First Came The Stones, Then Came The Jewelry

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Crystal Corners Jewelry lovingly handcrafted by Holly Butryn

Holly Butryn is a jewelry designer who uses stones and crystals as healing tools to align, balance and heal. She shares the historical and metaphysical uses of stones in jewelry.

For as long as we have been on this Earth, we as humans have found beauty in stonesHolly's logo and crystals.  We cannot say exactly when the idea to wear them came into being, but it is safe to say, it dates back to the beginnings of humankind.

Jewelry in the form of talismans, pendants, amulets and beads made from stones and crystals and other organic materials have been found in almost all civilizations on this earth.  The oldest known piece of jewelry that has been found is a pair of beads made from sea snail shells from almost of 100,000 years ago.  Beads were probably the first decorations we owned and prized.  Beads are one of the most common artifacts discovered in ancient graves. It is believed that in tribal cultures certain beads were worn from birth until death then buried to follow them into the afterlife. Beads continue to be used as talismans to protect the wearer against evil, and as amulets to bring wisdom and fortune.

Talismans, pendants and amulets date back as far as 30,000 years. The oldest amulets were made from Baltic amber.  Amber beads were also discovered in Britain from 10,000 years ago.  was also popular and Jet beads, bracelets and necklaces have been discovered in Paleolithic grave sites in Switzerland and Belgium.

The first historical references to the use of crystals come from the Sumerians. The ancient Egyptians, Tibetan shamans, and Native American Indians used Turquoise for protection and to bring good among its many benefits. Clear quartz, also known as the “Master Healer” is believed to have been worn by the inhabitants of Atlantis in their jewelry. Native American Indians, tribes of Africa, Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Aborigines, Romans, Scots, Celts, Tibetan Buddhists and most civilizations have used clear quartz as pendants, amulets and all forms of jewelry. Jade was highly valued in ancient China. Jade beads found in Mexico dating from 1000 years ago were probably used in jewelry. More recently the Maoris of New Zealand wore jade pendants representing the ancestor spirits, which were passed down generations through the male line. These dated back about 250 years ago.

The Ancient Greeks attributed a number of properties to crystals. Amulets made of Amethyst have been found in civilizations.  Soldiers wore the amethyst amulet to prevent both drunkenness and hangovers.  The Ancient Greeks associated Hematite from iron with Aries, the god of war, so   soldiers would wear amulets to make themselves invulnerable. Greek sailors also wore a variety of amulets to keep them safe at sea.

Through history Beads have been made from all kinds of different materials, but stone tends to be the most common. However, beads are also made from many other materials including bone, horn, shell, ivory, coral, pearl, metal, gemstones and glass.

Through the years there have also been symbols used in all forms of jewelry. The eye also called the 3rd eye, or eye of the heart is a symbol of spiritual perception and protection against evil. The circle has been used to represent perfection, unity, and eternity.  The Spiral is a symbol of being, knowing or becoming one with self and the universe.  The infinity symbol is everlasting foreverness –no beginning and no ending. Of course, the heart, the symbol of love and family.

Today wearing jewelry is an everyday experience, from custom jewelry to precious stones valued at millions of dollars.  Jewelry is as individual as we are but we can thank our ancestors for the practice of wearing the beauty the earth has given us.

horse necklace Holly

“Horse and Bead Necklace” Made from rusty iron, glass, coral and turquoise. For Sale on Etsy

To see Holly’s jewelry, visit Crystal Corners Jewelry on Facebook.

Featured necklace on sale on Etsy.

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Categories: Body Image, Healing Arts

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