The history of Italian jewelry begins three thousand years ago with the Etruscan civilization. It is thought that these people created matchless jewelry.
For the Etruscans jewelry was very common in their daily lives. Men and women wore lots of rings, all of these being carved with amazing realism. Head ornaments, diadems and wreaths of flowers elaborately dressed the heads of many women. All of these ornaments were crafted of fine gold, many accompanied by long gold hairpins topped with balls or acorns. Amber was the most favored stone, set in silver, gold or moonlight tinted gold called “electrum”.
During the formation of roman ornamental customs, rings took on the onus of being a sign of prestige, particularly under Tiberius. Men’s rings fell under these regulations adjusting the kind of metal allowable under certain conditions. For example, the gold rings given to senators could not be worn in private life but were to be used only when the senator was sent on an embassy as a badge of office. The only type of ring not under the censor’s ban was the iron signet ring.
Rings were also popular among the Roman ladies, but their jewelry was more extravagant, normally they wore big solid gold hairpins or big gold bracelets on every section of the arm. All these jewelry was decored with gold coins.
Nowadays the Italian jewelry industry is composed of more than 10,000 companies throughout the country employing and training around 40,000 people. In one year, Italy processes more than 500 tons of fine gold and 1,500 tons of silver to feed their jewelry production.
The Rich History Of Italian Jewelry Design