No other metal has as rich a classical history as bronze. The foundation for all metal work today is formed from the advancements made in ancient bronze crafting and design.
Exactly who were the first people to wear bronze jewelry is unknown, some speculate the Mayans, Chinese or the Egyptians. Bronze is an alloy of copper and other elements such as tin, aluminum or lead. It was formed by the ancient Sumerians as early as 3500 BC and made a noted appearance in China around 2000 BC. The Chinese used the metal-alloy to create art, coins, tools and bronze jewelry.
The pure strength and versatility of bronze made it a popular material to create with. It revolutionized warfare. Bronze body armor was impervious to weapon strikes. But away from the battlefield the creation of bronze rings and bracelets formed the foundation for all jewelry that we see today.
Bronze is as rich in tone as it is in history. Bronze represents the changing tones of autumn, the deep rich reds and warm browns of nature. Hair color from deep fire red and copper to chestnut brown can come alive with bronze jewelry.
The rich history of bronze is reflected in modern design and many designers look at ancient styles as inspiration for modern pieces. Incan, Aztec and Egyptian styles have found new life in modern design. The symbol of Ankh, which represented immortality, was worn by the Pharaohs and is popular in modern jewelry for its unique design and the mystery that surrounds the symbol. Ornate handcrafted chokers, pendants and earrings of Egyptian inspiration conjure images up of mystical princesses and the seductive Cleopatra.
It is possible to create more elaborate designs with bronze than with other metals used in jewelry design, the lower price of this alloy make larger unique pieces available on the market for affordable prices. But affordability does not compromise bronze jewelry’s appeal. Leading fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier incorporate bronze into their collections and celebrities can been seen on the red carpet adorning bronze to accent their outfits.
Bronze is a timeless metal that has a unique color and weight unlike any other metals. Bronze jewelry compliments darker hair color, skin tone and fabrics. Hot metallics, flame colors and rich neutrals intensify when worn with bronze.
The patina that forms on bronze protects the metal from further corrosion, protecting the jewelry for decades to come and gives the jewelry an attractive aged look.
Bronze jewelry is adaptable. Bronze is used in fashion jewelry and fine jewelry alike. It is the bold color of bronze that has kept this metal at the forefront of the jewelry world for centuries. New designers love to explore with this pliable, adaptable metal to create unique pendants, necklaces, bracelets and bold designs harking back to ancient times.
The dusty gold tones of bronze, the unique weight and the historic stylistic evolution of this metal means that bronze should have a place in every collection.