The word "jewelry" comes from "jewel," but not all jewelry has jewels set in it. Jewelry includes all such ornaments as rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, beads, pins, fancy combs, cuff links, and clips. Much jewelry is made of gold, silver, and platinum. But some is made of shells, wood, glass, or ivory.

   The story of jewelry is as old as the story of people. No one knows of a time when mankind did not have jewelry of some sort. By the time people knew how to write there were skilled makers of jewelry. The ancient Egyptians liked color in their jewelry. They used much beautiful blue lapis lazuli and red carnelian. The Greeks, on the other hand, used few gems. The Etruscans, who lived in Italy before the Romans grew powerful, are famous for their work with gold. The Indians in both the Americas were making beautiful jewelry before the days of Columbus.

   Jewelry is meant chiefly for decoration. But it serves other purposes, too. Some jewelry primitive peoples wear is supposed to protect them against evil spirits.

   Jewelry is sometimes a sign of rank. Kings and queens have jeweled crowns.

   Jewelry is also a form of wealth. The people of some parts of the world wear their fortunes on their necks and arms.

   In early times all jewelry was made by hand. The best still is made by hand by skillful jewelers. And making jewelry is a popular hobby. But jewelry is now made by machine, too. Machine-made jewelry is often called costume jewelry.

   There are fashions in jewelry just as there are in clothes. Platinum is now more fashionable than silver. Cameos, once very popular, are not often seen. But jewelry itself will probably never go out of fashion.