Every piece of jewelry has a specific look and style that often reflects the time or area of the world in which it was made. The materials will also play a major part in this, as they are often materials that are locally present for the jewelers, due to the fact that it has been locally mined, or was loved by the empire the jeweler was working under when the piece was made. When it pertains to Mediterranean handmade jewelry, there are specific styles, stones and colors that are associated with it. These have been used since some of the earliest human empires began making handcrafted jewelry during the long evolution of human society. Below are some of the styles, materials and colors to look for when trying to identify true pieces of Mediterranean handcrafted jewelry from the imitators.
The colors of Mediterranean jewelry often reflect the colors seen most prominently around the Mediterranean itself. These are light and dark blues and greens, producing a lot of turquoise jewelry as it is a stone which is prevalent in the region and best reflects the palate of the area. There is also a lot of bronze and silver colors in Mediterranean jewelry, as these precious metals were common in the area, especially among ancient cultures like the Greeks and the Romans. Bright yellows are also common to this region of handcrafted jewelry, as are white stones, reflecting the prevalent amounts of coral that are used for various pieces.
Various stones are also always present in Mediterranean jewelry, as they are common to the wide variety of lands in the region, from Europe to the Middle East to Northern Africa. These stones consist of the aforementioned turquoise and coral, but also include stones like labradorite, jade, onyx and pearl, all of which are found in and around the Mediterranean and are common in classic pieces of jewelry from the area. Beyond the aforementioned metals like bronze and silver that can be found prevalently in Mediterranean jewelry, materials like colored glass are also common, though the glass is usually reflecting the green, blue or gray tones. Precious stones like rubies, diamonds and emeralds are usually not found in handmade Mediterranean pieces, though there are always the occasional exception to this rule.
You can usually identify authentic Mediterranean jewelry by a classic, ruggedly beautiful look of the materials each piece is constructed from. The metals often look rough and a little worn, as do the stones, despite their shine. Earrings and pendants look like they could have been worn by royalty from one of those seaside empires, or even lesser Gods. The general style of Mediterranean handmade jewelry is meant to reflect the beauty of the region from an ancient time that we only know through bits of history and mythology. The style conveyed through these pieces of jewelry conveys a piece of this time period, adding a fantastical element to someone’s overall look when they wear the pendants, earrings or bracelets from this region. The natural beauty and power of this style is why Mediterranean jewelry remains so popular today.