The jewelry box has quite an impressive history and when in this blog you meet one of the most beautiful jewelry boxes ever! Since the Stone Age, high society has used this storage device. You need boxes for storing, traveling, and … showing off.
Jewelry boxes, jewelry caskets, or a treasure chest?
From the very start of storing your jewelry in a box, those boxes looked like a treasure chest, and later on, the word jewelry casket meant about the same as a jewelry box. It is all about the size. A chest was large, a casket a bit less large and stood on 4 feet and the boxes were even smaller.
But they all have the purpose of keeping the jewelry safe and far away from thieves. Having said that…
In the Stone Age, people already used jewelry boxes to store their precious jewelry made of shells and shiny stones. In Ancient Egypt (as early as 5000 BC) most of the Egyptians – also the men- wear jewelry. They owe mostly golden pieces of jewelry decorated with gemstones. The Egyptians store them in large beautiful decorated jewelry caskets or boxes.
Not normal boxes but made of gold or silver with precious gemstones and ivory. The Egyptian lady that owes a lot of jewelry had a jewelry casket and the others store their pieces in jewelry boxes, equally nicely decorated, but the size is smaller. And those boxes are raised on small feet to keep the surface of the box on the ground.
In ancient Rome, not everyone was allowed to wear rings for example; jewelry was a matter of status and when you did not have the status, you were not permitted to have the jewelry. The only exception was the brooches, and lapel pins or fibulae. They were used by everyone to keep a coat closed, to keep a shawl on a tunic in place, or to make pleads in dresses and tunics.
The jewelry was stored in boxes for storage and safety reasons.
Not only for royals
Before the Industrial Revolution jewelry is mostly worn by royals, aristocrats, and very wealthy people. They have a lot of great pieces fully decorated with gemstones. And the jewelry boxes and jewelry caskets are not only useful for them. But the box is a ‘showing off piece’, made of precious metals and gems.
In the time of the Industrial Revolution jewelry was mass-made, gemstones were cut with a machine and even machines could polish them. Jewelry becomes less expensive and ordinary not-so-wealthy people can afford to buy a great piece.
But of course, people do owe not as much jewelry as the royals do. So the jewelry boxes become smaller and lesser rich decorated.
From jewelry boxes to trinket boxes.
When you don’t need such a large jewelry box for storing your jewelry you buy a smaller one. And not only fill it with a few pieces of jewelry but also with little gadgets and things that you don’t want to lose. You call those boxes ‘trinket boxes’.
But also the trinket boxes were nicely decorated and placed as decoration and storing boxes in the ladies’ bedroom. Or when they are really especially beautiful, like shaped in the form of a miniature card table from the 18th century people put that box in a special place where everybody can see and admire it.
Maybe you remember the music boxes, which originated from Switzerland, with a dancing ballerina on top. Young girls store their jewelry in it and when you open the box the music starts playing and the ballerina is dancing.
Jewelry boxes are popular for ages and ages. Only the size and decoration change.
Why do you need jewelry boxes?
By now, reading this blog you know that a jewelry box is a great item to store your jewelry in. In earlier days the boxes could be locked to keep the precious treasure safe.
But there are more reasons why you better store your jewelry properly. Some gemstones like jade, amethyst, opals, and quartz don’t like heat and sun. Store them in a jewelry box that will protect them from damage and breaking.
Silver will tarnish when you don’t wear it and leave it in the open. Oxigin makes the silver tarnish. Besides, no piece of jewelry will become more beautiful from dust. So store your precious jewels properly in a jewelry box.
Meet the most beautiful jewelry boxes ever.
In 2019 I was at an exhibition in Amsterdam. They have the most beautiful jewelry of the Russian court on display. The first thing you see in the exhibition is an absolutely gorgeous and very very expensive jewelry box, owned by the Russian Tsar. Experts are not absolutely sure whether the box is used for keeping jewelry or relics. Or maybe one Tsar used it for jewelry and the other one…
From the Hermitage in St. Petersburg
The box weighs 3 kilos (nearly 106 ounces), made of silver plated with gold. It is decorated with amethyst, citrine, turquoise, topaz, chrysolite, garnets, diamonds, and many more. In total, the box has 400 precious and semi-precious gemstones only on the outside.
The sides have large beautiful pieces of rhinestone quartz that enlarge the items that are in the box, like a kind of magnifier. And you can lock the jewelry box with a small key. You better watch for yourself, because words cannot describe this beauty.
A jewelry box is not only for storing your jewelry in a nice and safe way. Or to carry your jewelry on a trip? It is also to keep your precious pieces of jewelry clean. If you love your pieces of jewelry and you want to know that you treat them in a safe way, ask for the e-book of FlorenceJewelshop. You will find a lot of tips on how to store and clean your jewelry in a safe and practical way.
The good thing is that this e-book is free of charge. You just have to let me know where I can send it to.
Hugs Florence from FlorenceJewelshop