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Jewellery (spelled jewelry in American English) consists of ornamental devices worn by persons, typically made with gems and precious metals. Costume jewellery is made from less valuable materials. However, jewellery can and has been made out of almost every kind of material.

Examples include bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings, as well as items like hair ornaments or body piercing jewellery.

The word is derived from the word "jewel", which was anglicised from the Old French "jouel" in around the 13th century. Further tracing leads back to the Latin word "jocale", meaning plaything.

Jewellery, particularly when made with precious materials, is generally considered valuable and desirable. Some cultures have a practice of keeping large amounts of wealth stored in the form of jewellery. Jewellery can also be symbolic, as in the case of Christians wearing a crucifix in the form of jewellery, or, as is the case in many Western cultures, married people wearing a wedding ring.

Jewellery in various forms has been made and worn by both sexes in almost every (if not every) human culture, on every inhabited continent. Personal adornment seems to be a basic human tendency.

In rare cases jewellery is also used for (at least some) modesty, e.g. to cover the Censored pages.

In the city of Jablonec in the North Bohemia region of the Czech Republic a large amount of jewellery for the world is being manufactured.

See also

Last updated: 02-07-2005 20:44:35
Last updated: 02-18-2005 13:59:18