Jewelry has been around for thousands of years. Since the dawn of human civilization, both women and men have adorned themselves with gold, silver, precious gems, feathers, bones, shells, wood, animal skin, and other materials.
Around the world, most cultures use various types of jewelry to represent important life events, such as engagement and marriage. Though technological advancements have enabled metallurgists and jewelers to improve on the quality and variety of jewelry they offer, the purpose of adorning oneself with jewelry has remained the same for millennia.
The following five types of jewelry are the most popular types available today. If you enjoy collecting and wearing jewelry, you should have at least one of each of the following pieces in your jewelry box.
Earrings come in a wide variety of styles and types. Most require a pierced ear. Studs are the simplest style. They consist of a straight post which penetrates the earlobe and is held in place by a back, also known as a clutch. In this way, the stud appears to “float” on the ear. The visible part might be a diamond, or another other precious gemstone or metal. Studs are one of the most common types of earrings because they are comfortable and minimalistic. Other types of earrings may be more decorative or ornate. They include hoops, drop earrings, dangling earrings, and barbell earrings. Most are held in place by a fixture, but others clip directly onto the earlobe and don’t require a piercing. Some popular designer earring brands include Chanel, Tia Collections, Chopard, Tiffany & Co., Kendra Scott, Kate Spade New York, Sarah & Sebastian, Sorelle, and Pamela Love. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50-150 for a quality pair of earrings. How much you pay will depend on the materials used in the design.
Rings are one of the most popular types of jewelry around the world. They don’t require a piercing, and simple ring styles can be worn everyday without getting in the way. Today, rings come in a wide variety of styles and design. Jewelers have taken ring-making to a new level, creating rings that can be worn on multiple fingers and hand jewelry that uses a chain to connect a ring to a bracelet worn on the wrist. Other types of rings have stood the test of time—for instance, diamond engagement rings, birthstone rings, class rings, eternity rings, and of course, gold wedding bands. Toe rings are also popular. Some of the most widely known ring designers in the world are David Yurman, Verragio, Jeff Cooper, Tiffany & Co., Tacori, Michael B., Bulgari, and Cartier. Rings can cost anywhere from $50-10,000, depending on the stone and the karats.
A necklace is a classic form of jewelry that is worn around the neck, as the name suggests. Most necklaces are made out of a metal chain. They can also be made out of material such as leather, string, twine, cloth, or even plastic. Many necklaces feature colorful beads, gemstones, pearls, jewels, or art glass. They may also natural, earthy materials such as shells, feathers, wood, or coral. Necklaces that have only one hanging element are called pendants. Lockets are another common type of necklace. They feature a small pendant which opens to hold a tiny photograph or object. Other common types of necklaces include chokers, which fit more snugly around the neck, or a princess necklace, which is slightly longer than a chocker and rests on the collarbone. Some of the most popular necklace designers include Carolee, Gorjana, Jennifer Zeuner, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Pandora, Graff, Harry Winston, and Links of London. Prices of necklaces vary; you can expect to pay between $100-1,000 for a quality necklace.
4. Bracelets and Anklets
Bracelets are a type of jewelry that is typically worn around the wrist. Some bracelets hold a functional purpose. For instance, some bracelets are used to hold a wristwatch or a medical or identity tag engraved with important information. Newborn babies, for instance, are given bracelets at the hospital that help identify them. Other styles of bracelets are purely decorative. They may hold charms, beads, or precious gems and jewels. Bracelets that involve a single, connected loop are called bangles. Larger bracelets that don’t connect fully around the wrist are called cuffs. Other popular styles of bracelet include slap bracelets, link bracelets, and sports bracelets. Sometimes bracelets are matched to a necklace and earrings to form a set. Anklets, also known as ankle bracelets, are similar to bracelets, but they’re worn around the ankle as the name suggests. Most jewelry designers make bracelets, though not all make anklets as they’re less commonly worn. Some of today’s most popular bracelet designers from around the world include Joanna Laura Constantine, Aurelie Bidermann, Astley Clarke, and Ca & Lou. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50-1,000 for a designer bracelet.
5. Body Piercing Jewelry
In some cultures, body piercings and body piercing jewelry signify various life stages or events. For instance, in Hindu culture, brides wear an elaborate nose ring on their wedding day, and later wear a nose stud to signify that they are married. In the United States, however, body piercings are more about self-expression. Certain piercings are associated with edgy or alternative or counter-culture expression, while others are simply a matter of personal preference. Piercings, including non-lobe ear piercings, facial piercings, lip piercings, tongue piercings, and belly button piercings, are becoming more accepted, though they might still be a red flag for some employers. Body piercing jewelry comes in many different styles and forms according to the type of piercing and whether it requires a curved or straight post. For instance, belly button rings are often curved, while nose studs feature a curved element that helps the stud stay fixed in the nose. Ball closure rings, hoops, labret studs, barbells, banabells, and stretching jewelry are some other common types of body piercing jewelry. Brands include BioFlex, Anatometal, Tribalectic, and Spencer’s. Body piercing jewelry tends to be less expensive than other jewelry, costing between $10-100 for each piece depending on its quality.