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Traditional Jewelry from Around the World

For most of us, jewelry is a reflection of personal style and fashion. It can be an accessory that complements our clothing and makes a statement about our taste. The meaning of jewelry varies throughout the world as do styles and preferences. Let us take a look at some of the customs and traditions in jewelry of various cultures.


To the Indian people, jewelry can represent relationships, spirituality, and transitions from childhood into adulthood. It is an important part of the culture in India and is a truly beautiful form of art.

Bridal jewelry in India signifies that a woman is becoming a part of her husband’s extended family. Brides are adorned from head to toe in precious metals that include, Bandhis, or delicate chains that encircle the woman’s head.

Religious jewelries are also an important part of Indian culture. For many Hindus, gold is considered precious and signifies that its be protected by divine beings.


There are some common motifs found in popular Mexican jewelry including nature and various artistic trends.

Given the wealth lush and rich landscapes of Mexico, it is no wonder that a lot of jewelry features animals and plants. Designers often pull inspiration from the flowers, trees, lizards, jaguars and fish that are common throughout in Latin America’s uppermost region.

Mexico has a rich history in the arts. Designers have a wide range of influences to draw from including Cubism, Pre-Columbian Influence, and Art Deco. Cubism is a style that aims to show all possible viewpoints of a person or object all at once. Pre-Columbian designs are based on artifacts from ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and the Olmecs. Art Deco became popular in the early 20th century and often features geometric and symmetrical designs. You will find these artistic influences captured in much of the jewelry that originates from Mexico.


Interestingly, Vikings used jewelry not only as sign of wealth, but also as a currency. They wore arm and neck rings often made of silver and would cut pieces off to purchase goods or services. Scandinavian jewelry was highly influenced by Viking times until the late 19th century. In the 1900s, Nordic jewelry artists looked to indigenous craft-type arts to inform their designs. Today, clean lines dominate the shape and design of Scandinavian jewelry. You could say that to them, less is more. Many of the most popular designs today aren’t pretentious, or elaborate, but rather clean and simple.

Minimalist jewelry found in Scandinavia is unfussy and can be worn to subtly enhance an outfit or overall look. It is often be worn by people who have a super simple and clean fashion style but also by individuals that want to wear bold and bright patterns. The great thing about minimalist jewelry is that it is does not overcomplicate outfits; it simply adds a touch of detail.

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