An important expression of social status, wealth, and personality throughout history, jewelry has long played a part in various cultures and societies. Worn nearly 100,000 years ago, items such as necklaces retained special value and were utilized as charms and symbols of good fortune. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Greeks and Romans placed high esteem on jewelry ornamentation. Earrings, rings, and necklaces all provided cultural symbolism and status for those who wore such pieces.

With improved jewelry-making techniques and the use of new and interesting materials, jewelry became more delicate, with intricate features a sign of superior craftsmanship. Interestingly, the Greeks and Romans did not associate gemstones with special or mystical powers as other cultures had believed in the past. Instead, stones were utilized as a main construction material to create cameos, which contained carved symbols or portraits of various gods. Initially, only portraits of Alexander the Great were allowed on cameos, a practice that was later discontinued in the latter part of the Greek period. These pieces continued to retain popularity throughout the ages.

About the Author:
A long-time jewelry designer and artist, Shelly Culea creates one-of-a-kind pieces that range from engagement rings and pendants to tea strainers, custom silverware, and candleholders. In the business for over 35 years, Shelly Culea continues to take pride in her work and incorporates a wide variety of precious metals, clay, and stone, drawing inspiration from early Greek and Roman culture. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, bird watching, and gardening.