THE HISTORY OF MEN’S JEWELRY
THE HISTORY OF MEN’S JEWELRY
Are you interested to learn the history of men’s jewelry? You would be surprised to know that the first items worn by men date back to the Stone Age. Such items were made of fangs, claws, veins, and skin - exclusively natural materials. They reflected the status of their owners and served as a distinctive sign or amulet. Thousands of years have passed since that time but the beliefs and values of our ancestors continue to influence the appearance of jewelry and the ways men wear it. Even new trends, if you look closely, reflect long forgotten customs.
THE ROLE OF MALE JEWELRY AND ACCESSORIES
Naturally, we can see what was millennia ago only by cave paintings and archaeological finds. But that's enough to understand why men used to wear such ornaments. Claws and fangs served as a totem, a sign of a clan, an indicator of the strength of a warrior, or a desire to gain the strength of a dead beast or an enemy. Social stratification started influencing ornaments much later. The more civilized a society became, the more importance was vested in the accessories and the greater number of materials to manufacture them was used.
The strongest differences are seen in the jewelry of leaders, rulers, and priests. For the ruling elite, decorations become a symbol of the power of a monarch, an indicator of his wealth and the right to the throne. Excavations in Egypt and Mesopotamia clearly demonstrate this. For priests and shamans, accessories worn around the neck, hands, and head had a sacred meaning. The servants of the gods believed that a specific form and materials contribute to the connection with the deity, give them power, and help to preach the cult. All this led to the fact that the richest people of ancient states possessed the most expensive jewelry.
The Middle Ages reduced the importance of jewelry. With the exception of the nobility and rulers, the population was inculcated with asceticism. There were rules for wearing rings, bracelets, and other jewelry. But the 18th century releases the human imagination.
All kings of ancient states could envy such a riot of luxury. Gold, silver, platinum, all kinds of precious stones that decorated neck pieces, bracelets, rings, and buckles, were called to demonstrate how rich and mighty their owners were.
MEN'S JEWELRY WORN AROUND THE NECK AND HEAD
The history of head jewelry has interrupted with the disappearance of such a form of government as the monarchy. Regular men dress up according to the relevance and practicality, and there is no place for crowns anymore. With that, necklaces did not lose their popularity; however, there was a slight change in their meaning. A modern man wears chains and pendants without putting too much sense in it. Today, it is only a matter of style and personal taste.
The times of the Egyptians with pendants in the form of the sun and Vikings with their ax-shaped medallion have long gone. Or, more precisely, the times when these symbols had significance for men have passed. A modern man no longer believes in the help of gods, destiny, and magic. But he keeps the right to wear beautiful and stylish ornaments around his neck.
Ancient jewelers did not know anything about conveyor production so each piece was unique. This was reflected in the use of signets as a personal seal, with which documents were signed and messages were attached. Archers protected their fingers with a wide ring and monarchs wore them as a symbol of power. Another meaning of a ring was the payment for faithful service. It was sort of currency and a symbol of a career.
The functionality of bracelets has also undergone a change. Do you think that bikers and rockers began to wear pieces with spikes and rivets? You are mistaken. A spiked bracelet served as an additional weapon in the sword fighting. Wide leather pieces for the forearm protected arms against sliding sword strokes.
MEN ALSO WEAR EARRINGS
This stylish jewelry can be found more often among men today. Of course, now it is just an accessory but our ancestors used earrings depending on the type of activity:
- Arabs pierced their ears because they believed that it can help to improve vision;
- A young sailor had the right to wear a ring after he crossed the equator;
- Gunners used earrings to save the hearing. They attached wax plugs to earrings;
- If a pirate died on land, earrings served as a funeral fee.
MEN'S JEWELRY TODAY
As you can see, men's jewelry has a rich and beautiful history. Perhaps, if ornaments hadn’t meant so much for ancient people we would have not wear stylish pendants, rings, and other jewelry today. It is not possible to imagine a modern man without rings, watches, bracelets, cufflinks and other accessories. Our life is monotonous and at times boring. Romanticism and recklessness gave way to arranged everyday life. However, the right choice of jewelry will not only enhance your style and taste but can demonstrate who you are.