The history of costume jewellery is a long and colourful one. It can be traced back to ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, although it wasn't always called 'costume jewellery' then. Costume jewellery has been around for thousands of years. Jewellery such as earrings in Sri Lanka, remain a favourite accessory for both men and women.
Costume jewellery has been around for centuries, from the Egyptians to the Romans
Costume jewellery can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, as well as the Romans. Ancient Egyptians used jewellery to depict the wealth and status of a person. They also believed jewellery could ward off evil spirits, which was especially important for people travelling, like merchants who traded goods between regions.
Greeks used jewellery as part of their daily lives to show social standing and hierarchy within society. Their costumes included extravagant accessories such as earrings, as well as necklaces and bracelets. In fact, the Greeks believed that jewellery had magical powers. Jewellery was also a symbol of fertility for them, so if you wanted to get pregnant, wearing jewellery would help with this process. The goal? To attract love into your life!
As well as using costume jewellery in their daily lives, ancient Romans used it within theatrical plays too (such as during Roman gladiator fights). This is where we see some similarities between modern day costumes and the past; today's Halloween costumes are inspired by characters from movies or TV shows which were popular years ago.
Although they weren't used much in Europe at all until about 500-600AD (when Christianity started spreading across countries), Arabs definitely used costume jewellery in order to gain power and to gain a sense of belonging. For instance, the women who were supposed to be having affairs with their King would wear jewellery which belonged specifically to him.
One way people have always used costume jewellery is as part of wedding ceremonies throughout history. The earliest form was during Roman weddings when brides wore headpieces decorated with pearls or flowers along with bracelets on their wrists made from metal chains (these are thought to have originally been designed so that men could easily grab onto them if they wanted). During this time period though, these pieces weren't necessarily considered 'jewellery' but instead just materials placed upon the bride before she walked down the aisle towards her future husband.
The term 'costume' is used because it is an accessory that is worn as a part of daily life rather than something special
So, why are these pieces of jewellery termed "costume"? Well in this case, it is because the term was initially used to describe all accessories that were worn during everyday life rather than something special. It wasn't until later on when these pieces of jewellery would be considered to be 'jewellery'.
In ancient times, costume jewellery was made out of materials such as shells and bone
In reality we could trace back costume jewellery to the times of the cavemen, who wore necklaces and other ornaments on their bodies made from shells and bone, and we can see that the ancient Egyptians also used jewellery, with some pieces being made out of gold and silver as well as stones such as amethyst and turquoise. In fact, it is believed that some jewellery was even buried alongside their owners to be worn in the afterlife.
It wasn't until after World War II however when costume jewellery really took off due to its low-cost prices and more importantly, because they could make use of all those materials which would have been previously thrown away, for example broken glass bottles were ground down and turned into beads. This has continued right up until today where we now tend to recycle things like plastic bottle tops or lolly sticks etc; there is no limit on what you can use to make beautiful pieces of jewellery from.
This is a particularly exciting time for the world of jewellery design as we have so many wonderful new materials being used, everything from wood to coloured stone, silver and gold. It has become an integral part of fashion whether it be high street or haute couture designers using costume jewellery to finish off their outfits. In fact, you only need look at all those red-carpet events where celebrities are always adorned with glittering pieces from ears, necklines and wrists etc, these days they aren't just called jewels but rather 'jewellery' because there isn't any one particular material that defines them anymore.
Costume jewellery is more popular today than ever before, with people using it to add a touch of individuality and style, and also because you can easily buy jewellery online in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, at very low prices.
The price of costume jewellery will depend on what you are looking for. It can either be expensive, or cheap, depending on the material it is made from and what brand name has been put to it. These days you can even find small-time young entrepreneurs making beautiful costume jewellery pieces as a means of earning a steady income for themselves.