Jewellery (spelled jewelry in American
English) consists of ornamental devices worn by persons, typically made
with gems and precious metals. Costume jewellery is made from less valuable
materials. However, jewellery can and has been made out of almost every
kind of material.
Examples include bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings, as well as
items like hair ornaments or body piercing jewelery.
The word is derived from the word 'jewel', which was anglicised from
the Old French 'jouel' in around the 13th century. Further tracing leads
back to the Latin word 'jocale', meaning plaything.
Jewellery, particularly when made with precious materials, is generally
considered valuable and desirable. Some cultures have a practice of keeping
large amounts of wealth stored in the form of jewellery. Jewellery can also
be symbolic, as in the case of Christians wearing a crucifix in the form
of jewellery, or, as is the case in many Western cultures, married people
wearing a wedding ring.
Jewellery in various forms has been made and worn by both sexes in almost
every (if not every) human culture, on every inhabited continent. Personal
adornment seems to be a basic human tendency.
In rare cases jewellery is also used for (at least some) modesty, e.g.
to cover the nipples.
Jablonec in the northern Bohemia region of the Czech Republic manufactures
a large amount of jewellery for the world.
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