Jewelry was worn by ancient Egyptian men and women. Ancient Egyptian jewelry made abundant use of different metals, minerals and a variety of stones in an amazing range of colors. Lapiz lazuli found special place in most Egyptian jewelry items.
Other materials that were used in ancient Egyptian jewelry were amethyst, feldspar, turquoise, garnet and opal. Rings made of horn or stone were common before the discovery of metals. Gold, silver and copper were the metals that were used by ancient Egyptian jewelry craftsmen. Take a look at contemporary Egyptian jewelry. You might find something interesting to add to your jewelry box.
Ancient Egyptian jewelry
There are many examples of fine ancient Egyptian jewelry. Bracelets belonging to early Egyptian queens, necklaces, earrings and rings worn as early as 2500 BC in the Suzerain civilization give you a glimpse into jewelry that was worn in times gone by. Waist belts attached to the navel were also not uncommon. King Tut's tomb revealed fascinating ancient Egyptian jewelry. Bracelets and bangles were made in matching sets.
Amulets and finger rings made of stone and gold-foil bands were popular. Pectorals in the shape of trapezoids were worn across the chest. Ancient Egyptian jewelry also included gold-plated vests. Scarab rings made with gold-foil bands and small string of beads were extremely popular. Scarabs were a sign of rebirth. Such jewelry was therefore buried with the dead to assure rebirth.
Skilled Egyptian craftsmen created fine jewelry pieces to bedeck living people and mummies alike. Since Egyptian customs dictated that the corpse must be adorned with jewelry created especially for it, amulets and rings, necklaces laced with semi-precious stones were made with gold and other lesser metals. The colors for the stones held special significance and symbolism. While red stones symbolized energy and power, dark blue of the lapis lazuli was all-embracing.
The Egyptian name for turquoise 'mefkat' is indicative of its symbolism as a harbinger of joy. Wreaths, crowns or hair bands were made for mummies. With access to several precious metals and knowledge of welding and soldering, fine jewelry was crafted by Egyptian jewelers by combining layers of gold plates with colored stones. Cloisonne and filigree techniques were also used. Sheets of beaten gold inlaid with semi-precious stones made for exquisite vests. Tiny gold balls were created by granulation and used in different jewelry pieces. Beads held their own special symbolism in ancient Egyptian jewelry. The jewelry derived additional texture and color with faience and glass.
Contemporary Egyptian jewelry
Today modern Egyptian and Bedouin jewelry patterns are a blend of ancient designs with a more contemporary look. Cartouche jewelry is one such popular Egyptian jewelry style. You can get a Cartouche ring personalized with your name or ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Cartouche is an elliptical symbol that is used as a pendant. The 'Head of Nefitari' pendants find favor with many tourists looking for Egyptian jewelry. Fine reproductions of ancient artifact jewelry are also available. You can pick up modern Egyptian jewelry for anywhere in the range of $10 - $250.
The Ka bracelet, with its characteristic lotus flower is a popular piece of modern Egyptian jewelry. Inlaid with turquoise, onyx and lapis lazuli, this item of contemporary Egyptian jewelry finds favor with many. You can select a large-winged sacred Scarab pendant studded with Swarovski crystals and turquoise. Cleopatra pendant makes for a perfect blend of the modern and the ancient.