The desire for jewels like gold and gemstones originates from ancient cultures dating as far back as the Mesopotamian and Egyptians. Since then, jewellery has been an unavoidable part of human and societal development. The desire for jewellery cuts across culture, religion, time and space, class and even gender. So why is it that we desire and/or need jewellery?
According to the famous Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchy of needs, “higher needs” like jewellery only begin to pop up once our “lower needs” such as our physiological needs are met. When these basic levels are met, our need or desire for jewellery begins. Referred to as our social needs, it may not be an essential need but many of us still see it as an object of self-actualization. No wonder most people call it ‘an agent of personality’.
Consider an individual highly decorated with jewellery who draws more attention than the one with less decoration. In some ways, wearing it may well be an attempt to beautify and enhance attractiveness mainly to please ourselves and/or those around us.
This is probably why most of the locations where we wear jewellery are sexually related. For example:
1- Necklace pulls attention to the chest.
2-belly rings draws attention to the belly button.
3- Earrings attract the eyes to the sensual regions of the ears.
In truth, we all exhibit self-expression in different ways. As our ancestors became more civilized, they began to imagine their selfhood as individuals, wearing jewellery became a way of self-expression. Historically, religious symbols in jewellery has also played an important role in our self-expression. It has helped to reflect an individual’s devotion to his/her beliefs and has acted as a constant reminder that not only connects him/her to the divine but also and kept him/her on the right path.
Today, jewellery continues to work as a means of self-expression and possibly at its most desired rate. While wearing it may provide a means of expressing our own identity, the act of giving jewellery on the other hand can help send a message about how we feel; sending love and affection to a person with gestures rather than using words.
Our affiliation with personal style, design and symbol in jewellery sends a message about who we are to the world. Whether this message is sent out on purpose or not, it is without a doubt a reflection of the way we see ourselves and the world around us. As the world of beauty and fashion grows, jewellery is certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. There is little doubt that how we view it is changing. This shift offers an exciting opportunity for all of us as we begin to discover and learn about new forms of jewellery and spectacular gemstones such as untreated, coloured sapphires. In the end, jewellery may become one of our very best friends and help lead us into the future.