As we’ve been discovering, the history of jewellery goes back a long way. In the case of necklaces, the earliest known examples date from the Stone Age, long before there were records of writing. Back then, it was all about practicality rather than adornment, so they were made from vines, fish bones and animal sinews, then adorned with stones and shells for decoration. They must have been a bit smelly back then, with the combination of sea, earth and animal aromas!
As our ancestors discovered how to weave and make string, the scope for necklaces increased, and with the advent of metalworking, we began to see something approaching the familiar, flexible and beautiful items of jewellery we are familiar with today. Rest assured there’s not an animal sinew or fish bone in sight in the beautiful necklaces designed and made by Vicente Gracia of Valencia!
Once Man began to work with metal, it wasn’t long before chains were made. Then the ancients of the Bronze Age discovered how to make other shapes from metal and combine their skills with glassblowing and gem cutting, as the necklace styles we are familiar with today came into being. By this time, necklaces had become a symbol of wealth and power, and by the middle ages, men and women wore them in a number of ways, as they displaced brooches as the ornamentation of choice for rich people.
During the 17th century, when ruffs were the trending fashion, necklaces slid out of style for a while, although Queen Elizabeth I of England made long pearl necklaces popular, along with the art of sewing jewels to gowns. Since then, necklace lengths and styles have varied with necklines, and pretty much anything goes.
Like other items of jewellery, necklaces often have an emotional meaning for those who wear them. For example, a groom may gift his bride a necklace with a heart pendant, and it’s common to give children cruciform necklaces at confirmation or baptism.
Because a necklace is on view to everyone you meet, it’s worth taking care in choosing one that reflects your personality. At Vicente Gracia Joyas, you can even collaborate with the designers to create your own, unique necklace. Or you may go for something with universal appeal and resonance, such as the Tree of Life, for example.
These days, pretty much any material can be used to create a head-turning piece to get you noticed, or a simple statement of enduring love, such as an infinity necklace. If you have a particular affinity with a gemstone, that may influence your choice. Know that, by choosing a necklace from Vicente Gracia’s collection, you are honouring the past, celebrating the present and carrying the rich heritage of jewellery into the future, for the next generation of lovers of beautiful things.
Check out their online store for ideas, or head along to Gracia’s magical showroom in the heart of Valencia to choose the perfect necklace for you, or to create it with the guidance of one of Spain’s premier jewellery designers.
Carrer de la Pau,
4, Bajo Izquierda, 46003 València
Telephone: 963 510 618