Price, Size and True Value of Jewellery

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In the movie Troy which starred Brad Pitt as Achilles, did you notice how Thetis, Achilles's mother (played by Julie Christie), picked up and gave him a mother of pearl-like seashell from the shallow waters? That was supposed to be a precious jewellery fashion accessory at that time especially that Thetis, as confused with Tethys, was also the mother of all oceans and rivers. She knew what was valuable in her domain. That piece of jewellery accessory symbolised a mother's love for her son who she will never see again knowing he was to perish in the Trojan War.

One of the important uses of jewellery is symbolism. The wedding rings, the mother's antique watch as part of heirloom jewellery worn by the bride on her wedding day, the ring and seal of rulers and persons of authority in earlier civilisations, the badge or insignia worn by officers of the military, etc. are all symbolic jewelleries. Buttons of gold or brass worn by members of Greek-letter and civic-oriented organisations such as the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity and the Rotary Club are examples of modern symbolic jewellery. While they are symbolic, they can also be artfully modified in design so that they may also be in sync with fashion trends.

Jewellery crosses boundaries of space, stature and time. Kings, nobles and commoners each wore some sort of jewellery from ancient times in the very same manner that today's average wage earner can wear jewellery worn by celebrities, CEOs, chancellors, ministers and presidents. This, of course, does not include the crown, official rings and similar accessories that are exclusively worn by monarchs and members of the royal family.

As there were jewellery pieces of precious stones and metals in earlier times, the same kind are used today, modified in many small ways to match with modern trends. Our creativity on the supposedly modern ethnic jewellery and accessories had its own counterparts in the distant past. Despite the supposedly modern and trendy look of our present jewellery pieces because of the application of new technologies in design and processing, it is still a wonder why the jewelleries of old are most coveted and command the highest prices in the industry.

But whether in clothing, jewellery and other physical accessorial artefacts used by humans, what is important is not the intricacy of design, price or size. It is their perfect and strategic fit to the user or wearer that makes the objet d'art a prized possession. There lies the true value of jewellery.

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