Our Obsession with Jewelry

/ Post by Matthew Campbell Laurenza

Since the dawn of the most rudimentary tool making, the production and wearing of jewelry has become a fundamental part of human culture, self-expression, self-beautification and varying degrees of proclamation of status, love, friendship and honor, among others.


What jewelry we adorn ourselves with, when we wear it and how much of it wear at once is a constantly changing factor. Whether following fashion or fad, opting for timeless luxuriant indulgence, or pursuing pure individualistic self-expression, jewelry always has a time and place.


From the grandest social occasions, to the most casual settings, jewelry plays a sliding-scale role in accessorizing and adorning humans, all over their bodies (and even, at times, their pets!), regardless of sex or gender identification. Rings in our fingers and toes, piercings in all manner of locations, pins on our clothes, hats, belts and bags, plus bangles, bracelets, chains and charms on our arms, wrists, and ankles, as well as necklaces and chains hanging from our necks and waists.


Our love affair with jewelry is quite possibly one of our most enduring, tried and tested fascinations, which seems never to wither in ardor, despite all other changing factors in our lives. Our tastes may change, our lives may radically alter, our wants and needs may evolve, and our reasons for our choices may shift, but rarely do we abstain from all adornment.

Even professional competitive athletes can be seen running 100m Olympic races, sporting chains, rings, earrings and bracelets. Some are a talisman, a good luck charm, have sentimental value, while others are merely for vanity’s sake, or just because they never leave home without… A nun, who lives a chaste, minimalistic life, carries rosary beads with a cross, as one of her most treasured belongings. A married person usually wears a wedding band, to signal their union. These are just a few of the examples of


How many times have you heard someone express ‘I feel naked without… (insert jewelry item here)’, ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’, or ‘I only wear jewelry on days ending in Y’? Whatever our explanation or expectation, jewelry is quite simply an inextricable part of our human experience. Even if you are one of the rare beings who choose not to wear any, for whatever personal reason, it is still all around you, at every turn. Jewelry, it would seem, is an eternal flame.