Hand Stamped Jewelry

Hand stamped jewelry is a modern phenomenon. Reason being that jewelry, to begin with, was hand made i.e. hand stamped. Only with the advent of modern manufacturing methods when jewelry was mass produced, did it become necessary to denote jewelry made by hand as hand stamped. Today hand stamped jewelry is a mark of distinction, a hallmark of excellence, a genuine expression of love and appreciation.

The earliest artifacts which could be classified as jewelry were found in the Blombos Cave in Africa consisting of perforated beads made from snail shells, dated to be about 75,000 years old. Various other ancient jewelry included beads made from perforated ostrich egg shells, found at Enkapune Ya Muto, Kenya and dated to be about 40,000 years old. There were also carved bracelets made of mammoth tusk found in southern Russia. The first jewelry made from metal was of copper dated to be about 7,000 years old.

Around 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians made jewelry on an organized basis, making use of gold. Jewelry became worn as a symbol of wealth and power. The rich wore jewelry in life and were also buried with them. Thus laying the groundwork for the modern-day profession of tomb-raiding and the entry of Indiana Jones into computer games.

Although gold is the preferred precious metal for making jewelry, it is not the only choice. Silver is a close second. In certain cultures, silver jewelry is the preferred ornament. The hill tribes of northern Thailand and the Bedouin nomads of the Sahara desert are well-known for the exquisite craftsmanship of their silverware.

Gems are an intrinsic part of jewelry. The Egyptians used colored glass in place of precious gems. In fact, they used glass to imitate the colors of nearly every gemstone. Possibly they did this so that their work would not be hampered by a lack of raw materials. The color of the jewelry was also significant to the Egyptians. For example, their ancient tome “The Book of the Dead” decreed that the necklace of Isis, the Egyptian Protector Goddess of the Dead, worn around a mummy’s neck, must be red to signify Isis’ lust for blood.

Modern-day jewelry-making was considered to have begun in the late 1940s after the Second World War ended. Georg Jensen was notable as a jewelry designer who developed the concept of wearable art. New materials produced by modern technology like plastic and Precious Metal Clay added to the range of raw material that the modern jewelry craftsman could work with.

The gift of a piece of hand stamped jewelry as a birthday present is a genuine expression of love and affection. Of course, the hand stamped jewelry would be incomplete without the birthstone. The relevant birthstones according to the day of week of birth are as follows:

Pearl – a creamy globule of magnificence from King Neptune’s treasure trove.

Garnet – comes in various colors, the rarest being blue.

Cymophane (Cat’s-eye Chrysoberyl) – translucent yellow with an intriguing slit down the middle.

Emerald – clear and green member of the beryl family

Topaz – transparent with a tinge of color often orange or yellow

Sapphire – mostly blue with some gray or black ones

Ruby – red member of the corundum family, the blue ones being sapphires

Would a piece of hand stamped jewelry cost an arm and a leg? Doubt it. A quick google glance showed many available hand stamped jewelry pieces ranging from 50 to 100 usd. Silver, of course. And personalized names are standard, it seems.

One thing to remember: don’t look for a perfectly crafted piece when buying hand stamped jewelry. The trademark of hand stamped jewelry is the imperfection which is the hallmark and desired quality of handcrafted products. Each and every piece is unique because there is no way to reproduce, by hand, another one that is exactly the same. To get cloned products, mass production is the way to go.

There is a way to get really personalized hand stamped jewelry. Make it yourself. There are a number of websites which cater to this hobby. Apparently, tools and raw materials are very easy to come by. There are even books and online courses to help those who are interested. All it takes is the will to get started. And make it a target to give the apple of your eye a totally unique present made absolutely by your own hands. For the birthday next year, perhaps.

Hand stamped jewelry for a wedding would be fabulous. There is so much choice. Personalized name pendants can be given to all the bridesmaids, for example. Or make it personalized name bracelets. Hand stamped keychains are also good. With the name of the recipient properly monogrammed, of course.

For the Queen of the Day, there is a whole range of hand stamped jewelry. From top to toe, so to speak. You can start with a hand stamped tiara and finish it with hand stamped ankle bracelets. Rings, necklaces, bracelets and ear-rings, too, to make it a truly personalized day to remember.

For the adventurous, consider getting hand stamped jewelry from the East. Like northern Thailand. The hill tribe maidens there still wear their silver ornaments. Beautifully handcrafted necklaces and bangles. The workmanship is fine and many potential buyers are likely to think that they are produced in factories because of the low prices. However, a closer look with a magnifying glass would reveal the imperfections which are the hallmark of hand stamped jewelry.

Only thing to remember when shopping in northern Thailand is to keep your heart under control. Unless you are planning to make a re-location. In which case, I wish you all the best and don’t forget to send us some photos of the wedding, too.

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