From Traditional to Contemporary: The Evolution of Jewellery Styles

Jewellery has been a part of human culture since the beginning of time. From ancient civilizations to modern-day fashionistas, jewellery has been a symbol of wealth, status, and beauty. Throughout history, different styles of jewellery have emerged, and each period has left an indelible mark on the evolution of this art form.

From traditional jewellery styles to contemporary ones, the evolution of jewellery styles has been nothing short of remarkable. Let’s take a journey through time and explore the evolution of jewellery.

Traditional Jewellery Styles

Traditional jewellery styles are those that have been passed down through generations and have cultural significance. These styles vary greatly depending on the region and cultural beliefs. For instance, traditional Indian jewellery styles include the Kundan and Meenakari styles, which are characterized by their intricate designs and the use of precious stones and metals.

In Africa, traditional jewellery styles are often made from natural materials such as shells, beads, and bones. The Maasai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania is known for their intricate beaded jewellery, while in Morocco, Berber jewellery is characterized by its intricate designs and the use of silver.

Middle Eastern jewellery styles are marked by the use of gold and precious stones. In Islamic countries like Pakistan, the traditional jewellery style is known as “jadau” and is characterized by its intricate and elaborate designs. These styles have been passed down through generations and continue to be popular today.

Contemporary Jewellery Styles

In the 20th century, a shift occurred in the way people viewed jewellery. Instead of being seen as a symbol of wealth and status, it was now viewed as an art form. Contemporary jewellery styles are a reflection of this shift, and they are characterized by their minimalist, abstract, and unconventional designs.

Contemporary jewellery styles use unconventional materials such as plastic, rubber, and even paper. They are often experimental and push the boundaries of what is considered “jewellery.” The use of mixed materials, such as metal and fabric, is also becoming more popular.

One of the most significant shifts in contemporary jewellery styles is the emphasis on ethical and sustainable jewellery. As consumers become more aware of the impact of their purchases on the environment, many are choosing jewellery made from recycled materials, fair trade gold, and conflict-free diamonds.

The Future of Jewellery Styles

As we move forward, the future of jewellery styles is uncertain. However, one thing is clear: the evolution of jewellery styles is a reflection of the changing attitudes and values of society. As consumers become more conscious of the impact of their choices on society and the environment, the demand for ethical and sustainable jewellery will continue to grow.


Jewellery styles have come a long way since their inception, and the evolution of jewellery styles is a fascinating narrative of human history. From traditional to contemporary, each style has its unique story and cultural significance. The future of jewellery styles is uncertain, but one thing is sure – it will continue to reflect the values and attitudes of society.