|Property of Queen Ahhotep.|
Found at the tomb of Djer,
the 3rd Dynasty pharaoh.
One of the manifestations of such luxurious life is jewellry. Ever since the Egyptians settled along the nile valley (maybe earlier, but we have no evidence), they started paying special attention to jewellry specially, and later, precious stones generally.
The beginning of the Egyptian jewellry
When exactly the Egyptian jewellry was first created is totally beyond out knowledge, however the evidence shows that they started way back around the so-called Badarian era. They used leaves and branches of trees to form out different kinds of jewellry and outfits, probably a bit later started developing by using stones and
animals bones. It wasn't long before Egyptians started using some glass-like materials to cover those jewellry, to help them sparkle and shine under their ever-shining sun.
Materials used in Egyptian jewellry
Besides those worthless leaves and bones, Egyptians came to use gold and some other metal objects around the first dynasty. Later they used some other precious stone and silver, plus some random materials they found here and there. However, the poor seem to have stuck with the basic types of jewellry that was sometimes made out of wood and other cheap materials.
The development of the Egyptian jewellry
Eventhough ancient Egyptians were ever evolving when it came to making jewellry, the dramatic development came with the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, when Egypt had highly-skilled workers and artists who dedicated their entire life just for the the passion of making luxurious and precious jewellry. Things got even further when pharaohs of that period started major conquests around the region and even when they sent skilled miners just to dig in the western desert and in Nubia.
With the beginning of the New Kingdom, the evolvement of the Egyptian jewellry was unbelievable, thanks to the Egyptian skilled miners and the unlimited imagination of the Egyptian artist. They started using everything everywhere in their jewellry, and obviously they did some experiments that didn't live up to their expectations, so they ommitted trying them further.
The reason behind making the Egyptian jewellry
The easy answer is that Egyptians found it good looking, so they started wearing it, however, jewellry had great importance in the ancient Egyptian mind, directly connected to religion and magic, and we obviously have no idea which reason predates the other.
They gone further to the point that they burried jewellry with the deceased, on the one hand they believe in the afterlife, so everybody wanted to have their jewellry and precious properties burried with them so they would enjoy their company when they raise from the dead, however, there seems to have been some great religious factor when they did that. Jewellry kept the devil away and ensured the bearer's prosperty and peace of mind.
Forms of the Egyptian jewellry
Egyptians seem to have used almost all sorts of jewellry we use today; from chains and pendants to earrings and rings. However, they had some other interesting accessories that could be categorized as jewellry, canes are some of those. Another one was called Osekh (?) which they used to wrap around their chests.
Obviously men and women wore the Egyptian jewellry, and it is a bit hard to distinguish between jewellry that was made for women and those were made for men. However, they obviously had what it took to put their imagination into art, and have such a unique unforgettable lifestyle.