Sometimes people find it hard to choose jewelry that suits their style as there is a very wide array to choose from.
This article will help you know the different types of jewelry and what is worn where. Read on to know more about jewelry types.
How many types of jewelry are there?
Jewelry is ornaments worn on clothes or the body to enhance a person’s look, or for personal adornment.
This includes rings, necklaces, anklets, headgear, earrings, and bracelets.
Jewelry is made using very precious metals and materials like gold, silver, diamonds, sapphire, Gemstones, rubies, etc. which can be quite expensive although, in recent years, people have discovered cheaper alternatives to the stones and metals.
These alternatives will give the similar look to that of the original material but come at a lower price. For example, we have seen cubic zirconia being used instead of diamonds, polished titanium has taken over from silver. We can find glass beads being used more instead of pearls.
There are many different types of jewelry and different uses. We have those that has historical meaning, religious meaning, some carry signs of allegiance to certain groups, friendship, and even love.
Let’s take a look at the different types of jewelry.
Different types of jewelry
Different jewelry can be classified by the material used to make them or by what part of body they are worn.
Read on to know more about the different classes and what they entail.
Classification by material
1. Gold jewelry
It is an expensive metal that gives a very good finish when polished and it is used on rings, necklaces, pendants, and bracelets.
You will find other accessories too like hairpins and tie clips made of gold.
As it is very popular and expensive, jewelers have learned how to coat other metals with gold thus reducing the amount of gold used on one piece.
Be careful when getting gold jewelry as prices vary with the quality of gold and also if it’s fully gold or gold coated.
2. Silver jewelry
This is another expensive metal that has been used since jewelry history began and has been persistent up to now.
It’s impossible to find any jewelry lover who doesn’t own something that’s silver.
Silver is used for chains, watches, rings, cufflinks, bracelets, pendants, and earrings.
It is mostly combined with other precious stones when making a jewelry piece.
3. Bronze and brass
Bronze and Brass were the first ornamental metals since the discovery of bronze and the art of alloy making.
In ancient times many jewelry artifacts that have been discovered were made of these metals which in those times were precious and only people of high caste could afford them.
Nowadays you can still find bangles and neckpieces made of these metals.
4. Stainless steel and titanium carbide
The two have a high luster when polished. They are known for high tensile strength and are resistant to abrasions and turning.
Metallurgy has advanced and these alloys have been developed in high quality that jewelers find very attractive.
Many people choose this material as it is cheaper but the quality of the jewelry is remarkable.
Mostly you will find these metals being used on rings and decoration teeth fittings. Jewelry made of these two metals will last for a lifetime without the need for much care.
This is the most precious material that is used in jewelry. It is the hardest material that is found naturally on earth. Diamonds have a dazzling shine and look like glass.
When cut and polished, it gives a very bright shine when exposed to light. There are a few varieties with the most expensive and rarest being the pink diamonds.
You will find diamonds used with other materials to make jewelry like necklaces, rings, pendants, and earrings.
These are rare precious and expensive mineral stones that are formed naturally.
They come in many colors and are used as add-ons to jewelry to make the jewelry more expensive and fancy.
Some of these stones are Ruby, sapphire, emerald, and tanzanite. They are used to decorate rings, neckpieces, and earrings.
7. Artificial stones
As technology has advanced, jewelers have perfected the art of making artificial high-quality non-metals that are cheaper than natural stones.
Some examples are artificial diamonds, cubic zirconia, epoxy, and glass.
These artificial stones are highly desired because they complement the natural stones and they can be modified easily to fit the job.
They come in a wide variety of colors and when polished, they will leave you dazzled by their luster.
They can be mass manufactured making them a cheaper choice. You will find them on rings, neckpieces, belts, watches, and earrings.
Classification by where the jewelry is worn
1. Head jewelry
These are jewelry pieces worn on the head. Over time there has distinct head jewelry for both men and women all over the world. Some of the head jewelry are:
Crowns– These are round head gears that are worn on top of the head. They are made of precious metals and can be decorated using precious stones.
In ancient times this was the king’s formal wear and crowns could be passed from king to king as a show of leadership. The oldest crowns can be traced to Egypt and Europe.
Circlets – circlets are round bands worn at the top of the head with a notable design and decoration that rests on the forehead. It is made from precious metals with the front design having a big and elaborate stone.
The round band doesn’t have arches or designs making the circlets look like big rings for the head. In ancient days, circlets were worn by successors of the thrown but nowadays it is seen as a ladies’ jewelry piece and anyone can rock one. Its history can be traced to the Greek Era when it was worn by people of high affluence.
Coronet – The coronet is similar to a crown but the arch designs are different. It is mostly decorated with golden pearls and leaf designs.
This circular head jewelry was worn by royals and its roots can be traced to ancient Britain.
Tiara – Tiara is a semicircular head ornament that has at least one high peak. It is a highly decorated headpiece that is worn on the forehead of sitting high up the head.
It can be historically placed in the Persian Gulf and later designs were seen in Russia. Nowadays, the Tiara can be seen in beauty pageants and weddings. It is mostly made of silver with a lot of precious stones decorating it.
Earrings – Earrings have been around since the Bronze age. They are pieces of jewelry worn on the ears. They may be worn on piercings done on the ear but some have a clip-on style that means you don’t have to get pierced.
They come in many designs such as pins, loops, dangling earrings, and cuff earrings. They are made from a variety of materials which relates to the cost.
They can be made from gold, silver, ivory, bronze, and stainless steel and decorated using precious stones such as diamonds and ruby.
2. Neck jewelry
Necklace – This is a jewelry piece worn around the neck. It may be rigid or made chain. It has many decorations and hangs loosely around the neck. Necklaces are worn for many purposes like religion, weddings, funerals, or just for beauty. Precious stones are used to decorate these neckpieces.
Chains– These are small rope-like ornaments worn around the neck. They are loose around the neck but quite small in width. They are made from metals as well as leather.
Pendants – Pendants are jewelry pieces that come in many sizes and shapes. We have some that can hold photos so that you can give them as gifts. They have a loop that a chain goes through to them you hold it on your neck.
They are made of many materials and mostly they will be made to match up with earrings so that you can buy them as a set.
Chokers – This resembles the necklace but has a tight-fitting around the neck. It is made to fit precisely around your neck but with comfort. They are made of materials like velvet, leather, gold, beads, plastics, and so on.
3. Arms jewelry
Bangles – These are rigid rings worn around the wrist. They come in a variety of styles and materials.
You may find bangles made from wood, gold, silver, and brass, and they may be plain or have patterns scribed on them.
Their origin is traced to Asia and Africa. Women wore them most but nowadays you can find styles designed for men.
Bracelets – Bracelets are chain-like jewelry worn around the wrists. They are decorated using precious stones or metals. Bracelets may have support for other items such as identity tags, charms, and small pieces that the wearer has an attachment to.
They are made from gold, silver, leather, and other metals which may be coated with gold or silver.
Cuffs – These are large pieces of jewelry worn around the wrists or the biceps. They are con complete circles so that the wearer can slip them into position from the side of the arm.
Even though large, they are designed to take the shape of the part of the arm that they go into. They are made of gold and silver but there is the antique style that you can find made of brass.
In recent times, the Cuffs have revolutionized and have been made famous by designers who have started making lines that produce modern cuffs.
Many people wear them for beauty and others wear them to pay respect to the slaves who wear held in handcuffs during the slave trade era.
4. Hands jewelry
Rings– This is the most worn jewelry today in the world. Rings are circular pieces that you put around your finger. They come in many designs and decorations and are mostly made of metals while the decoration is by precious stones.
There are several types of rings with different meanings as shown below.
- Wedding rings– these are rings worn by couples to indicate that they are married. They are made from metals like gold and silver but can also be made of stainless steel and titanium carbide. They come in different styles from plain bands to stone decorated bands.
- Engagement rings– These are rings to partners as a sign of a proposal of marriage. They are worn on the middle finger to indicate acceptance of the marriage proposal
- Championship rings– these are sets of rings made to commemorate a special win in a sports event. They are won by team members who won the title in a certain year.
5. Body jewelry
Belly chain – this a jewelry worn around the waist. They come in different widths and different forms of decorations. Mostly you will find them decorated with precious metals, especially the Indian style made of colorful beads which is an African style.
Navel rings – these are rings worn on navel piercings and are made of silver mostly and can be decorated using stones or pearls.
6. Feet jewelry
Toe ring – These are rings mostly made of metals and are worn on toes. They are mostly worn on the second toe since it’s the longest toe and very proportional to holding a ring but can be worn on any toe.
The majority of toe rings are made of metals and don’t have many decorations so that they can be comfortable to wear with open shoes as well as closed shoes.
Anklet – anklets are simply bracelets worn around the ankle. They are chain-like jewelry with many decorations and some have hanging miniature artifacts on them.
They are made of precious metals and can be decorated using stones or metallic figurings. Historically they can be traced to Asian countries.
Jewelry comes in many forms and you can be sure to find something that fits your style and budget.
Be sure to look into the deeper meaning of the jewelry that you need so as not to send signals that you didn’t intend to.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.