Jewelry: Where to buy the best?

WHAT IS A JEWEL?

A jewel consists of an ornamental object for the body, which is generally made of precious stones and metals, although less valuable materials can also be used.

Jewelry items include bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, as well as hair ornaments, among others.

In its various forms, jewelry is worn by people of both sexes, in almost all human cultures, on almost every continent. It seems that humans tend to adorn themselves. In rare cases, jewelry is worn out of a sense of modesty; for example, to cover the nipples, but mainly for aesthetic and ornamental effect.

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Jewelry is classified as:

Non-metallic jewelry:

It is defined as an improved precious stone. Through a high quality and precision cutting procedure, a jeweler can increase the value of the raw material, in this case the precious stone. Its value is measured by several parameters depending on the gem, for example in the diamond are the following; weight, purity, color and cut.

Metallic jewelry:

They are made of precious metals, such as gold and silver, in addition to platinum. In this case, the jeweler transforms the raw material into ornaments such as rings or earrings. Its quality is measured in karats in the case of gold, in silver it is always of fine, having a 925/1000 proportion.

WHERE WAS THE FIRST JEWEL CREATED?

The first biblical reference to a precious stone is found in Genesis 2:11, 12, where it is said that Havilah is a land of good gold, “bedelio and the onyx stone.

Prehistory.

The first signs come from Africa. One case is the 75,000-year-old perforated sea snail shell beads found in the Blombos caves. In Kenya, at Enkapune Ya Muto, beads made from ostrich eggshells more than 40 000 years old were found.

Outside Africa, Cro-Magnon men had necklaces and bracelets made of bone and teeth, stones hanging from pieces of rope or animal tendons, as well as pieces of carved bone to fasten clothes. In some cases, the pieces were even made of mother-of-pearl. In southern Russia, carved bracelets made of mammoth tusk have been found. The Venus of Hohle Fels has a perforation in the upper part, which shows the evidence of being used as a pendant.

7000 years ago, the first jewels in copper appeared.

Egypt.

The first signs of jewelry making were in ancient Egypt 3000-5000 years ago. The Egyptians preferred the scarcity and manageability of gold over other metals. In the pre-dynastic period, jewelry began to symbolize status and religious power in the community. They were worn not only by the wealthy classes in life, but also in death, as part of the so-called burial goods.

In conjunction with gold, the Egyptians wore both colored glass and precious stones in their jewelry. This indistinct use came from the importance they gave to colors, since for them these had meaning. Green, for example, represented fertility. These pieces were mostly manufactured in large workshops. Although lapis lazuli and silver had to be imported from beyond their borders, many other materials could be found in or near Egypt.

Egyptian designs were widely used in Phoenician jewelry. In addition, ancient Turkish designs found in Persian jewelry suggest that trade between the Middle East and Europe was not unusual. Women wore elaborate gold and silver pieces that they used in ceremonies.

Mesopotamia.

About 4000 years ago, jewelry making became an important trade in cities like Sumer and Akkad. The most significant archaeological evidence comes from the discovery of the Royal Tombs of Ur, which date from 2900-2300 B.C.; also in other tombs such as those of Puabi, which contained a multitude of objects in gold, silver and semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli crowns embellished with small gold figures, necklaces and hair ornaments. In Assyria, both men and women wore large quantities of jewelry, including amulets, ankle bracelets, heavy necklaces and seals.

Mesopotamian jewelry used to be manufactured from thin sheet metal on which a large number of brightly colored stones (mainly agate, lapis lazuli, carnelian, and jasper) were placed. The favorite forms used were leaves, spirals, cones and grape clusters. Jewelers created jewelry not only for human use, but also to adorn statues and idols. A wide variety of sophisticated techniques were employed such as cloisonne glazing, engraving, granulation, and filigree.

Extensive and extensive records related to the trade and manufacture of jewelry were discovered in different archaeological sites. For example, one of the records of the royal archives of the city of Mari gives the composition of several objects of jewelry:

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT JEWELS IN HISTORY?

The jewels have been present throughout history. Some of them became exquisite and unique pieces for which they were more famous than the women or men who wore them.

Queens, kings, princesses, nobles, emperors, empresses… wore an infinity of jewels, many of them stood out for their extreme beauty, but others besides their beauty were said to be cursed.

The Hope Diamond.
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The Hope Diamond is known as the blue diamond because of its characteristic deep blue tone. It is estimated that it has a weight of 45 carats. The origin of this jewel is found in the Indian culture, it was said that this jewel adorned the forehead of a Hindu idol that was stolen by a priest.

The only thing we know for sure is that the Hope Diamond arrived in Europe in 1642 by the French smuggler Jean Baptiste Tefernier.

The Hope Diamond is of incalculable beauty but it is cursed, or so the most superstitious say. For he who has the diamond will suffer a tragic death or unexpected misfortunes. The first in suffering the curse would be the own Tefernier, during a trip to India was attacked by a pack of dogs that finished with their life.

The gem became the property of the French king Louis XIV, who reduced it to 67.5 carats of the 112.5, to end the bad reputation of the Hope Diamond. The king was lending this jewel among his friends, one of them was Nicholas Fouquet, who was accused of embezzlement and sentenced to life in prison. Princess Lambrelle was one of the people who wore it the most. She ended up being beaten up by the people, while the king himself died ruined and despised.

In 1980 the Diamond was bought by the banker and collector Henry Thomas Hope, from whom he acquired the name, Hope Diamond. He got it for no less than $150,000. Some time later, due to bad business, his family would end up ruined.

And so its subsequent owners did not have better luck, all those who owned the diamond would suffer tragic deaths or misfortunes. The Hope Diamond came into the hands of American tycoon Ned McLean who bought it at a bargain price. One of his sons died soon after in a car accident, while his other daughter died from an overdose. McLean himself ended up in an insane asylum. The jewelry was left as part of the inheritance for his grandchildren. Its last owner, Evalyn McLean, was found dead in her apartment for no apparent reason, she was only 25 years old.

Her last buyer, Harry Winston, chose to donate it to a Smithsonian Institution, to which it still belongs today. It is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Marie Antoinette’s necklace.

Marie Antoinette was a French queen who ruled during the 18th century. Among the court, she had a reputation of being a very frivolous woman, so it was logical that she had a large collection of jewels that had nothing to envy to the other crowns.

In the collection there was a necklace of 648 diamonds, which Louis XV had ordered for his favorite, Madame du Barry. But he died before the jewel was finished so his lover never received it. So the Bishop of Rohan acquires it, but does not pay for it, instructing the jeweler to charge it to Marie Antoinette. The bishop finally gives it to his lover, the Countess de Valois, who moves it to London, where it is dismantled and sold for parts.

When the jeweler goes to collect it from Queen Marie Antoinette, she discovers the deception and the fake countess is sent to the stake. The people, seeing this as another gesture of frivolity, show their solidarity with the Countess de Valois, giving rise to revolts against the queen and the crown.

Peregrine Pearl.

It is the most famous pearl in the world for its large size, its perfect teardrop shape and its exquisite pearl luster. It was discovered in the waters of Panama in the year 1515.

The Pilgrim’s Pearl was offered to King Philip II, who accepted it, so the pearl had to travel from Latin America to Europe. Later it passed into the hands of the Queen of England, Mary Tudor, and in time it became the possession of Napoleon III. Many years later, in 1969, it would arrive to the private collection of the actress Elizabeth Taylor, as a gift for her birthday, made by her husband Richard Burton.

Elizabeth Taylor passed away in 2011 so the pearl was auctioned and purchased for nine million euros, a record price in an auction.

Lady Di ring.

One of the most famous jewels in history is the Lady Di Ring, which was given to Diana of Wales on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981. It is a white gold ring with an 18 carat sapphire, in an intense blue tone, which is surrounded by 14 small diamonds.

The house of Garrard jewelers was in charge of making this ring of exclusive design. As a curiosity, it was Lady Di herself who chose it from among other engagement rings. At that time the ring cost 65 thousand dollars.

Three decades later, Prince Charles’ son, William, gave the precious jewel to Kate Middleton when he asked her to marry him. The ring that belonged to the mythical Lady Di became one of the most demanded and desired in the world, so many jewelry houses rushed to make replicas of the ring.

Since then the Lady Di Ring has increased exponentially in value to reach 336,480,000 euros

Pink Star Diamond.

Another of the most famous diamonds is the Pink Star. We are talking about the most expensive diamond in the world, 62.3 million euros.

It is a gift of nature of 60 carats in a deep pink tone. Its oval cut is free of impurities. It is the largest known diamond with these characteristics of color and purity. Its dimensions are 2.69 by 2.06 centimeters.

The Pink Star diamond was found in Africa, in 1999, showing itself to the world for the first time in 2003, because among other things, it takes two years to be cut. Currently, it is mounted on a ring.

Faberge’s Easter eggs.

This is an impressive collection of jewelry created by the Russian jeweler Carl Faberge for the czars of Russia and other members of the bourgeoisie and nobility, between 1885 and 1917.

Fabergefue was considered one of the best goldsmiths in the world, became in 1870 the head of the family jewelry company in St. Petersburg. His designs include different styles such as: Renaissance, Greek, Baroque, Naturalist, Old Russian, Art Nouveau and caricature.

After winning the gold medal for exhibiting his works in the Panrusa exhibition, Faberge became the official jeweler of the royal house.

For Easter 1883, Czar Alexander III, commissioned the jeweler to make a gift for his wife, which consisted of a large egg with a smaller one inside, and inside it a chicken. This gift pleased the Czarina so much that she ordered an egg to be made every Easter.

Faberge created 69 luxury pieces, very different from each other. The eggs are made of various metals: nickel, copper, steel, gold, platinum, silver and paladin. The stones used were also very diverse, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and diamonds decorated the eggs.

FIVE MUSEUMS THAT HOUSE UNIQUE JEWELS.

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Swarovski Museum.

The world of the crystal, the seat of the leader mark in cut crystal. Founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski has become today the leading manufacturer of cut crystal.

In this place the crystal is represented in wonderful forms thanks to the games of light, colors and shapes. Domes, passages and perspectives that make this site a “real jewel” like all their products.

Its headquarters are about 18 km from the city of Innsbruck and can be reached by bus. There is the division of Swarovski Kristall, which designs and manufactures sculptures, luxury jewelry, haute couture, candlesticks and the famous “rhinestones”. The rhinestones are a type of stone similar to the diamond that manages to reproduce that “brilliant effect” of the real diamonds reflected in the sun.

Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as V&A) in London is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The V&A is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in an area known as “Albertopolis” due to its association with Prince Albert, the Albert Memorial and the main cultural institutions with which it was associated. These include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College London. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As with other British national museums, entrance is free.

The V&A covers 12.5 acres (5.1 ha) and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from antiquity to the present, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. However, the art of antiquity in most areas is not collected. The collections of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewelry, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints and engravings, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most complete in the world.

The museum has the largest collection of post-classical sculpture in the world, and the stocks of Italian Renaissance items are the largest outside Italy. The departments of Asia include art from South Asia, China, Japan, Korea and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with special emphasis on ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic collection is among the largest in the Western world. Overall, it is one of the largest museums in the world.

Since 2001, the museum has embarked on a major £150 million renovation programme. On December 9, 2015, new European galleries from the 17th and 18th centuries were opened. These restored the original interiors of Aston Webb and house the European collections of 1600-1815.  The V&A Museum of Childhood in East London is a branch of the museum, and a new branch in London is being planned. The first V&A museum outside London, V&A Dundee, opened on September 15, 2018.

Jewel House.

The Jewel House is a vault that houses the British Crown Jewels in Waterloo Block (formerly a barracks) in the Tower of London. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 and renovated in 2012. Regalia has been kept in various parts of the Tower since the 14th century after a series of successful robberies and attempts at Westminster Abbey.

The Crown Jewels are protected by bombproof glass and visitors to the Tower are closely monitored by over 100 hidden CCTV cameras. Security for the Tower of London as a whole is provided by the 22-strong Tower Guard who have been in Waterloo Block since 1845. 14] They are separate from the British Army and “operate under orders agreed with the Ministry of Defence to ensure the safety of the Crown Jewels”.

The 38 Yeomen Warders, former military employees of Historic Royal Palaces, also provide security, although their role during the day is more concerned with managing the large number of visitors. Unlike the soldiers of the Tower Guard, who rotate, the Yeomen Warders are permanent and live in the tower itself. The current body dates from 1485, and they wear uniforms similar to the bodyguards of the Sovereign, the Yeomen of the Guard, of whom they have been extraordinary members since 1550.

The jewels are removed under the authority of the Lord Chamberlain, head of the Royal House, exercised by his deputy the Controller of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office. Sign a receipt when you receive the items from the Lieutenant Governor. Only the crown jeweler can handle the pins. It is customary for armed police officers to be present at all times. In 2011, Col. Richard Harrold was appointed the Keeper of the House of Jewels. The Chief Exhibitor of Jewel House is Keith Hanson, and the Deputy Chief Exhibitor is Lyn Jones.

Amsterdam Diamond Museum.

The Amsterdam Diamond Museum was founded in 2007 by Mr. Ben Meier of the Dutch company Coster Diamonds, in order to educate people about the fascinating and mythical world of diamonds. It is the only one in Europe dedicated to this precious stone since the closing of the Antwerp Diamond Exchange in Belgium.

Mr. Meier was a diamond polisher, known to have worked invaluable gems such as those used for the watch of Her Majesty Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.

The diamond processing and trade in Amsterdam has developed over the centuries thanks to the migration of many Jews who, expelled from other countries, came to Dutch territory free to continue their business.

The visit to the museum offers an informative tour that begins 3 billion years ago, 200 kilometers below the surface of the earth and from the study of the carbon atom, to the intervention of specialists who transform a rough stone into a brilliant jewel.

At the beginning of the visit to the diamond museum there is an introductory video, in Dutch or English, and by following it the visitor will learn to distinguish between true and false diamonds.

Gold museum.

The Gold Museum is a museum located in Bogota, Colombia. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in the country. The museum receives about 500,000 tourists a year.

The museum displays a selection of pre-Columbian gold and other metal alloys, such as Tumbaga, and contains the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world in its exhibition rooms on the second and third floors. Together with ceramics, stone, shells, wood and textile objects, these elements, made of a – to the indigenous cultures – sacred metal, give testimony of the life and thought of the different societies that lived in present day Colombia before the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

The museum has a collection of 55,000 pieces, 6,000 of which are on display in its expanded building. There are bilingual descriptions of almost all the exhibits. The second floor houses the museum’s main entrance, a store and a restaurant.

Exhibits begin on the second floor. The main hall is called “Pueblo y Oro en la Colombia prehispanica”. In glass showcases, gold and silver work from the different cultures that inhabited Colombia before the arrival of the Spanish colonists is exhibited. The permanent exhibition is divided into different rooms for each culture: Calima, Quimbaya, Muisca, Zenú, Tierradentro, San Agustín, Tolima, Tairona and Urabá, and a special room called “Después de Colón” (After Columbus).

The exhibition continues on the third floor, with “The Flying Chamanic” and “The Offer”. The first shows the process of a shamanic ceremony with its different gold pieces, the second is divided into three parts: the “Room of Offerings”, the “Ship of Offerings” and the “Lake”.

At the end of the exhibition, there is a “Deepening Room” with artistic videos about the most important gold pieces in the museum.

WHAT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST JEWELRY COLLECTIONS IN THE WORLD?

There are many museums that present jewelry of high historical value, but the private collection of Japanese expert Kazumi Arikawa, with more than 800 pieces from all over the world and eras, is considered the most important in the world.

As described by Forbes, Arikawa started his collection 30 years ago, but it is not a static heritage. The businessman is dedicated to buying and selling jewelry, so the pieces rotate continuously.

Despite the fact that he has lived all his life in Japan, the jewels he has been treasuring are from both the Middle East and the West, from the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures until the 1930s, including small Byzantine masterpieces, Renaissance Mannerism, and the Baroque, Rococo, Victorian eclecticism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, among others.

Besides necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets, Arikawa has a weakness for cameos and tiaras; adorned with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones polished by generations of goldsmiths.

The spirit of the jewels.

His showroom is barely 50 square meters, decorated with a religious spirit, more specifically, “like a Romanesque church during the Middle Ages,” said the businessman.

The reason? The relationship between spirituality and jewelry, which is transversal in several religions, explains the collector, who studied to become a Buddhist monk for two years.

The entrance door has some drawings of golden filigrees similar to those of a confessional, with arches reminiscent of a monastery. The cabinets, tables and chairs are made of different types of wood, while in the background there are soft Gregorian chants.

The largest specialized library.

In one room there is a library specialized in jewelry, which as described by Arikawa, contains only 3% of its book collection.

“It is the largest and most important collection of works on jewelry in the world,” he tells Forbes without false modesty. He’s probably right.

Masterpieces of goldsmithing.

Among the wonders on display in the Tokyo hall are a tiara with golden laurels from the Hellenic era, a gold necklace from 11th century Rome, a stunning necklace of precious stones crowned by an emerald with the effigy of Catherine II the Great of Russia and a watch full of diamonds by the Duke of Wellington.

There are also lavish art-deco pins, a large ruby ring with other stones by Marie-Joseph of Belgium, a diamond and platinum tiara by Cartier from 1930, and several pieces made by master jeweler René Lalique, one of the most talented in the art-nouveau style.

WHERE TO BUY THE BEST JEWELRY?

Throughout this list you will find many online stores where you can buy jewelry, accessories and accessories to surprise your partner, but you will also find stores where you can find many beads in various materials (acrylic, wood, metal, zamak …) with which to make your own jewelry and ornaments.

Bisuteria.com

The website of Bisutería.com is one of the best known among the fans of jewelry and body ornaments.

Its interface, really clean, organizes all the jewelry products in categories, in addition to the last news of the market and the most sold products of the store. Of course, you can also locate the type of ornament you want to buy through its top drop-down menu, which organizes products by type.

The shipping costs will depend on the transport agency chosen and the city where the product is to be sent, since at the moment they only ship to Spain.

Any purchase of a product in the online jewelry store has a trial period of 7 days, counting from the receipt of the product at home. In case of finding any defect in the purchased item, bisuteria.com will be responsible for the costs of collection and reshipment of the replaced product.

In addition, any purchase of a product on the website has an official guarantee of 12 months.

Pandora

Founded in 1982 and with headquarters in Copenhagen, PANDORA (not to be confused with the planet of Avatar) designs, produces and distributes, modern pieces of jewelry made by hand, using all types of materials.

The brand’s products are sold in more than 80 countries across six continents and it has more than 9,800 points of sale. However, if in spite of this you do not have a store near you, you can always go to the company’s website to find out about any element of its extensive jewelry catalog.

The negative part is that at the moment they don’t sell online, but they allow you to combine their many jewels in order to find them in your nearest store and save a beautiful time.

Pandora guarantees all products against defects in materials and workmanship under normal consumer use for a period of 1 year, extending to 3 for watches. The brand will repair the product with new or reconditioned parts, under its own responsibility, or replace the product with a new one that is equal to the replaced product.

Thboxes.com

Thboxes.com is a global online retailer based in China that has been offering products directly to consumers around the world since 2008. Whoever you are and wherever you are, Thboxes offers the same price to everyone, whether you are a retailer or a wholesaler.

The website has an eBay extension, where it maintains a rate of over 100,000 votes, most of them rating the online jewelry store as “excellent”.

Among its features are customer service 16/7 Monday through Friday, the offer of the lowest wholesale price, and shipping to almost any country in the world.

If all these advantages seem few, the Chinese website offers free shipping, although it will take much longer than paid shipping.

Bogeria.es

Sometimes, finding your ideal jewel or piece of jewelry can become a difficult job. So… Why not try making your own personalized jewelry and ornaments?

In Bogeria, you can find a multitude of beads in various materials (acrylic, wood, metal, zamak …), wires, tools, polymer clay, trimmings, books and all kinds of cords to enhance your own jewelry and accessories.

The page is constantly updated to get new pieces with which to give free rein to your creativity.

In addition to offering a gift with every order, you can also enjoy free shipping if you spend more than 60 euros in the online jewelry store. You can also take advantage of their sales period as, at present, you can find many products at 50% for renewal of stock.

Cartier.

Cartier is a French watch and jewelry factory, founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, part of the Swiss luxury goods group Richemont. Named by one of the Princes of Wales as “the jewelers of kings, the kings of jewelers”, the brand has known how to adapt to new times and has its own online store of jewelry and watches.

All watches purchased from Cartier jewelry stores or authorized Cartier dealers come with the Cartier International Guarantee. During the warranty period, any piece with a manufacturing defect found by our technical services will be repaired or replaced free of charge, for a period of 24 months after purchase. After this period, the labor required for any repair or replacement will be invoiced.

With regard to jewelry, the company offers consumers different after-sales services such as polishing, shining, carving and restoration.

All purchases made through the online jewelry store have free shipping costs.

Lulibu.com

At Lulibu you will find a great collection of accessories and jewelry in which to choose from rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, handbags and even cell phone cases.

The costs for orders under 60? are the same for the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands: 2.90 ? and delivery is made to the Post Office in 3-4 working days from the order placement. However, if for urgent reasons you need to make use of express delivery, the delivery is made in 1-2 working days from placing the order. This type of delivery is 5.95 euros for the Peninsula and 7.95 euros for the Balearic Islands.

If you place an order for more than 60 euros, delivery is free within the Peninsula.

Unfortunately, Lulibu.com only accepts purchases within the Spanish territory, Peninsula, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla. Regarding shipping to the Canary Islands, the brand is working to adapt its system to the special VAT regime, and to negotiate with the logistics operator reasonable shipping costs.

Aristocrazy.

In addition to being able to access products comfortably from anywhere, on the Aristocrazy website you can find special offers and all the information about new Aristocrazy products.

If there is a reason why we have decided to put this online jewelry website in the first place, it is because our “freakier” side has succumbed to its collection based on the Game of Thrones universe. The houses Baratheon, Targaryen, Stark and Lannister inspired the first limited edition of Aristocrazy, consisting of four sterling silver rings available in oxy finish or coated with 18 kt yellow gold.

Each piece reflects the spirit of each of the four major houses in the Set of Thrones saga with their emblems: a deer with large antlers, the dire wolf, the three-headed dragon and the fierce lion.

In addition, Aristocrazy products are covered by a two-year legal guarantee against any lack of conformity under the provisions of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users. The consumer is entitled to have the repair or replacement free of charge, on the same terms as those regulated for returns of defective products.

Once the order is placed in the online store, the order will be received within a maximum of 8 days.