Biojewelry were the first jewelry ever made and used. The first signs of jewelry came from the people in Africa. Perforated beads suggesting shell jewelry have been found dating to 75,000 years. In Kenya, beads made from perforated ostrich egg shells have been dated to more than 40,000 years ago.
In Ancient Egypt jewelry was first made around 3,000 to 5,000 years back. The Egyptians adored the shine, rarity, and workability of gold. In Predynastic Egypt jewelry soon began to symbolize power and religious power in the community.
In Mesopotamia, jewelry was manufactured from metal inlaid with bright-colored stones like agate, lapis, carnelian, and jasper. Their favorite shapes were leaves, spirals, cones, and bunches of grapes
The Greeks started using gold and gems in jewelry in 1600 BC, although beads shaped as shells and animals were produced widely in earlier times. By 300 BC, the Greeks had mastered making colored jewelry and using amethyst, pearl, and emeralds. Also, the first signs of cameos appeared. Greek jewelry was often simpler than in other cultures, with simple designs and workmanship.
Although jewelry work was abundantly diverse in earlier times, especially among the barbarian tribes, when the Romans conquered most of Europe, jewelry was changed as smaller factions developed the Roman designs. The most common artefact of early Rome was the brooch, which was used to secure clothing together. The Romans used a diverse range of materials for their jewelry from their extensive resources across the continent.
As the majority of world adopted Christianity cultural styles began to converge. Jewelry during this time was used primarily as a form of symbolizing Christian faith. During the early part of the middle ages Christian monasteries were responsible for producing the better part of the worlds jewelry. Precious stones and metals were once again reserved for the wealthy and were even for lower classes during certain periods.
During Renaissance, increasingly jewelry served the role of body adornment, created solely for the purpose of improving personal presentation and beauty. While jewelry was already seen as sign of wealth many now began to collect it solely for the purpose of protecting ones wealth
As time went by, the increasing wealth of the general population and relatively relaxed social attitudes meant that the gold and silver pieces usually reserved for the rich and powerful could now be afforded by lower classes.
Today jewelry is increasingly viewed as a form of artistic expression as the tools and materials of production become increasingly affordable and available.