The History and Evolution of Men’s Jewelry

Encrusted with boldly colored stones, adorned with threads of woven gold and hand-crafted from rustic gold, the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were swathed in striking jewelry, while the monarchy of Mesopotamia wore neck pieces that were made from gold and brightly colored jewels. For centuries, men and women have worn jewelry to display wealth and power, and to ward off evil spirits. Today, jewelry design and production is predominantly focused on women, while men’s jewelry is quietly yet steadily finding its place.

Have you ever found yourself admiring a finely braided leather bracelet, wondering about whether or not it would suit you? In ancient times, men wore jewelry to display their strength and wealth; the more jewelry that they wore, the more respect they would receive. The earliest evidence of jewelry has been found in Africa, where trimmings made of shells were used to decorate the body. Today, the amount of jewelry that a man wears no longer signifies his power or wealth, but is rather a statement of personal style, taste, and an appreciation for craftsmanship. We no longer wrap our kings and queens in jewels and gold, but rather buy jewelry as personal gifts for men, to make a significant gesture, or to spoil ourselves. The history and evolution of men’s jewelry has followed a unique and interesting path that has paved the way for modern designers.

Early History

Wedding rings are not the only permanent piece of jewelry that men have worn through the ages. In relation to jewelry’s ancient past, the wedding ring is a fairly new trend. Moving away from the shell trimmings of Africa, early humans in Europe also made use of jewelry -- body ornaments made of stone, teeth, and bones have been found, and Ancient Egyptian men wore superb gold jewelry to showcase their power . Greek men wore jewelry made from gemstones and gold, but only used the pieces on special occasions. The Romans were the most creative with their jewelry design, specializing in fine and delicate pieces. However, Roman men only wore large gold rings to signify their position in society. During the Middle Ages, European men embellished their weapons and signet rings, while the Renaissance brought about a rise in the popularity of men’s jewelry with Napoleon Bonaparte.

In South America, the Aztecs and the Mayans made use of their abundant supply of gold and decorated it with colored stones, which set the trend for the modern American jewelry.

Modern Times

Whether you’re in search of a luxury gift or a unique pendant in Tungsten or Sterling Silver, you can be sure to find something from the unique and global array of modern men’s jewelry. Until the 1940s, men did not wear jewelry in the United States. From then, men started wearing jewelry and buying executive gifts for colleagues. Luxury watches and wedding jewelry paved the road for more ornate pieces and, in the period between the 1960s to the 1990s, the production of men’s necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and body jewelry began.

Today, men embrace the fine craftsmanship that goes into the design and production of luxury jewelry, wearing it as they see fit. With more and more designers devoting their skill and resources to the development of novel men’s jewelry designs, the world of jewelry is no longer solely dominated by women.

With a number of unique designers that are contributing to the growing trend, men’s jewelry continues to evolve, taking on new shapes and forms. This continuous evolution gives men the opportunity to express their individual taste and personal preference, and allows a deeper appreciation for the art of jewelry making.

Company Bio

William Henry is an American luxury brand that is devoted to the vision of designing and building superlative, functional men’s jewelry. Founded in 1997, the brand was established with the vision to create exclusive and award-winning pocket knives, men’s jewelry, writing instruments, money clips, cuff links, and golf tools. The seamless integration of classic natural materials, precious metals & gemstones, and state-of-the-art alloys makes William Henry one of the most admired and sought-after brands in the world of luxury for men.