The continent of Africa is home to an immense variety of peoples, outstanding in their diverse and imaginative forms of jewellery. Of all the African languages that exist, the most exciting one is that of jewellery. It has a vocabulary that contains information, social status, emotions, intentions, and talismanic significance. From organic materials and objects other people have thrown away to precious metals and gemstones, African jewellery displays dazzling craftsmanship and inventiveness.

The jewellery of the Tuareg and the Moors is characteristically bold and simple, loaded with protective symbolism. Fear of the evil eye is common here, and people seek protection with cowrie shells, amulet boxes and prayer beads. The people of Maghreb region prefer silver to gold since silver is the pure and propitious metal. The fashionable Rashaida women in Ethiopia-Sudan border are weighed down with fine silver jewellery. The Ethiopian cross and silver jewellery is famous in the world for their impeccable quality of technical perfection. The Asante of Ghana have been masters of the goldsmith's art. Gold was an ideal medium for ceremonies of religion, kingship and state. The massive cast-metal jewellery from Central and West Africa, and the Benin bronze-casting remain astonishingly beautiful works of art.

In Europe around 4000 BC, the communities of the Balkans (Bulgaria) established a copper and gold technology. Ornaments of sheet gold indicated prestige, wealth and status. The jewellery of Minoan culture in Crete proves the techniques of filigree, granulation and repousse work had been successfully mastered. The trading contacts with the Eastern Mediterranean brought jewellery and beads into Central Europe while gold and amber were exported. Alexander the Great's eastern conquests transformed the Greek world, bringing in the Egyptian, Western, and Asiatic cultural influences.

In the end of 19th century Art Nouveau appeared in Paris and in Brussels as a new artistic movement against the old European traditional art. In the form of arabesques, scrolls and intertwinings, animals, insects and female silhouettes were depicted in jewellery design. Art Deco movement, on the other hand, consisted of minimal, clean-cut look of geometric, streamlined forms and vivid colors. Technical advances brought about novel combinations of colors and materials, such as jade, onyx, lapis lazuli, malachite, crystal, turquoise, amber and coral. The development of synthetic or plastic materials renewed European repertoire. Rarely has there been a period so fruitful in discoveries which culminated in a revolution whose waves were felt throughout the world and in all artistic forms.

The appeal of the jewellery from Tibet, Nepal and Ladakh on the Himalayan highlands lies in its bold handling of metal and semi-precious stones. In the culture of the mountainous people they believe silver offers protection against illness and misfortune. In Tibet the luminous turquoise, which symbolizes the water, the sky and the air, is thought to counteract evil forces and make the wearer brave and invulnerable. In China personal ornaments were made as early as the Neolithic period (5000 BC). In ancient China jade was valued not only for its beauty but also for its magical or spiritual nature. Jewellery is an essential feature of many of the costumes of the minority nationalities living in China. The Miao have about 50 different kinds of jewellery, and a complete set of jewellery worn on the New Year festivities may weigh up to ten kilograms.

The jewellery of the Turkmen is studded with cornelians, which were associated with blood and life, and their silver jewellery is one of the most distinctive jewellery in the world. The famous pieces are the various headdresses and back ornaments worn for talismanic purposes.

The jewellery of the Turkmen is studded with cornelians, which were associated with blood and life, and their silver jewellery is one of the most distinctive jewellery in the world. The famous pieces are the various headdresses and back ornaments worn for talismanic purposes.

In the Andean region of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, important Precolumbian cultures flourished, developing sophisticated metalworking traditions to work with gold. This was after all, the birthplace of the legend of El Dorado. The people believed that gold, the sacred metal was the sweat of the sun, and silver was the tears of the moon. Crowns, pendants, nose rings, ear ornaments, and beads produced in gold adorned political leaders and were used as offerings to the gods. The alloying of metals, particularly gold and copper in a mixture known today as tumbaga, was practiced in many of the American metalworking regions.

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