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Jewellery in China

The Ancient Chinese were the first to make jewellery in Asia, beginning about 5,000 years ago. Jewellery traditions have primarily centred on religious designs, with Buddhist symbols featuring heavily. Chinese jewellery mostly used silver rather than gold and the colour blue, seen as highly beautiful. The most valued stone was jade, revered for its beauty and durability. Diamonds were used to carve the jade, but not valued for decorative reasons.

Jewellery was worn to accentuate beauty, show status, as amulets and also used as grave goods. The most popular types of jewellery in Ancient China would have been earrings and amulets, worn by both sexes; headbands and headdresses worn by rich women as well as decorative rings and hat buttons worn by men. Although not as unbroken as in India, Chinese traditions of jewellery-making stretch back into antiquity and remain a powerful influence on modern jewellery in China and beyond.

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