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Why People Are Still Wearing Jewellery in 2020?

04 Nov 2020

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In this age of online dressing jewellery designer Roma Narsinghani connects wearing minimal designs with being mindful. According to her, “As the lockdown has reduced air pollution, cleaned rivers, etc., one should take a step towards conscious living, by opting for light rings, studs, and chains.” Well, Roma may be absolutely correct about being mindful especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic but jewellery has always fulfilled an emotion for the wearer which is never going to be easy to take away. Even today, women who participate in Zoom meets are wearing dangling earrings and bold pendants and chains to look good on screen. Even if there is etiquette on how much jewellery to wear who cares? Yes, in the next few months’ jewellery sales will not hit the roof because people are afraid to step out, to shop, and have not assigned themselves a jewellery budget but this won’t last forever.

The evolution of jewellery

Wearing jewellery is always entirely symbolic and culture driven. By itself, it is a greater aesthetic that draws human attention. Jewellery in different cultures is used to symbolize birth, marriage, achievements, wealth and more.

The practice of wearing jewellery that began as far back as ancient civilisation even today continues to exist with latest jewellery designs. What has changed is the materials, the workmanship, and the meaning that every individual attaches to jewellery.

From the Beginning to the Bold

Animal Jewellery in old Civilisations

Archaeological findings have indicated that humans as far back as 130,000 years ago, were wearing necklaces made from eggshells, necklaces made from eagle talons, bracelets made from mammoth tusks, and pendants made from shale.

Metal Jewellery

Metal jewellery came into existence around 7,000 years ago. It was seen by various cultures as symbols of wealth and also as a means to ward off evil: -

1. Egypt

Gold that was believed to symbolise the sun was used for jewellery of pharaohs’ and priests’ who were even buried with it. The famous Tutankhamun’s gold mask is one such piece of gold jewellery that belonged to the ancient Egyptians.

2. Greece and Rome

While the rich Greeks adorned pieces of jewellery mostly with emblems of gods, Roman jewellery began to focus on coloured gemstones and glass. The civilisations were precursors to filigree and granulation techniques in manufacturing jewellery.

3. Mesopotamia

Mesopotamians that lived in the region of modern Iraq, had jewellery pieces made from different metals and inlaid with various brightly-coloured gemstones. This was the beginning of intricate inlay work that is still seen in modern jewellery. Most of these inlay designs were inspired by nature like leaves, grapes, and spirals.

4. Mesoamerica

Mesoamerican jewellery belonged to the belt that today includes countries like Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and some parts of Mexico. They preferred gold, silver, copper, bronze and jade jewellery.

5. Ancient China

For the Chinese even today Jade and silver are the most valuable and preferred in jewellery. Most pieces have various symbols like dragons and phoenixes that reflect their beliefs.

6. Ancient India

In India jewellery was discovered during the Indus Valley civilisation where they combined stones with silver and gold.

 

Why do we wear jewellery?

From Maslow’s Hierarchy to Holistic Living that analyses human needs, jewellery is said to play an important role in fulfilling emotional and social needs. The other reasons why people wear jewellery are: -

Marital status

Wedding rings, toe rings and even certain types of necklaces like the Indian mangal sutra are worn by Indian women as a symbol of their marriage

Esteem Needs

While owning a solitaire ring, diamond eternity band, and modern diamond pendant definitely denotes a sign of wealth, wearing those pieces of valuable jewellery gives the wearer a feeling of higher self-esteem.

Self-Actualisation

Wearing jewellery has also become an expression of a person’s identity. Whether you prefer to wear diamonds or silver jewellery it is what brings you a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Spiritual beliefs

Some cultures use jewellery as a means to ward off evil spirits, to attract good health and wealth, or for better fortunes. In India, several people wear jewellery as suggested by an astrologer in the hope of achieving what is missing in their lives.

Who wears jewellery?

As per statistics, roughly 5% of all jewellery sold is for men, while 95% of all jewellery sold is for women. Further recent studies show Millennials in the age group 25-34 years have spent 28% more on jewellery than any other age group. These buyers can be further classified into:-

• Aficionados

Those who have a high discretionary household income. They like to purchase jewellery to make a statement.

• Classic recipients

Mostly women who get gifts belong to this category. If the piece of jewellery comes as a surprise, that’s even better. This segment is said to have the highest average ownership of diamond jewellery.

• Fashion forwards

They are the trendsetters. They believe jewellery has to be fun and fashionable and coordinated with what you wear every time you step out in style. They are more frequent buyers who go for branded jewellery.

• Budget believers

They buy or invest in jewellery only on major occasions.

• The anti-brigade

Don’t wear any kind of real jewellery. They would prefer to buy fake jewellery or other items instead of gold and diamond jewellery.

Furthermore, the country that produces the most gold and jewellery is also an indicator of its love for precious metal and gemstones. Here are 2019’s top gold producing countries

i. China 420 MT

ii. Australia 330 MT

III. Russia 310 MT

iv. USA 200 MT

v. Canada 180 MT

Though India is not among these top countries, it imports close to 900 tons of gold each year. India has a fascination for gold jewellery and growing demand for diamond jewellery.

The New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has tanked the economies of the world and jewellery retailers are recalibrating the new normal. Whether minimal designs emerge or people return to old tastes and styles is yet to be seen. However, one thing remains, there are no rules for how to wear jewellery and absolutely no jewellery lover is going to give up wearing jewellery. Jewellery has survived wars and famines and will continue to beat COVID-19 to exist from bold to beyond….

                                      


About Rukshana -

Rukshana is a freelance content and communication strategist based out of Mumbai, India. She mingles her expertise in PR with comprehensive domain knowledge and creative writing skills to assist and propagate business, worldwide. Being a quick learner, she utilizes her diversified digital expertise to provide copywriting and content writing services to create highly profitable brands, products, and services.