The History of Ancient Greek Jewelry Culture

It all started thousands of years ago! We are fascinated to say a few words about the history of Greek jewelry culture, a glorious heritage that defines us as modern artists.

Even before the ancient Greek societies got in touch with the art of metallurgy, the need for personal decoration and prominence was present. Bones, sea-shells, clay and simple stones were the first materials to be used in the production of the first pieces of Ancient Greek Jewelry, right within the Stone Age.

Minoan Queens, "The beginning of Ancient Greek Jewelry Culture", SilverTownArt

Moving on to the Bronze Age (3000 B.C. and after), the development of navigation brought Greece closer to other advanced and wealthy civilizations and changed dramatically every aspect of art and everyday life. The rise of commerce filled the main Greek city-centers around the Aegean Sea with plenty of precious metals and gemstones from the East, while the spread of metallurgy delivered the skillful techniques necessary to craft them. These circumstances innovated the dawnof Ancient Greek Jewelry making that produced truly timeless masterpieces that still remain admirable for their artistry and beauty.

Ancient golden necklace, "The beginning of Ancient Greek Jewelry Culture", SilverTownArt

A wonderful golden necklace from the island of Lefkada, 3rd millenium BC

Hammering seems to be the first technique that ancient Greek jewelers used to produce their first pieces. In that period, jewelry is viewed as a symbol of higher social status or wealth and precious personal decorative item that escorts the wearer in life and death.

The Minoan Civilization (3000-1000 B.C.) in Crete stands out as one of the most thriving in the ancient world. The existence of the palace and the strong presence of wealthy upper class drives jewelry making into new paths and aesthetics. Gold, ivory and precious gemstones are all crafted with new or evolving complicated techniques such as repousse, granulation and filigree, producing extraordinary pieces of art, even from 2400 BC.

Magnificent Minoan Jewelry from the Aigina Treasure."The beginning of Ancient Greek Jewelry Culture" SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry

Magnificent Minoan Jewelry from the Aigina Treasure.

Approximately at the same period with the Minoans, the Mycenean Civilization flourishes in the mainland of Greece and culturally dominates the ancient world. Their capital city, Mycenaes, has always been fascinated by the glare of gold. Around 1500 B.C., the Mycenean jewelry making reaches its peak, crafting wonderful golden pieces.

Mycenean Gold Earrings, 1600 BC, "The beginning of Ancient Greek Jewelry Culture", SilverTownArt

Mycenean Gold Earrings, 1600 BC

Openwork technique, engraved and enameled designs, come to perfect the ancient jeweler’s craftsmanship handing over a precious intellectual capital to the upcoming civilizations.

The first era of Ancient Greek Jewelry History positively graced the world’s cultural heritage with admirable masterpieces. There are no words to describe how it feels to stand beside a piece of jewelry crafted by ancient societies and worn by people of different ages!

Thanks for reading,

The Team@SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry

About SilverTownArt

We are a small team of jewelry designers living and working in Greece. We produce unique, statement creations only by hand using the finest materials and fusing contemporary and tradiotional techniques that have a special cultural meaning for the Greek Jewelry heritage. We would like to welcome you to our blog and social media pages and invite you to see our work at our Etsy Shop!
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1 Response to The History of Ancient Greek Jewelry Culture

  1. Pingback: Men’ s Rings and Myths in Ancient Greece | SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry

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