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Byzantine Jewelry History

What a lot of people are not aware of is the fact that Ancient as well as Byzantine Jewelry has been a tradition even during the Roman times; this is because of the fact that themes relating to Christianity were not too common until the 6th and 5th century. In addition to this, a lot of people are also not aware of is that the grading system used for gold actually came from Byzantium because their coin known as ’solidus‘ is divided into 24 keratia. During this time, Alexandria and Antioch were the most popular among all those who produce gold until the 6th century; the two were stopped by Constantinople when people become more fond of putting various gems into their gold jewelry. In addition to this, Byzantine Jewelry is also known by a lot of people to be very good in enamel works as well because this is a particular time when Byzantine is very wealthy due to gold. As a matter of fact, they were able to obtain 320,000 lbs of gold from treasury right after Emperor Anastasius passed away.

During the end of the 11th century, only few people are aware that the greed for gold and religion is balancing each other out. The reason for this specific greed for gold is the fact that gold is not as abundant during this time; furthermore, goldsmiths were only relying on traded and captured gold. Post AD 700 was a significant time for Byzantine because they were using their exonomic resources to be able to get more gold from Europe. This occurrence is made possible by trading various necessary goods like linen, cotton and even silk; because of this, European jewelry started to transform into using silver as their primary metal choice. In addition to this, the jewelries found from Europe were obviously greatly influenced by the styles from Byzantium. During the time of the 15th and 14th centuries, the water wheel invention paved the way for people to discover various sites for mining; thus, this allowed Europe to produce more gold that they will be able to use for jewelries. This established the authority that Europe has over all the jewelries all over the world that even made them the standard when it comes to identifying the quality of golf in a particular jewelry. As a matter of fact, the year 1478 became the turning point when all of the silver and gold were required to be brought to London just so they will be checked, stamped and tested. There were even various checkers present all over the world just to make sure that all the distributors of golf products are complying to this rule to get their gold and silver checked in London; the tests were usually done by commonly testing the scales that are being used.

It’s just amazing to know that all the jewelry that we are wearing on our bodies right now have gone through a lot of things over the years. These facts are surely not something we learn every single day, that is why knowing these things will just help us appreciate and understand how symbolic and artistic these pieces of art are.

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