Gold – the word itself is enough to draw someone else’s attention. It is mellifluous on the ear and the tongue. And because people have been so enchanted with this precious metal, we have used it for some purposes, from the gastronomic (gold leafs on pastries and cakes); to the useful (gold conductors and dental fillings); and finally to decorative (all manner of gold jewelry.) Gold itself is very versatile. It is inherently malleable, conductive and is known to resist corrosives caused by oxidation.
As a decorative ornament, gold has become the favorite jewelry of the ancients. Silver at that time was only slowly being utilized (more for monetary functions than decorative.) Platinum and other now-presently-named precious metals are unheard of during that time. So it was gold – and only gold that the ancients favored.
Naturally, reports as to which ancient groups of people created the most elaborate gold jewelry are extremely biased. But you will see a lot of intricate gold jewelry making in the histories of the ancient Mayas, the ancient Egyptians, and ancient Romans, to name a few.
Not only was gold abundant at the time, but it was extremely malleable as well. This makes gold jewelry easier to mold to any form or design. Incredibly, gold jewelry during the ancient times was used for practical purposes like cloth pins and hair clasps. Sooner or later though, gold jewelry became a mark of opulence and was later allowed only to individuals of higher rankings in society. During this time, more elaborate gold ornamentations were created – the more spectacular, the better. And we can see these fabulous pieces in the various relics from our past: from golden bracelets studded with precious gems to golden funerary masks.
These days, gold jewelry is still very much in demand, and the designs are still very much elaborate. With the advent of newer technology, our modern day jewelry makers can develop more intricate pieces of art. Of course, unlike the ancients, our modern sensibilities dictate that gold jewelry need not take up 50% of a person’s body; and that anyone, or at least, almost anyone can wear gold jewelry. And not just for special functions too. Gold jewelry can be worn by anyone, at any time, in any place.
Gold also matches well with gemstones and precious minerals. It is not uncommon to see cubic zirconia jewelry on gold. Cubic zirconia or CZ jewelry set in gold can very well pass off as authentic diamond jewelry. CZ rings, particularly those for wedding bands and engagement rings are usually set in gold.