The materials first used as gemstones tended to be ones that were relatively easy to find and easy to work. It is not surprising then that gems such as amber, turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli and malachite were among the first gemstones used by man, since they were soft enough to be worked by available materials such as sand. Amber is without doubt one of the earliest stones to be used in jewelry. It is lightweight, easily drilled, and features an attractive warm colour. It was also found floating in numerous parts of the world in significantly sized pieces.
Examples of early amber work come from the Orient, Morocco, Afghanistan, and of course, the Baltic countries. Used mostly as necklaces, many of the beads are large, hand-shaped spheres or ovals.
Turquoise also has a long history in jewelry. The Egyptians of the earliest dynasties were vary taken with this sky-blue stone, sometimes grinding it into a powder to provide a unique blue eye shadowing.
Personal items of adornment followed our rise from the prehistoric beginnings in Ancient Africa to the modern times when fashion changes put tremendous pressure to the artisan who create countless jewelry designs across the entire world. Here you can find out more about the fascinating History of Jewelry.