Wedding Rings and their Evolution

Wedding rings today may be a thousand dollar symbol of love, but for even longer wedding rings have held an important, significant place in tradition since it’s conception, and even with hundreds of variations, the original sentiment and meaning is not lost: a symbol of love and and a promise of everlasting devotion.

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Wedding rings are believed to have originated in Egypt, where woven rings of hemp and reeds were exchanged between a married couple as a symbol of their love. In ancient Egypt, a circle represents with the opening representing a doorway to the future unknown. This gesture meant it was a promise from the couple to love for an eternity. It was a very natural transition that this should make its way to a ring to be worn on the body. Traditionally, this was also worn on the left ring finger, which was believed to house the “vein of love”, or the vena amoris. The belief of the vena amoris continued into Greek and Roman practices, and the tradition is still kept alive to this very day, but rings are now typically worn on either the left or right ring finger, rather than solely on the left. Romans were also the first to start the practice of engraving wedding rings.

 

It was not until the 20th century that men also wore a wedding band, and this has only gained traction since its conception. Men’s wedding bands are just as fashionable and beautiful as the wedding band that adorns their partner’s finger. This was largely due to a marketing campaign that began in 1920, where the wedding industry made advertisements for a “double-band ceremony”, but largely failed due to lack of secret appeal for women. The trend pick up again during during WWII, where the trend picked up speed, constituting nearly 80% of the wedding featured both partners receiving a ring.

 

Before this change, it was common for both nuptials to receive a “promise ring”, where the men’s would later simply be known as a wedding rings, and the wife would receive a jeweled one on her day of ceremony. In Western traditions, it was uncommon for precious metals or gems to be used, and such a symbolic gesture was a sign that the man could trust his new wife with his treasures, and metals symbolizes a stronger bond. Today, both the men and women have precious metals and gems used as a symbol of trust of one another and a symbol of generous love.

 

Today, promise bands are a simple metal, perhaps with an engraving or imprint if they choose to customize it, and then wedding rings are exchanged at the ceremony.
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There has been a very recent trend, especially in the western world of having customized rings and bands, breaking away from the traditional mold of a gold band and a diamond. Today, rose gold, white gold, platinum, and most recently, palladium. Gem choices have also expanded from just diamond: chocolate diamond, white sapphires, moissanite, and even into coloured gems like sapphires, emeralds, opals, just to name a few. Virtually anything goes for wedding rings in the modern day.

 

Some Fun Facts about Wedding Rings:

 

  • The earliest and smallest engagement ring was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.
  • Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States
  • The first recorded account of a diamond engagement ring was in 1477 when King Maximilian I of Germany proposed to Mary of Burgundy and offered her a diamond to seal his vow.

 

 

Start your search for the perfect wedding ring, search our collection at Jewelry Liquidation!

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Naturally Beautiful: Animal Jewlery

0360e87961049dae09a621d211a8e453Animal motifs in jewelry have been apart of our culture since the first cave drawings, and have been consistently documented ever since. Animals have been apart of our myths and legends, our tales to scare our children straights, and a symbol of qualities we pride for humans to have: strength, pride, beauty, kindness, patience, cunning, just to name a few. As we have long stood side by side with our animal companions, we also stand apart from them with our intelligence and our awareness. Nevertheless,  we continue to admire their primal beauty.

 

But how did animal jewelry even come about? Jewelry became apart of our dress when humans could afford to become more elaborate with their clothes. When clothes stopped becoming just a necessity to survive, we could include other accessories to our daily wear to express ourselves.

 

The first documented case of using animals as jewelry was none other than using the animal itself for jewelry: bone, shells, claws, teeth, feathers and fur have all been apart of the earliest forms of fashion. Earliest tools to make these included stone and bone before humans were able to refine metal. These designs became known as animal styles, or zoomorphic.

Animal furs and feathers became a part of decorated headwear, bracelets, earrings, just to name a few, each with their own cultural and symbolic significance. Just think to Indian headdresses, wolf, beaver, and rabbit pelts worn by nomadic German tribes, and whale bone usage by Eskimos.

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A resurgence of animal motif jewelry bubbled up in the Victorian era, with symbolism being very important elements of dress. This was compounded by Darwin’s theories on evolution and botanical discoveries. These stories and theories piqued interest in the natural world once again, as did the interest in animal jewelry.

 

Modern day animal motif jewelry encircles all of these aspects, by either using faux parts, such as fake feathers and teeth or claws, or replicated images. Popular ones include strong animals, like birds of prey, big cats, or wolves. This fascination has spread to mythical creatures as well, due to popular books and TV shows, so animals like dragons, chimeras, unicorns, and sea creatures, like leviathans and krakens. Among these, this fascination has also spread to younger ages, with more friendly designs and interpretations, even using the animals in their young stages, like kittens, puppies, cubs, etc. Just take a look at Hello Kitty and see how immensely popular that has become in such a short amount of time.

 

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Animal motif jewelry has been apart of our fashion history as long as the very idea of fashion has ever existed! It is easily one of the most identifiable symbols and to use, and speaks a universal language to everyone. People can understand a tiger means strength and beauty, people understand a dolphin means graces and fun, and an lion means pride and majesty.

 

What animal meshes most with you? Take a look and find out, and then share what animal resonates most with you with the world.

 

Jewlery Design by Lydia Courteille

Other Products from Jewelry Liquidation

Initial and Personalized Jewelry: Why it’s so popular

By: St8 Creative

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There has long been a fascination to immortalize oneself in some meaningful way. A place in society, a place in someone’s life, or history. Art has long been the way to forever seals a vestige and image in permanence. Monograms have long been staples in this practice, and one of the oldest practices in history.

But what is a monogram?

A monogram is “a motif of two or more letters, typically a person’s initials, usually interwoven or otherwise combined in a decorative design, used as a logo or to identify a personal possession.”

Monograms first appeared on coins in ancient Greece and Rome, usually to commemorate or celebrate a particular ruler. These coins quickly were originally intended to began the transition from outdated bartering systems to standardized monetary trades.

Monograms then evolved with artists in the Middle Ages to put a stamp of sorts on their work, to identify their craftsmanship. Painters also used this practice to identify their paintings, which have helped historians today properly attribute works to the original creator.

Monarchs also began to use monograms for herald symbols, tartans, wax seals, and family seals. They would implement these seals into important documents, police force, and armor, and flags.

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But when did monograms become popular for personal, accessorized use, rather than official and governmental use?

The Victorians first made this movement popular. First monograms were sewn into clothes so they would not be misplaced, and later decorative purposes, such as mirrors, silverware, and lockets. Monograms were also used to denote high rank in society, as a hallmark to when monarchs would use them back in the Middle Ages.

When it later evolved for jewlery used, the first name would be used, then the last name in the middle (and often the bigger piece) followed by the middle initial. This is a fairly standard use today when all three names are used, but often only the first letter of the first name is used in more colloquial jewelry. Oddly enough, two letters were more common, and the three letter use we see today gained its popularity in the 18th century.

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Modern examples today can be seen all over, such as the famous Paris line of high-end purses, Louis Vutton. He got his start during the rise and height of monogram popularity; 1876, the Victorian Era. Today, all Louis Vutton pieces can be seen with the famous “LV” logo, stamped all over their purses and wallets. It is an incredibly identifying image, and one of the oldest we have seen in any fashion industry today.

Any sports fans out there? No other sport has been able to use personalization to influence fashion more effectively than tennis. In 1933, international champion Rene Lacoste’s short-sleeved polo shirt with crocodile, a nod to Lacoste’s nickname “le crocodile”. It was an overnight sensation, and immortalized his name in fashion history. The last British tennis player to have won Wimbledon, Fred Perry used the tournament’s laurel wreath for his own polo shirt. Now his name is more a ’90s hipster clothing icon than tennis champion. The power of monogram initials would be later used by Roger Federer who remarked ,”The Federer monogram creates not a sports brand but a fashion brand.”

Tiffany & Co. pieces have all have their stamp since 1837, another store that got its rise during the Victorian era. Every one one of their pieces has the time stamp and manufacture make to be able to identify and catalogue their works, though some pieces have fallen through the cracks, like UNR’s silver collection. It was not until recently that they were able to identify the designer and make the 1250 piece set . Without the help of the monograms, this set might have fallen into obscurity.

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Today, monograms are a trendy way to personalize and identity style rather than status or belongings. You see them on towels, napkins, and are often used to add a bit of high-end flair to weddings and other parties. They are now commonly used on logos and other documents as well, and you can be sure to find a luxury car company’s initials stitched on the seat.

Monograms and initials have long been a staple to history, and have now become a staple of trendy, uniquely identifying jewelry. It boasts being able to be customizable without breaking the wallet, and the more customized pieces can truly stand out as beautiful works. They can be very diverse, being worn as earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and body art, such as tattoos.

The original meaning and modern meaning, however, remain the same as it ever as: a way to identify the importance of the person.

The Unknown Birthstones: The Zodiac Gems

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Birthstone use has traces back to religious history and texts, most famously the Bible, but birthstone use can also be connected to having ties with the Western Zodiac.

 

The original Zodiac days has twelve signs with approximately 30 days each as the “active sign” for that time frame. They do not perfectly align with the Julian calendar, as there are some overlaps. For the most part, however, fit within the months.

 

The Western Zodiac follows ancient astrological maps with origins that date to approximately 2000 years ago. However, the advances of modern technology today have been found these old maps inaccurate. The traditional dates and days are used over the updated information, however, because the old dates are easier to work with.

The original days are kept because the correct astrological and dates have different timestamps and do not transition well into the typical 30-day split we use traditionally.. If we were to use the correct time frames and positioning today, some signs would have over 30 days, and some less than 10!

 

The main reason why we do not use modern measurements to determine zodiac month assignments is because of axial precession. In the most simplest of terms, the way our earth rotates means what constellations we perceive will change slowly over thousands of years. In 26,000 years, we may find that we would have an entirely different Zodiac due to how the stars lie within the ecliptic horizon!

Another interesting fact is there are technically 13, not 12, original signs for the Zodiac. The 13th, Ophiuchus, is ignored by traditional astrology. This is because Ophiuchus is a constellation, not a sign, which is where the underlying difference sets it apart.

 

The signs of the Zodiac are a twelve-fold division that cross the ecliptic, and spans 30° of celestial longitude (hence, around 30 days each for each sign), which is the approximate distance the Sun travels in a month. The Zodiac is aligned with these measurements, and Ophiuchus falls just outside of the requirements.

Zodiac birthstones, unlike other pairings, are meant to balance out and enhance aspects of each Sign for the shortcomings and strengths, bringing enrichment and and a happier life to those who follow the Zodiac beliefs. Most of the jewelry today that follows this practice is custom-made, a rising trend in jewelry and fashion.

 

Today, people mostly follow the American National Association of Jewelers for stones to use, miss out on knowing more history and connection with other birthstones and Zodiac signs. You may find some stones you never knew were associated with your birth!

 

 

Aries: Bloodstone

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These stones support the lively nature of those born under this sign, as well as stabilize their energy. Bloodstones are thought to increase physical strength and enhance courage.

Taurus: Sapphire

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The zodiac stone for Taurus enhance their strength as well as instill emotional wellness into their earthy nature. Sapphires are thought to bring inner peace and spiritual enlightenment.

Gemini: Agate

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This birthstone enhances the highly intellectual nature of those born under Gemini, as well as strengthen emotional stability. Agate is thought to give a person a sense of calm and focus, while enhancing eloquence and objective thought.

Cancer: Emerald

emeraldEmeralds keep the emotional serenity and heightened perception to born under this Cancer, as well as strengthen the impressionable and vulnerable shells of the Crab. Emerald stimulates clairvoyance and brings emotional well-being.

Leo: Onyx

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The zodiac stone of Leo is said to keep the strength of the mighty Lion under better control, as well as steel his powerful spirit. Onyx is a grounding stone to further prolong strength.

Virgo: Carnelian

TH07_thumb_stone_carnelianThe birthstone for Virgo enhances their earthy nature with emotional and spiritual strength. The gemstone fuels desire and passion, giving fire and fervor to the normally analytical and reserved.

Libra: Peridot

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Peridots bring a Libra strength, less indecision, and stronger resolve. Peridot gives a person the courage to face the constraints and challenges that their choices lead to and help foresee the outcome.

Scorpio: Aquamarine

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Aquamarines absorb negative energy and help bring joy. This stone relieves anxiety, and bring happiness to solemn and serious-minded people.

Sagittarius: Topaz

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The stone of Sagittarius bestows depth of thought to the inquisitive natures of the Centaur, and allows the presence of mind to accept the truth. Topaz bestows courage, luck, growth, and prosperity.

Capricorn: Ruby

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Rubies for Capricorn support and ground the ambitious nature. The stone gives a person courage, mental power and peace of mind as they pursue ambition, chases away impure thoughts to help keep integrity.

Aquarius: Garnet

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The gemstone of Aquarius boasts the ability to support a person’s gift of friendship, and keep them emotionally intact. Garnet is a symbol of friendship, and was exchanged between companions to demonstrate affection, and increase the likelihood that the friends will meet again in the future.

Pieces: Amethyst

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The zodiac birthstones for Pisces support the Fish’s natural interest for the spiritual and metaphysical. Amethyst enhances spirituality, as well as nurture gentle and affable qualities, bring peace, love, and happiness.

 

References:

 

Gleadow, Rupert. The Origin of the Zodiac. Dover Publications.

Knuth, Bruce G. Gems in Myth, Legend and Lore (Revised edition). Parachute: Jewelers Press

Kunz, George F. The curious lore of precious stones.

History of Birthstones

Group of Birthstones

 

Precious gems and minerals are said to hold earthly, spiritual powers have long been a staple in numerous mythologies and beliefs. It is a fascination that has continued to this day. The idea that a person can be so deeply connected to a stone is entrancing to us, and a way to reconnect with our more spiritual pasts. Birthstones continue to be a traditional gift to celebrate a loved one’s life and  a rich history behind the tradition.

First century Jewish historian Josephus believed the origin of birthstones could be found as early as within the Bible. In Exodus, Aaron, a high priest during the time of Moses, wore a

breastplate with twelves jewels, each engraved with the names of the twelves tribes of Israel, and each gem was rumored to be taken from the throne of God. The original stones believed to be used in the breastplate are sardius, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper.

While historians dispute what stones were actually used in the breastplate, it is universally agreed that there were twelve gemstones, and coordinated with the twelve western zodiac and the Julian calendar, which is the calendar we follow today. The general idea was each person has twelve different stones for each month. This is more closely aligned with Vedic astrological traditions of India, rather than the common Western beliefs of today of having one stone to use for your birth month.

It was not until modern times that people began to wear a corresponding gemstone for their particular birth month. This change can be traced back to 18th century Poland, around the time when Jewish gem traders moved to the region. This meant instead of having twelve expensive, precious stones to change every month, a person had one stone they would wear for all months. In doing so, people believed they would become spiritually closer with what their birthstone represented.

Birthstones also play an integral part of determining aspects of the Western Zodiac, each with their matching and opposing gem that enhance strengths and the weaken the shortcomings of each sign, helping bring a person to a positive equilibrium.

Today, there are at least two birthstones per month, with some months having three. The list was first started by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. This list has had substitutions made over the years, based on relative availability. The tradition and idea, however, remain the same throughout the years.

References:

Knuth, Bruce. Gems in Myth, Legion, and Lore.

Kunz, George Frederick. The Curious Lore of Precious Stones.

Graduation Rings For All Tastes

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Education is one of the things that makes our society work, and completing a major educational goal is something to be proud of. You’ve made yourself a better person, and you’re on your way to making the world a better place for everyone who lives in it. After the years of hard work that you’ve put in, you deserve to be able to show off your accomplishments to the world. But you can’t very well carry your diploma or degree with you, and wearing your cap and gown all the time would get uncomfortable pretty quickly. That’s why many people opt to get a graduation ring as a personal reminder of what they’ve accomplished.

Many Choices

Graduation rings can be as diverse as the people who wear them and the programs of study that they represent. Many of them follow a traditional format with a stone in the middle surrounded by text indicating the year of graduation. Many people like the significance and recognisability of that style. However, if that isn’t the type of jewelry that suits your tastes, there are many ways to customize a ring to make it yours and yours alone. The shape of the stone can be altered, or replaced with an initial or an engraving representing your studies. The band can be made into a more delicate shape. If you dislike wearing rings, you can even opt for a pendant instead.

Birthstones For Individuality

Your graduation year and your school are going to be shared with many people. Some of those people will go on to be lifelong friends, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a touch of something to your ring that represents just you. Much fewer people will share your birthstone, so that is the stone that many people choose to function as the centrepiece of their graduation ring. Your birthstone serves as a reminder that no matter how many people were with you on the journey, you did this with your own effort, smarts and perseverance. If you have a very expensive birthstone, such as an emerald or a diamond, most jewellers will have an option to replace it with an alternative stone or a high-quality artificial stone.

Choosing A Ring

So how do you select a piece of jewelry that will stay with you for the rest of your life to demonstrate your accomplishments? Shopping for a graduation ring can seem overwhelming at first but once you start narrowing down your choices it can be a lot of fun. Remember that you’ll be wearing it every day, so you want a ring that will feel natural on your hand. Don’t be afraid to shop around. If you find something you like that comes with a large price tag, you may be able to find a similar or even identical design from another provider at a lower cost.

Enjoy Your Success

Your graduation ring will serve as a permanent reminder of your accomplishments and success. When you go shopping for a ring, do it with a smile on your face. You are getting something beautiful and you absolutely deserve it!

About the Author: Are you looking for beautifully crafted graduation rings without the high costs? From men’s rings to customizable bands, you can get the jewelry you’ve been seeking for a fraction of the price when you shop online. At Jewelry Liquidation, we offer low prices on high-quality jewelry with synthetic stone options. Check us out today and start shopping for your graduation rings online.

Rising Demand of Online Jewelry Shopping

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With so many different cultures in the world, and so many different people with varying personal tastes within those cultures, it can be hard to find a common thread when it comes to fashion. At first glance, it may appear that there isn’t one, beyond “we all wear clothes, most of the time”, however, if you look closely, clothing isn’t the only thing we all have in common. Most people love to decorate themselves, and jewelry is an excellent way to do it. Most cultures agree, and the differences in jewelry helps to illustrate what is beautiful in all of us. Whether you’re into gold chains or leather braids, precious stones or painted beads, the worldwide appeal of jewelry has made the internet an excellent place to shop for it. Keep Reading

What Makes Masonic Jewelry a Hit Amongst Men?

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Although you may think that the only people who may wear masonic jewelry are Freemasons themselves, the truth is, anyone can purchase it. Masonic jewelry is not created by Lodges; they do not have a jeweler on staff turning out exclusive pieces. Any Mason that adorns himself in Masonic jewelry has had to purchase it from an independent jeweler, although Lodges do sometimes design and order their own special lapel pins for members. Keep Reading

Religious Jewelry – Why they’re so popular

religious_jewelryJewelry is a great way to express one’s style and personality. With all of the different styles, colours and designs, there is something for everyone. Jewelry comes in the form of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and other various types (nose rings, lip rings, etc.). While it’s common to see big, colourful necklaces and faux-stone rings, another popular style of jewelry is religious-themed. Keep Reading