Think about who might have worn the oldest known single pieces of jewelry, 33 half-inch long polished sea snail shell beads, presumably hung on strings or clothing. Found in a cave in western Morocco and dating from 150,000 years ago, these beads were perhaps worn by women as protection against life’s uncertainties, or to differentiate their place among other humans.
150,000 years later, jewelry still plays an important role in our culture. While it’s unlikely that many of us choose our jewelry today for its display of political strength or to protect us from toothaches and fevers, there’s little doubt that jewelry still holds a large place in our culture and can be an empowering facet of our lives.
Jewelry as Self-Expression
“As a form of self-expression, jewelry can illustrate our individuality and personality without ever saying a word,” said Tandem founder and designer, Diane Samuels. “Sometimes we think we are wearing a piece of jewelry without a conscious decision, but chances are that that selection stems from our mood or attitude.” Other times, we specifically choose to wear something that emphasizes who we are and what we want to say to the world.
Jewelry as Feature Enhancement
“Jewelry can also bring out your best features,” Diane says. “Choosing a particular gem earring or necklace can accentuate eye color.” It can even balance features, like pairing longer vertical necklaces with round faces or more geometric designs with angular features.
Jewelry as Sentimental Connection
Giving and receiving jewelry can make us feel good for sentimental reasons. “One of our customers purchased our sterling silver and diamond teardrop earrings for her daughters on each of their 21st birthdays,” Diane says. “There’s a considerable emotional connection to pieces of jewelry given and received in this way.”
Jewelry as Self-Care
As women have become more financially independent throughout history, purchasing jewelry has become a form of self-care. Celebrating a life event, rewarding yourself on a promotion, recognizing a personal accomplishment – there’s nothing like the feeling of empowerment that comes with treating yourself to a special piece of jewelry to measure your achievements.
Whatever your reason for enjoying jewelry, Tandem has something just for you.