Throughout history, jewelry has been a timeless form of personal expression, cultural significance, and wealth. It’s played a vital role in society for centuries and captivated our imagination and creativity. However, beyond aesthetics, these accessories hide some of the most interesting jewelry facts that may surprise you.
In today's world, accessorizing with jewelry is a fashion statement adored by both men and women all over the globe. Creating lasting and meaningful jewelry intertwines art, culture, history, and even science. So, if you want to deepen your connection with your shimmering treasures, let’s explore some jewelry fun facts!
11 Jewelry Facts You Need to Know
Jewelry has a rich history that can be traced back thousands of years, with each piece telling a special story. From the world's rarest gemstones to the otherworldly origin of gold, jewelry holds many secrets.
At JewelryLab, we take pride in crafting some of the most stunning and exquisite pieces that can reflect your style and uniqueness. Elevate your style and explore our collection, from elegant necklaces to eye-catching rings.
With that said, here are the most interesting facts about jewelry that will unveil their cultural secrets and stories.
1. Jewelry has been around for over 115,000 years
The earliest ever-known form of jewelry was found approximately 115,000 years ago. Archaeologists suspect that these perforated beads made from small sea shells were not created by humans but by Neanderthal living in Europe, Cueva de los Aviones, a cave along the southeast coast of Spain.
Later, beads made from perforated ostrich egg shells that date over 40,000 years have been found in Kenya at Enkapune Ya Muto. This is followed by stone bracelets and marble rings found in Russia that dated around a similar age.
2. The word jewelry comes from the old French “jouel”
The word “jewelry” is considered to originate from the Middle Ages. The origin of the word comes from the Old French “jouel”. This word is taught to translate to jewel adornment. However, when looking further back, some believe the word dates back from the Latin word “jocale”, which means “plaything”.
3. The first ever diamonds were discovered in India 2,500 years ago
It’s suspected that the first-ever known diamonds were discovered in India approximately 2,500 years ago. They were found in the Golconda region, between the Godavari and Krishna Rivers. Diamonds were praised as divine objects by the Indian rulers due to their delicacy and mysterious nature.
However, as polishing and cutting diamonds have not yet been learned and practiced, diamonds retained their original form and outer skin. At this age, the textural and touchable rough diamonds were commonly kept as talismans. Sometime later, they were incorporated into jewelry, which only men were initially allowed to wear.
4. Archduke Maximillian is the man who introduced the tradition of engagement rings in 1477
The first engagement ring can be traced back to 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary Burgundy. The leader was so in love with Mary that he gifted her a ring to symbolize his feelings and devotion to marrying her.
The exchange began a tradition that caught on in elite societies. However, the trend became popular among the masses in the mid-1900s. Today, most of the engagement rings contain precious gems like diamonds.
5. The world’s most expensive engagement ring is The Pink Star Diamond
The Pink Star Diamond ring is the world’s most expensive engagement ring ever sold. It contains a 59.60-carat oval-cut diamond that broke all records when it was sold for around $71.2 million in 2017. The diamond is the most remarkable precious stone due to its brilliant and astounding pink color and extraordinary size.
This unique diamond was one of the most sought-after and expensive engagement rings. This is because it's an exceptional representation of love and devotion as well as a testament to the rarity and divinity of natural pink diamonds.
6. The largest diamond ever found weighs 3,106 carats (621,20 g)
The Cullinan Diamond is the largest rough diamond ever found on Earth. It weighed over 3,000 carats and was discovered on 26 January 1905 at the Premier No.2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa. The diamond was named after the owner of the mine, Thomas Cullinan.
7. Painite is the world’s rarest and most unique gemstone
Painite is not only the rarest gemstone on Earth but also the rarest mineral ever discovered. It also holds the Guinness World Record for it.
After its discovery, there were only 2 specimens of Painite gems known to exist for the next several decades. However, by 2004, there were less than 2 dozen known gemstones. Even with the recent opening of the Myanmar mine, there are less than 1,000 Painite gemstones, with most of them not being faceted.
8. Gold is actually formed among the stars
Surprisingly, gold isn’t formed on Earth. There are no naturally occurring processes that can produce new gold on our planet. While it exists as it is, deep in the earth, gold is formed amongst the stars.
When stars explode or collide, they create the necessary energy and conditions that are right to create gold. So, all the gold that has been mined on Earth originally arrived through a meteorite.
9. 24K gold is soft enough to move with our hands
If you’re looking for a durable and strong material for your jewelry that can withstand being knocked about, pure gold may not be your best option. Platinum is undoubtedly a far more superior and safer alternative.
24-karat gold is an extremely soft material that you can actually move and bend with your bare hands. This is why you are unlikely to find pure 24-karat gold used in jewelry. Instead, the gold material is alloyed with other metals that ultimately create a piece of solid and more hard-wearing jewelry.
10. The earliest pearl jewelry was found over 2,000 years ago
The earliest piece of pearl jewelry can be traced back to 420 B.C. Archaeologists discovered this pearl jewelry in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess over 2,000 years ago. The historical accessory currently resides at the Louvre in Paris, France.
11. The most expensive pearl is valued at $100 million
A Filipino fisherman in the sea off the coast of Palawan Island found the most expensive pearl. He believed the pearl would bring him good luck, as he hid the precious stone under his bed. Unfortunately, his home burned down, but his great discovery survived.
Officials in the Philippines verified the pearl at 12 inches in width, 26 inches in length, and weighing nearly 75 pounds. It was found in a giant clam and is valued at $100 Million.
The world of jewelry is filled with surprising facts we never knew about. From ancient civilizations to today’s modern age, jewelry’s delicacy, origin, and cultural symbolism continue to amaze us and captivate our imagination.
Hopefully, this article has shown you a different side of gemstones with the most amazing jewelry facts. So, if you want contemporary handmade jewelry, you can explore our collection.