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Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

Jewelry has played various roles in ancient Egypt. In addition to man's natural attraction to beautiful items, jewelry had a religious and magical significance in the Egyptian ancient world by protecting the wearer from evil.

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Gold necklace Egyptian museum in Cairo

Ancient Egyptian gold jewelry artifact exhibit in the Egyptian museum in Cairo

Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus

Ancient Egyptians began making their jewelry during the Badari and Naqada eras from simple natural materials; for example, plant branches, shells, beads, solid stones or bones. These were arranged in threads of flax or cow hair. To give these stones some brilliance, Egyptians began painting them with glass substances. Since the era of the First Dynasty, ancient Egyptians were skilled in making handmade silver and gold jewelry featuring solid semiprecious stones. The art of goldsmithing reached its peak in the Middle Kingdom, when Egyptians mastered the technical methods and accuracy in making pieces of jewelry. During the New Kingdom, goldsmithing flourished in an unprecedented way because of regular missions to the Eastern Desert and Nubia to extract metals. These substances were processed and inlaid with all sorts of semiprecious stones found in Egypt; for example, gold, turquoise, agate, and silver.

related articles:

  • Ankh - eternal life symbol.

Shopping for Egyptian jewelry:

We sell silver jewelry items online on our web shop and ship them direct from Egypt. If you would like to buy handmade jewelry, you can order silver articles online like amulets, charms, bracelets and cartouches from tour online store. Shipping fees starts from $20. We ship to all countries (please read our note on shipping to Australia)

 

Cartouche

Egyptian gold jewelry

The following gold jewelry items are sold on Amazon and shipped from USA as it is not permitted by the Egyptian customs authority to ship gold articles by courier service directly from Egypt. Now our customers can buy gold pendants and other jewelry online and have them delivered to your address (subject to shipping terms and conditions of each product).

14K Gold Tutankhamun pendant

Price $185

14k Gold Nefertiti Pendant

Price $325

18k 2-Tone Gold Cleopatra Diamond Band, w/ 0.15 Carat Brilliant Cut Diamonds, 9/16 in. (14.5mm) wide, size 6

Buy Buy Price $1,180 -  Buy
Anthony of Egypt Large 14kt Gold Medal

$900

CleverSilver's 14K Gold Pendant Egyptian Themed 6.7 - Gram(s)

Price $477

A collection of fine jewelry sold on Amazon the biggest online shopping site.  Click here  
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Jewelry was used in daily life throughout the Pharaonic era until the Roman times. Egyptians were keen to keep a good number of jewelry pieces in the tomb; these were placed on the body of the deceased. A large number of such jewelry was found in tombs; for example, wreaths, crowns, or hair bands. On the head or wig, they fixed different types of ornaments, such as small roses, golden bands, and some simple bands of jewelry. There were also different types of belts, including waist belts and belts with hanging vertical straps ornamented with colored beads. Other types of jewelry included earrings, bracelets, anklets, rings, and necklaces.

A unique type of jewelry that never appeared in other cultures was the vest, which was worn around the chest. It was usually made of gold or of gold-plated metal. Even when it was made of a cheap material, it was painted yellow to give a golden impression. Wearing a golden vest is still an existing folklore practice in the Egyptian countryside, though it has a different name, the Kirdan. Every village girl dreams of wearing a golden one to boast of.

Ornaments and jewelry were not restricted to women. Men also used jewelry until the Roman era in Egypt. However, since the advent of Christianity in Egypt, with many people converting to that new religion, ornaments and extravagant luxury began to be less common and were replaced by manifestations of piety, religiousness, and righteousness. Most jewelry was made of cheaper materials bearing Christian symbols, such as crosses, pigeons, and the Egyptian Ankh sign, instead of the amulets that were used before. After the arrival of Islam in Egypt, men in particular were prohibited from wearing gold jewelry, but continued to use jewelry made of other materials, such as silver.

Several different types of sticks were found that were used for ceremonial staffs, scepters, flyswatters, hooked staffs, and walking sticks. They were usually made of wood and sometimes gold plated and inlaid with precious stones.

Today Egyptian jewelry makers make beautiful imitations of ancient Egyptian jewelry which are sold in jewelry stores or on online shops on the Internet. Most of the Paharaonic style jewelry are silver and gold utilizing the Ankh symbol, cartouche and ancient Egyptian gods, kings and queens.

Tips of cleaning silver jewelry:

Most of the Egyptian silver used to make jewelry is 800 which is less in quality than Sterling silver which is referred as silver 900 or 925 (the number represents the percentage of silver in the metal, being 900=90% silver). The 800 silver is good in making Ancient Egyptian style jewelry but requires more care because it develops tarnish, or scratches after a while. In that case all you have to do is to clean the silver item using baking soda and a clean, damp sponge or a piece of cloth. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Scoop the paste onto the sponge, and rub the paste into the silver. Rinse with hot water and dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Quick links:

 

 
Egyptian silver scarab pendant with blue back

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Egyptian pendant of king Tutankhamun bust made of silver

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Silver earrings of Egyptian ankh symbol

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More Egyptian jewelry to buy

Books on Ancient Egypt

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