses of the roaring 20s. Art Deco designs were influential in every facet of life, especially in jewelry. Art Deco style is still a very influential style for understated opulence. This era of design produced some of the most unique engagement rings for women that are coming back in style today, like emerald cut engagement rings. Art Deco style rings are easy to spot with their unique geometric shapes and combination of different stones that use gems to create sapphire rings, ruby rings, or emerald rings that are adorned with smaller diamonds.
For example, the typical art deco style involved highlighting colored stones by creating a ruby ring using a large geometrically cut ruby surrounded by diamonds.
Our Emerald Ring is a floral design crafted in 18K White Gold set with 52 small round brilliant diamonds totaling 0.65 carats, 6 marquise cut diamond stones weighing 0.7 carats and two emerald stones totaling 0.95 carats.
In the early 20th century white gold engagement rings became an alternative to platinum when platinum was needed in the war effort. Men wearing wedding bands became more popular among men during WW2 as soldiers went off to war leaving their wives. Diamonds became a staple in engagement rings after De Beer’s popular marketing campaign “Diamonds are Forever”. Today’s trends inspired from different eras of our history and while single stone round cut diamonds are the most popular with either white gold, rose gold, or yellow gold, there are many throwbacks to different eras with ruby rings, emerald rings, sapphire rings, yellow diamonds, pink diamonds and many styles and options being personalized currently. Since the gemstone is the highlight of an engagement ring, 1 carat diamond rings are very popular.
The Rouge Ring is a strikingly elegant ring made with 69 diamonds totaling 0.64 carats and 3 Ruby Stones of 1.51 carats. This exquisite pattern is meticulously set in stones by our master craftsmen.
Those who prefer the brilliance and look of white diamonds also substitute traditional diamond engagement rings with moissanite engagement rings. Alternatives for more affordable engagement rings that are still stylish include using lab grown gemstones and vintage engagement rings.
It is typical for couples to have matching wedding bands in a style of their choosing and for women to stack their wedding band and engagement ring on the left ring finger.
The oldest necklace known to humankind is a simple necklace made out of fish bones dated around 25,000 years ago. Necklaces are usually the most conspicuous statement among the various options of jewelry. Pearls are said to be the first gemstone and were found in abundance in the Persian gulf. The origin of the first pearl necklace is not known but they were so valued that Julius Caesar passed a law that only the Roman ruling class were allowed to wear pearls and the pearl trade was known to be a valuable source of income to the middle-east, long before oil was discovered in the region. Today, natural pearls, which are produced by a living organism are only rarely found in nature off the coasts of Bahrain and Australia since the supply has been depleted. This means that all pearls we purchase today are cultivated and vintage natural pearl necklaces and jewelry are some of the most sought at auctions.
Yellow 18K gold in a innovative design using white pearls.
Our Delicate 18K yellow gold and pearl necklace.
Necklaces are used by almost everyone. Many people express their identity or religion wearing necklaces with pendants. Wearing this jewelry is said to protect the wearer from bad omens and fortune. For example, cross necklaces are very common for devout Christians, many Hindus wear necklaces with pendants of deities or the Sanskrit word OM, many muslims wear necklaces with the evil eye. Several other regional symbols are created into pendants and worn as necklaces.
Gemstones started being cast into metal jewelry during medieval times and ever since have been incorporated into gold and silver jewelry. Diamond necklaces are still the ultimate symbol of luxury and continue to be a desirable necklace for women.
The first known use of the heart shape as a symbol of love was depicted in the 1250s French manuscript, the Roman de la poire. Heart shapes have been used as decorative art in ancient civilizations and a heart shaped pendant embossed with a fig leaf from the indus valley civilizations is one of the earliest examples of a heart pendant. The heart shape is an ubiquitous symbol that has survived the test of time and even used in our daily chat messages. Heart shape pendant necklaces in silver or gold are a very simple and popular valentine’s day or anniversary gift.
Anty’s Gold Charm Necklace is an 18K yellow gold statement piece with a length of 46cm
Another timeless necklace design are chain necklaces. Chain necklaces date back to 2500 BC when the Egyptians started threading gold and silver together. Gold was very popular in ancient Greece where they started creating pendants to wear with the chain necklaces. Starting in 300 BC the elite upper class in ancient societies started wearing chains with gemstone pendants.
Guess what? Gold hoop earrings have been around for 7,000 years! Ear piercings were common for both men and women in many ancient civilizations. In fact, even today in South Asia, both boys and girls get ear piercings between the ages of 1 and 5. In the West, it is less typical for men to have ear piercings because a lot of western culture has been influenced by the Romans. The Roman man typically wore rings and all other jewelry was for women. Different variations of hoop earrings are a timeless accessory and still a staple in every woman’s fashion arsenal. Large or small gold hoop earrings can elevate any look. Diamond hoop earrings add a luxurious element to the simple, timeless design.
The Turner Earrings are an 18K yellow gold pair inspired by eastern designs.
Stud earrings are also timeless and have been around ever since gems started being encrusted into gold and silver in the medieval period. Today, stud earrings for women and men are as elaborate or simple as desired. Insignia style gold stud earrings, or plain gold stud earrings are a popular style. There is minimal gold wastage in these designs which also makes these pieces an asset. Diamond earrings for women are the most popular and come in many styles from long diamond strings, intricate diamond designs, to large single diamond solitaires. In terms of metals used in luxury earrings, rose gold earrings are very popular currently apart from yellow gold, white gold, and platinum.
Sleek and stylish, these 18K Rose Gold Snow Hoop earrings from Anty’s Collection. The diamond setting is inspired by snowflakes and this is a statement pair that will add sparkle to any occasion.
Did you know that the first charm bracelets were worn by Assyrians, and Babylonians between 600-400BC? Gold bracelets for women have been popular and continue to be in countries that were the birthplace of ancient civilizations. For example, South Asia has been making and refining jewelry making continuously for 5,000 years, bangles and bracelets are an important part of the culture, irrespective of religion. In the West, bracelets with charms were popularized by Queen Victoria in the 19th century..
The Eyelette Bangle is made with 18K rose gold, 77 round diamonds and 2 pear cut diamonds. This stunning piece is a reimagined wraparound bangle that fits elegantly around the wrist.
Diamond Tennis bracelets are one of the most iconic have been very popular ever since Chris Evert lost her George Bedewi diamond bracelet during the 1987 US Open. (Show picture). Tennis bracelets have since been worn by icons in the sport such as Serena Williams, who sported a $30,000 Harry Winston bracelet in 2002. Many retailers have reported spikes in tennis bracelet sales during Wimbledon. Tennis bracelets are often paired with a tennis necklace.
Anty’s Classic Tennis Bracelet in 18K white gold and brilliant diamonds, will be available as part of our summer collection.