Jewelry History

People have been wearing jewelry (also spelled jewellery or jewelery) for a very long time. Archaeological discoveries have been made of ancient jewelry dating back 80,000 years. Throughout history there have been many different styles of jewelry and some pieces that have for one reason or another become famous.

In this section of Ancient Jewelry History you will find interesting information about many famous ancient pieces of jewelry and information about the history of certain jewelry types. We list facts about what types of jewelry people have made and what some of the most famous pieces of jewelry in history are.

Histories Famous Jewelry Pieces

Ring of Suphis

Perhaps the most valuable ring in the world is the ring of Suphis. This amazing solid gold ring dates back to the reign of the great Egyptian Pharaoh Suphis (also called Cheops) who ruled Egypt around 2580 B.C. and built the Great Pyramid of Giza. This ring was originally believed to have belonged to the pharaoh himself but it is now widely accepted that it actually belonged to one of his priest. None the less it is a spectacular piece of great historic value; it has numerous hieroglyphics covering its front.

Hope Diamond

This diamond (also called Le bleu de France) is the most famous gem in the world and has mostly been worn as a pendant. The history of this jewelry began sometime in the mid seventeenth century when a traveler from France named Jean-Baptiste Tavernier came into procession of the gem in India. The historical records are unclear as to how he came into procession. In 1688 Tavernier sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France who had it re-cut. It was worn as a pendant. In 1792, during the French Revolution, the diamond was stolen and did not reappear until 1839 when it was purchased by a man named Henry Philip Hope who named it the "Hope Diamond". The diamond changed hands numerous times after that and finally ended up at the Smithsonian Institute where it is currently on display.

American President Pierce Ring

In 1852 the people of California presented the 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce, with a huge gold ring. This is one of the most valuable rings in American history and weighs over one pound. It is a very odd piece of jewelry that has a pictorial history of California along with specimens of the various types of ore found in the United States.

Godman Necklace

The history of jewelry making has produced many beautiful necklaces; one of the most beautiful is the Godman Necklace. This necklace was given to Queen Elizabeth II of England as a gift. It is decorated with many emeralds and diamonds and has a symmetrical floral motif.

Viking Gold Ring Discovered in Ulster

A spectacular Gold Ring believed to once have belonged to a Viking was discovered in Ulster Ireland sometime around 1990. It was discovered during a dredging of the Blackwater River. In 832 AD the Vikings sailed up the river several times to carry out raids. Historians believe it is likely the ring fell of the finger of one of the Viking warriors. Jewelry experts have stated the beautiful ring is one of a kind.