Humans have always loved decorating themselves. And the more scientists find out about our distant ancestors, the more interested in art and body decoration they seem to have been. Here are some fascinating facts about jewellery from around the world, just for fun!
10 fascinating jewellery facts
- What is the oldest known jewellery ever found ? 100,000 year old beads made from Nassarius shells.
- The word jewellery comes from jewel, from the old French jouel, which in turn comes from the latin jocale, which means ‘plaything’.
- The Americans call it jewelry, everyone else calls it jewellery.
- In many cultures jewellery is supposed to ward off evil, for example the famous Egyptian ankh.
- 24 carat gold is 99.9% pure, and most US and European jewellers think it’s too soft for jewellery. But 24 carat gold is the norm across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
- Platinum alloys range from 900 (90% pure) to 950 (95% pure).
- Diamonds were first mined in India.
- Engagement rings date back to 1477, first popularised by the marriage of Maximilian the 1st to Mary of Burgundy.
- Amber can be as old as 120 million years.
- A large, perfect, gem quality ruby is worth more than a similar sized diamond.