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The early history of Italian jewelry begins approximately three thousand years ago with the Etruscan civilization. Populating the southern tip of Italy known today, these people, many feel, created jewelry that has never been equaled. There are considered to be three periods of noticeable differences in Etruscan jewelry and gold work: the first being a close association with Egyptian creations, the second was the influence of Greece, with the period of decline composing the third.
Rings were also popular among the roman ladies, but their jewelry consisted of much more. To complement the extravagant coiffure of the roman women, the jeweller designed hairpins. These were often of solid gold and eight inches long or longer. Gold was the most popular in the making of bracelets, too. Bracelets were not only worn at the wrist, but on every section of the arm. Gold coins were used to decorate all jewelry worn, with the wealthy woman wearing a profusion of coins on any part of her which ornamentation was warranted.
It was during these ancient and classical times that the basics of creating jewelry were founded. Alloying of metals, setting stones and enamels were all contributed by these premier jewelers. Because the fundamentals had already been evolved, future artists and craftsmen were allowed to focus their time and effort on work to further the beauty and design of jewelry.
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