History of Costume Jewelry

egypt brasletAnother name of a costume jewelry is “bijouterie”, a French word that means “jewels trading”. A shorter “bijou” means “jewelry, treasure”.

The costume jewelry history has begun in the Stone Age. About 40 000 years ago Cro-Magnons were the first who have started to use stones for the jewelry making. Their jewels were also made of bowls, teeth, and ivory. Through thousands of years the interest to the stone jewelry has increased. At the time of Ancient Egypt it reached the peak, when the techniques of manufacturing glass threads of opaque blue, green or turquoise color have been opened.

With opening of metals the jewelry art achieved a new level: masters made chains, rings, bracelets from bronze, brass, silver and extremely rare gold alloys. Traditionally the metal jewelry carried information about the status and origin of its owner. Later the bijouterie began to be used as money. For example, in Egypt it was accepted to pay off with a bead «agri» which had a great value.

Swarovski cristalsThe 18-th century became the costume jewelry blossoming period when Europe jewelry masters learnt to make qualitative imitations of jewels like brilliants, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. The most famous adventurer of that time was George Frederik Strass, a great jeweler who was able to forge brilliants. That fakes are called now by his name “strasses”.

The second name in the history of the costume jewelry belongs to Daniel Svarovski who opened the world of the costume jewelry as the special fashion industry.

The costume jewellery Swarovski history originated in 1891 when Daniel Svarovski, the native of the Czech Bohemia, invented and designed the machine allowing to process crystals with the improbable quality. In 1895 a factory on manufacturing  the crystals imitating jewels was built. At that time similar products began to be applied to furnish fashionable clothes and accessories.

swarovski earringsFor some years Daniel Svarovski brought the technology of the crystal faceting and polishing to perfection. And the costume jewellery era has begun. The French women of fashion have estimated a possibility to change jewelry every day, without waste of money. They even wore the bijouterie at the social events. No one was care about it because it was Swarovski jewelry!

Swarovski crystals were definitively permitted in the modern world of fashion while Coco Chanel has ordered them for suits from her collection.

If in the former centuries the artificial materials were used basically for making copies of the original jewelry, the 20th century became a century of the real blossoming of the costume jewellery as an original art.

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