Most of us almost take jewelry for granted, but jewelry has been around for thousands and thousands of years. In fact, the first known "jewelry" appears to date back 75,000 years in Africa. The early jewelry consisted mostly of shells and beads strung together.

The first pieces of copper jewelry probably turned up about 7,000 years ago, after archaeologists  recently found the grave of a female jewelry worker, wearing copper trinkets.

The first signs of gold jewelry appeared in ancient Egypt about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.  It came to symbolize power and religious power in the community. Ancient Egyptians wore their jewelry in life and death, often being buried with it at the time of their death.

Greece began using gold and other gems in jewelry making in 1600 BC. Thirteen-hundred years later, the Greeks had mastered the art of colored jewelry, using pearls and emeralds. The jewelry pierce were rarely worn in public, only at public appearances or special occasions.

Of course in North America, our earliest forms of jewelry were created by Native Americans, namely necklaces, bracelets and rings.

Jewelry today continues to reflect the diversity and creativity of its early designers, and often is a fashion statement for both men and women.  A recent study shows the United States has the largest jewelry market in the world, followed by Japan, India, China and the Middle East.

For the latest in jewelry creations, visit Alex at A&A Jewelers at 279 State Road, Dartmouth, Mass. 02747. You may contact the store by phone at (508) 992-5320 or like it on Facebook.

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