Greek Jewellery

Greek Jewellery Jewellery in Greece started being used around 1600 BC, in which gold and gems were incorporated; however, they produced animal and shell shaped beads much earlier than that. By 300 BC, the Greeks had already become very skillful and they now created coloured jewellery with various precious and semi – precious gems, such as amethysts, pearls and emeralds.

Jewellery in Ancient Greece was not worn frequently, but was rather used for special occasions or public appearances. It was mainly worn by women as a sign of status and wealth. Moreover, it was considered to be a kind of talisman, protecting the person wearing it from the so called “Evil Eye”; it was also considered to give supernatural powers to the owner. Finally, some were also dedicated to the Gods. Most of the jewellery pieces were made of gold, ivory, and silver with embedded gemstones, less expensive ones were also made, out of bronze and clay. The main jewellery producing region of Ancient Greece was Macedon and Northern Greece in general.

Ancient Greeks used two methods to create jewellery. The first was the casting method, but very few examples of cast jewellery have survived to our days. They used two moulds made of stone or clay, into which they poured the molten metal. The two pieces were then joined and waxed together, before finally pouring molten metal in the centre. This was the first technique that was in use since the late Bronze Age. The other way of creating jewellery was by hammering metal sheets. This was the most common way of creating jewellery. They first hammered metal sheets to the desired thickness before soldering them together by using wax or other liquids between the two sheets. Stamps or engravings were then used to decorate the sheets, as were gemstones or glass beads.

Initially, Ancient Greek jewellery was heavily influenced by various European regions. However, after the Hellenistic Era and the conquests of Alexander the Great, there is a remarkable change in style, as there was now heavy influence by Asian countries and regions. By 27 BC, long after the Greek Empire had fallen under Roman rule, the designs of jewellery were influenced by Roman culture, although the indigenous style was still in existence.

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