The history of the necklace
Like earrings, necklaces may have been one of the earliest forms of jewellery adornment. Early cultures adopted local organic material such as shells, teeth and bone as the basis for early necklaces. A Neolithic burial discovered in the Alps (circa 4200 – 2400 BC) was found with Mediterranean Red Coral beads and ancient Celtic neckpieces, remnants of the Bronze Age (circa 1800 – 1500 BC), have been found in Ireland and Scotland.
Ancient Babylon shows record of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and carnelian used in necklaces, and in Ancient Crete, the wealthy wore beads of agate, pearl, amethyst and rock crystal. More recently, in the 18th century, a necklace was the central piece of matching jewellery sets for women. These sets included a broach, earrings, bracelets and a pendant or tiara.
Pearl necklaces were popular in British and American culture in the mid-20th century and nowadays, necklace designs follow both fashion and culture trends, and include designs for both men and women. Ethnic jewellery has grown in popularity and African-inspired designs often capture the attention of the global fashion and jewellery market.