It’s been thousands of years since the fall of ancient Egypt as a powerful domain, but we still wear jewelry designs from that era. Their designs are eternally beautiful and magical. Examples of these are Scarab, Usekh (the broad necklace), and the protective eye to name a few. The ancient Egyptian loved their jewelry, not only to show status and wealth but also to protect themselves during their lifetime and especially to protect their journey to the afterlife. The color blue indicated royalty so Lapis Lazuli was very popular. Turquoise would bring joy and pleasure. All stones had salient powers with magical and healing properties. For some reason they preferred the softer, semi-precious stones even though they had access to a variety of gemstones.

Apart from Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise, Egyptians valued Amethyst, Chalcedony, Malachite, and Carnelian.  

Jeweler craftsmen in ancient Egypt had to be well versed in the spiritual properties of each stone and follow strict rules. Specific gemstones were associated with certain gods or magical properties and any changes could affect the spiritual value. The golden mask of King Tut was inlaid with Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, and Carnelian to secure safe travel to the underworld.

Above are the amulets used by Egyptians, both for protection of the living and especially protection of the dead. For example, the scarab pendant would be placed on the dead person’s heart to prevent it from being separated from the body in the underworld.

Heavy gold jewelry was popular. Although silver was more expensive in the early years of the Kingdom, gold became the metal of choice in the later years when it was relegated to be the flesh of the gods.

Everyone wore jewelry, from the poor farmers to the pharaoh himself. Only slaves were not allowed to wear any kind of adornment. Poor people bought jewelry with fake stones, which Egyptian smiths were adept in making.  In addition, though all males, both boys and men shaved their heads, slaves were forbidden to do so.

Seal rings were important for men in signing official documents. Wealthier men adorned their rings with precious stones and engraved their own emblem like a lion, scorpion, or hawk. Even poor men owned seal rings, usually of cheaper metal like copper. This line is found in the Bible from the story of Joseph showing the importance of the signet ring. “Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.”

Pacific Beads retails and wholesales many of the gems that were so important and valued to the Old Egyptians, such as Lapis, Carnelian, and Amethyst. These are beautifully displayed in Pacific Beads and can be bought in the form of stones, beads, geodes, or set in sterling silver jewelry.  Pacific Beads has jewelry inlaid with Malachite, Turquoise, and Carnelian. Be exotic – come see our geodes and jewelry.

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