What’s behind our fascination with jewellery, precious metals and gemstones?

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What’s behind our fascination with jewellery, precious metals and gemstones?

From the age of goldsmiths to the days of corporate jewellery brands, our fascination and loyalty to makers of jewellery have only soared in time, suffice to say that these jewellery brands enjoy international fame and success by virtue of their innovation, consistent standards and key features.



I was invited to attend the opening of DJWE2018, as usual I observe, record and click away, however, this year there was something different about it…

Chanel opened it’s doors in Doha…

My instinctive attraction to pearls and everything Chanel drove me to visit DJWE every single day…


The more I immersed into the stories of each collection the more I wanted to see the collection, appreciate each piece…

Brands like Chanel have built their identity in the jewellery domain with a legacy that’s worth exploring,  so I decided to dedicated my next few posts to sharing not just the stories of the various Chanel connections abut of a few others…  look out for my next story on Chanel- Flying Cloud 

First let me share with you an article that was written by Marissa Miller, CNN on “what’s behind our obsession with gems” to better understand the series of stories that I will be sharing in the coming days.

“Humankind’s fascination with precious stones long predates the establishment of gemology. The Romans believed that diamonds were splinters of falling stars, while the ancient Greeks considered them to be the tears of the gods.


Pearls were also highly prized in ancient societies. Regarded as a currency for affection and love, the silky round bulbs were often offered to women on their wedding days to promote fertility.

White pearls necklace on black

Today, the value of a gem is more likely to be dictated by auction records than superstition. But while you can put a price on a precious stone, its value is determined by more than just supply and demand.



Instinctive attraction

There may be evolutionary reasons why we gravitate towards shiny objects. Research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that gems evoke the glossy surface of a body of water. Our pursuit of them may be rooted in a simple urge to survive.

The mental associations we make with colors may also explain the value assigned to certain gems. According to author and gemologist Antoinette Matlins, blue gems traditionally represent the heavens and the seas, red symbolizes heart and passion, while green signifies rebirth and loyalty — reliable like the grass that regrows every spring.

Gem superstitions can also be gendered. Matlins says that yellow denotes secrecy on a man but generosity on a woman. White or transparent stones typically signify friendship, integrity and religious commitment for men, or purity, affability and thoughtfulness for women.

Pearls have often been used to project power, according to Inezita Gay-Eckel, a jewelry historian and professor at L’École, a Paris-based school founded by the jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels.

“Think of Elizabeth I of England who covered herself in pearls and makeup as a shield,” Gay-Eckel said. “(She was) always walking the tightrope of not appearing unnatural and staying a woman — so that people wouldn’t think she was a monster — (while) also keeping power.

“Look at any powerful woman. From Oprah to Nancy Pelosi to Jacqueline Kennedy, when they want to project the right image, pearls are going to come out.”

Each gem has a story

Today, there are scientific ways of assessing the value of a precious stone. In addition to its rarity, a gem’s market value is often determined by its clarity, cut, color and carat — colloquially known as the “four Cs.”

But ultimately, a jewel is worth whatever bidders are willing to pay for it. Just like in the art world, contemporary culture and trends also play their part.


Defining value

Of course, value isn’t always monetary. At L’École jewelry school, which begins a series of classes in Hong Kong this month, students are taught to address a gem’s worth through a broad range of factors, according to Gay-Eckel.

“If people want to know what makes jewelry valuable, we give them knowledge about everything that’s around it,” she said. “What goes into making it, how to enjoy the stones and how to obtain the knowledge with a sense of discovery and satisfaction. Do you love it? Is it something your mother gave you?”

For scientists, gemstones’ value is drawn from the precious insights they can offer into plate tectonics — and the mountains, oceans and environments of the past.


“The gem deposits of eastern Africa trace the outline of ancient mountains that once connected Sri Lanka and Madagascar over 500 million years ago,” said Pay. “And the oldest emeralds formed just under three billion years ago, which rivals the age of some diamonds.”

Perhaps jewels’ true worth lies in these timeless qualities. Having survived for millennia, gemstones have long been considered reliable investments, as they continue to hold their value through the generations.

“Of all of the ways to adorn yourself, what has nature created that has lasting beauty like a rock?” Matlins said. “As soon as you cut a flower, it wilts. A sunset is beautiful but you can’t capture or wear it. There is something so special and everlasting about nature’s creation of minerals and rocks.”

For Marissa Miller’s full article click : https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/why-we-value-gemstones/index.html

To be Continued…… 




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