When the Romans withdrew from northern and western Europe under the influence of warrior tribes, a single Roman style in gold jewelry disappeared, causing many more medieval jewelry to appear with other styles.
The Celtic motifs were placed between the tissues, since the entanglement symbolized the spiritual and earthly path of man. Birds were regarded as heavenly messengers and had their own omen. The dove was a symbol of love and spirituality.Snakes possessed healing power. Fish represented the incarnation of the Supreme Wisdom. And the horse was associated with the goddesses of fertility.
The basic forms of medieval jewelry remain in use today. They also had other forms that are less frequent in modern jewelry. The necklaces carried a great variety of pendants and crosses made with stones. Jewelry was a very important marker of social status, and most high-society women probably carried expensive pieces all the time, or at least every time they left home. Men and boys wore jewelry as a formal use.
The most popular medieval jewelry:
Jewelry hiding poison was quite common and popular in the Middle Ages. Usually, the rings concealed a poisonous dust that was put into the food of their enemies without seeming suspicious.
Brooches were used in almost all European countries. They used them as a plush pin to hold clothes.
The round brooches were worn on the layers, on the part of the chest or shoulder.The jewelers generally made them of thin gold and adorned them with precious stones, enamel and filigree.
“The fashionistas of the time wore the brooches on the edge of the hats. These decorations were enormously popular in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. They often transmitted some messages about their bearer, had initials, short slogans, coats of arms, mythological themes, etc. “ (Article by ceu.hu )
Sometimes the Gothic brooches had inscriptions, slogans love, hearts, flowers, keys and similar reasons. In France he played the leading role in the jewelry business of Europe. Generally, they made delicate crowns with figures in the form of leaves.
People in high society could use long, curly hair. In addition, men could also decorate their hairstyles with ribbons made of gold . One of the most popular accessories was a convex ornament attached to a ring that fit perfectly. Medieval fashionistas also wore golden veils to complement such accessories.
The medieval world felt that it was necessary to use more gold, that is why its demand remained very high. Then they decided that the gold should stop being mined and began to create jewelry with a gold alloy and a significant amount of silver. By that time, the Vikings dominated much of Europe, making gold jewelry even rarer, so that the ornaments were made mainly of silver, copper and iron.
Even the owners of expensive jewelry, secretly hid the original ornaments and used exact copies.
Enamel was the main material for jewelry decoration. The largest distribution of enamel was in France and Germany. The color of the enamel was characterized by being colorful and fresh. The cold tones of blue, white and green were accented with gold backgrounds. There were also adornments overburdened with bright stones, such as ruby, emerald, sapphire, and pearl. Jewelers used imported and local stones.
In the Middle Ages, there was a close connection between the precious stones and their owner. During illness, the stone may lose its brightness and color.
The history of medieval jewelry was the basis for writing a lot of books, movies and cartoons. Certainly one of the reasons was the charm of the jewelry. The shapes in the jewelry were also more intricate thanks to the popularity of the baroque style.
“Christian iconography flourished in jewelry and spread through the monasteries that people founded throughout Europe. These monasteries acted as a center for the art of goldsmithing “
In medieval Europe, jewelry could be used by monks, kings, nobles and merchants.
This was evidenced by the fact that in the thirteenth century was a law, so plebeians could not use gold, silver, pearls or precious stones.
Accessories such as belts and purses, as well as other personal possessions like combs and books had decorations, something that is rarely found today. Poorer women carried small amounts of similar styles with cheaper materials. Men in high society carried much more jewelry than they do today.