Global Jewelry Trends
Did you know humans have been wearing jewelry for thousands of years? Used in wedding ceremonies, celebrations, religious rituals, to mark status, or just for everyday function and self expression, many of the world’s regions have their own style of jewelry.
Jewelry can be a great way to represent culture and tradition, or introduce bold and cutting edge style to fashion trends.
Today, we’ll take a look at a few of the different jewelry styles from around the world, plus a few of the trending jewelry styles this year.
History of jewelry
The oldest jewelry on record dates back almost 100,000 years ago, when shells were strung together to resemble beads. Since then, jewelry has grown into a widely varied artistic medium, utilizing pretty much any material you can think of.
Traditionally, jewelry has been made by setting some sort of stone into some sort of metal, by stringing material together, or by molding metal into different shapes and designs. Some of the oldest types of jewelry found were made out of shell, bone, or wood.
In many historical civilizations, jewelry was used as a form of currency or as a functional aid to clothing. Later, it became more decorative and was used to show wealth, status, or self expression.
Current jewelry trends
- Bold silver pieces
- Pendant necklaces with fringe
- Hearts, crosses, rosaries
- Colorful jewelry
- Single earring
- Oversized chains
- Big hoops
Many of the regional jewelry styles today feature a mix of traditional and modern jewelry styles.
A look into global jewelry styles
Indian jewelry is often made of gold or silver and features elaborate filigree work. It can be very intricate, and usually includes precious or semi precious stones like diamonds, pearls, rubies, garnet, sapphires, or emeralds.
There are three main types of jewelry in Indian culture:
- Spiritual jewelry – Typically worn durings times of prayer and at celebrations. Common motifs include gods and goddesses from Hindu theology, especially Ganesha, the divine elephant-headed god. Additionally, the “Om” symbol is common for good luck talismans.
- Wedding jewelry – Jewelry worn at traditional wedding ceremonies is often lavish, featuring intricate lacing and raw gemstones. Nature and animal motifs are a common part of bridal jewelry, often depicting delicate flowers, colorful parrots, or mango fruit studded with rubies. This style of jewelry, a choker called manga malais, is still commonly worn during wedding ceremonies today.
- Temple jewelry – Initially used to adorn statues of gods, goddesses, and royals, temple jewelry over time became a treasured style worn by temple dancers and worshippers. This type of jewelry is typically made simply of gold or silver, but is molded to create extremely beautiful and intricate designs.
Today, artisans in India are putting a contemporary twist on traditional Indian jewelry by switching up the gemstones used. Onyx, jade, and amethyst are starting to replace the more traditional diamond, emerald, and ruby stones.
For thousands of years in Africa, beads and their colors have played a significant role in identifying a person’s tribe or status. Beads are made from a variety of different materials, including: wood, glass, bone, and ivory.
Both men and women wear jewelry, especially during marriage ceremonies. Beads can show many things, including that a woman is married, a man is in a relationship, or a person is an elder.
Historically, Zulu beads were used as a way to convey messages, almost like a language, between men and women. The Zulu developed a complex system assigning meaning to beads of different sizes and colors that were arranged in specific patterns to convey their message.
Today, beadwork is still an important tradition used across Africa to make jewelry.
China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and jewelry has been part of it for thousands of years.
Like in Mexican jewelry, silver is more commonly used in Chinese jewelry than gold. In ancient China, jade and silver were the two most common materials used for making jewelry — and that remains true for modern Chinese jewelry today.
Jade is considered both a spiritual stone and a lucky stone, thought to protect the wearer and provide them with a link to their ancestors. It was also considered a status symbol. Both men and women wore jade jewelry, typically on a pendant, bracelet, belt, or hair piece.
You might associate bright, bold colors with fashion coming out of Mexico, but what about silver? One of Mexico’s most common and iconic trends is using silver to make jewelry.
With Maya, Aztec, and Spanish influences and an abundant source of silver to draw from, Mexican jewelry commonly features the precious metal paired gemstones like turquoise, amethyst, onyx, or amber.
Many of the motifs you’ll see in Mexican jewelry are inspired by animals and plantlife of the area. A few common ones include:
- Jaguars – symbolizing power and confidence
- Snakes – symbolizing worship and honor
- Fish – symbolizing life
- Flowers – symbolizing beauty and creation
While all of the jewelry you’ll find at the Mexican Silver Store has a deep respect for its past, a lot of it also applies to the current jewelry trends of today. Here are a few of our favorite silver pieces right now:
Mexican Sterling Silver Unisex Chain Link Bracelet
This beautiful sterling silver bracelet features an edgy woven chain link design. If you love its bold style, consider pairing it with the Elegant Unisex Chain Link Necklace!
Mexican Silver & Pearl Flower Necklace
Bold floral design mixes with the beauty of a classic pearl inlay in this textured sterling silver necklace.
Copper Geometric Hoop Earrings
If hoop earrings are your thing, check out the Copper Geometric Hoop Earrings, made right here in Taxco, Mexico! They are 2” in diameter and feature a simple yet stunning design.
Multicolored Teardrop Ring
Wear a piece of the rainbow with this incredible Multi-colored Teardrop Ring! It’s bold. It’s vibrant. It’s beautiful!
Stay current on jewelry trends with your own bold silver jewelry
Looking to stay on trend with the latest styles, or simply want to have a piece of beautiful jewelry to call your own? Shop our collection of Mexican silver jewelry to find the perfect piece to fit your style. All of our pieces are authentically crafted by local artisans here in Taxco.