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Jewellery (or jewelry) refers to any clothing accessory that is worn as a decoration.
In itself, jewellery has no other purpose than to look attractive. However, it is often added to items that have a practical use. Items such as belts and handbags are mainly accessories but may be decorated. A broach, often worn to keep a cloak closed, could be highly decorated with jewels.
Humans have made jewellery for a long time. There are many forms of jewelry worn for traditional, social or religious reasons. Jewellery can come in many forms, worn on any part of the body or clothing. Jewellery most often are rings, chains, bead strings, pendants and piercings, worn around or on different body parts.
Fashion jewellery or costume jewellery is jewellery that is worn just for fashion, and is not made of expensive materials.
Common jewellery types
- Earrings, which is any jewellery worn on the ears
- Necklaces, worn around the neck
- Finger rings and toe rings (finger rings are usually just called "rings")
- Bracelets or bangles, worn on the wrists
- Arm rings or armlets, worn on the upper arms
- Pins or brooches, worn on clothes for decoration or keeping clothes from undoing.
- Piercings, which is jewelry that is put through holes in the skin
- Cremation jewelry such as keepsakes, bracelets, keychains, necklaces, pendants or rings
A Kenyan man wearing tribal bead necklaces.
Pendants made of amber.
Bohemia, 14th century jewelled clasp with eagle motif
Spanish emerald and gold pendant at Victoria and Albert Museum.
Royal earrings, India, 1st Century BC.