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The necklace story through history

  Necklaces are one important element in the jewelry. We use necklaces to empathize our appearance by embellishing the neck area of our body. This article of jewelry was an early way of adornment worn by humans inevery stage of our history. This type of accessories is worn suspended around the neck. It consists of a flexible chain or string, which is decorated with various gems, pearls, charms and many other different things. The length of the string can vary, from a very short one, being called choker, to a very long one called sautoir.

The early civilization practiced the creation of necklaces from materials like bones, shells or teeth, which created an ancient jewelry piece specific to that time.  Different culture using diverse styles and ways of creating the accessory. One example is the ‘’ancient Celtic neck piece made of twisted metal, and the lunula, a flat, crescent-shaped and engraved variation of the torc found in Bronze Age Ireland and Scotland(circa 1800-1500 B.C.E.)’’(Torntore, History of necklaces and pendants).

 ‘’In the end of the second century gold piercing techniques were invented. It produced a lace like quality in gold neck jewelry. The favored style of the time was a chain of differently colored gemstones connected by gold links.’’ (Smith, 2005)

‘’In the second and third century it became popular to wear multiple necklaces all at the same time. The types of neck jewelry sometimes indicated the level of wealth or class of the wearer. Necklaces were very popular in whatever form could be made. Over the next few centuries the popularity of wearing of necklaces waned significantly. In the late 14th century necklaces started to regain their popularity due to fashions decolletage.’’ (Smith, 2005)

‘’Necklaces are worn now for a variety of reasons one of which is still the personal adornment. Many people wear medals that are religiously significant such as those with images of the Saints or Jesus Christ. Others wear a plain cross while still others will wear a Crucifix which is a cross on which the image of the body of Christ is fastened. It stands to reason that it can be said that necklaces with meaning have been and will remain a piece of jewelry that is completely versatile in its design and the intent of the wearer.’’ (Smith, 2005)

Today, freedom of expression is present in any visual domain. Necklaces have become jewelries with a wide range. Materials of different type are used to create any style imaginable, for any kind of person. A few examples of these different types  are: ‘’choker - very short and sits around the neck,matinee necklace - a single string, worn sitting on top of the cleavage,princess necklace - longer than a choker, but shorter than a matinee,opera necklace- long enough to sit at the breast bone, lariat necklace - very long, without a clasp, worn multiple times around the neck.’’ (Wikipedia, 2018, Necklace)

In conclusion, we can say that jewelry is an art form that will never stop to develop. Necklace is an element of our daily lives that help us appreciate different meanings and express not only aesthetic beauty but also profound beliefs.


  • Martin Smith 2005, The history of necklaces, viewed 12.2.2019


  • By Susan J. Torntore, History of necklaces and pendants, viewed 12.2.2019


  • Wikipedia 2018, Necklace, viewed 12.2.2019

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