As uninteresting as it might seem like in the first glance, the history of handcrafted bead jewelry is anything but boring! An intriguing story to its core, it was about 70,000 years ago that beaded jewelry started to see its beginnings. The beautiful gems and beads discovered by the humans of an ancient age, were thought to be extremely beautiful. And so, it’s no surprise how the craft of turning them into pieces of wearable jewelry came into existence. But, it was not ust the beauty that was mesmerizing; it was also the immense value that these carried. Used equally for fashion as well as trade, some cultures even found their use in the form of talismans.
How were they created?
Unlike today, where we have bags and pockets to carry beads, the ancient humans made the use of leather straps to carry them around their necks. So we know today, the initial jewelry made out of gemstones and beads was not meant to be a piece of jewelry at all! It was only an ingenious way to carry them from one place to another without losing any of them.
The place of beads in today’s fashion scene…
Today, fashion has become an all encompassing entity, wherein beads have a very interesting role to play. Through history, we’ve seen beads made out of ivory, clay, wood, shells, bones, glass, and what not. Every part of the world has its own way of indulfing in the art of making handcrafted bead and gemstone jewelry. The designs, the craftsmanship, the trade secrets – they all differ from place to place.
Beaded jewelry has crossed generations of designers; it has successfully landed in the hands of modern bead craftsmen, who have found their own unique ways to combine their rich culture, with their unique sense of design. The beautiful beaded pendants, the dainty chains which are finished off with metallic beads or a pearl bead, or the chunky charm bracelets – these are all proof enough of how beaded jewelry has had an powerful impact on the contemporary fashion.