Jewelry entered the human experience right around the same time fire
did. It will be there at the end of our existence.
The need of human beings to possess jewelry is older than history
itself. In fact, much of the known history and understanding of early
man has been uncovered and explained by examining their crafting and
use of jewelry. Few things in human history are as universal and
consistent as the need for jewelry ownership; only artistic
expression and the need for food, water and shelter are as ancient
and widespread. To not understand the history and basic need of early
mankind to express themselves through the use of jewelry is to not
understand its importance in modern society and more importantly to
us in the trade, our function in filling this basic human need and
our own very human need to secure our personal place in history.
People need to show their love for others, and use jewelry as a
means of displaying their commitment and willingness to sacrifice.
The series of ads used by DeBeers some time ago asking men to give up
"three months salary" to show their commitment to the one they have
chosen to spend the rest of their lives with clearly reveals DeBeers’
understanding of and marketing to this most basic need of human
beings to demonstrate love and commitment through personal sacrifice.
People need to show their success. The number of claws on an ancient
bear claw necklace clearly displayed the hunting prowess of the
wearer for all to see. Bear claws have been replaced by Rolexes,
diamonds and other forms of jewelry, but the basic human need to
exhibit one’s success through jewelry hasn’t changed, and probably
People also have a deep-seated emotional need and desire to possess
personal and physical connections with the Earth. What better
connection can there be than to adorn oneself with rare and
beautiful pieces of the Earth skillfully fashioned by the hands of
talented craftspeople using the elements - fire, earth, water and
wind? This is the reason synthetics will never replace natural
People need to know their jewelry is of the Earth and
wrought by the hands of talented fellow human beings. They will
sacrifice a lot to ensure that it is.
There is also a basic human need to own things that are more
permanent than our mortal bodies. Few possessions are more treasured
upon the passing of a person’s life than their jewelry in the eyes,
hearts and minds of those left behind.
If we don’t understand the reasons why people need to own jewelry we
are missing out on one of the most intriguing facets of our chosen
path. We are also missing one of the most important tools available
when trying to sell it. If we don’t comprehend and can’t identify the
basic and often subconscious universally human reasons people need to
own jewelry, how can we, the supposed “experts”, help them to fill