Jewelry of Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians were religious people. Both men and women wore jewelry. They dawned their jewelry for many reason but mostly for religious purposes. They thought jewelry would protect them from mystical beings. Also jewelry was dawned on the dead as well. Ancient Egyptians thought that they must decorate their corpses with elaborate jewelry in order to pass over to the afterlife.

Ancient Egyptians had access to many different gems, but these gems were difficult to work with. This is why they often used glass to make their jewelry. Each color found in the different kinds of jewelry had their own meaning. The color green represented vegetation and fertility. The color blue represented the all-embracing. The color red represented blood and energy and also evil. Gold jewelry was the most desired over all other kinds. Often only the higher social classes could afford it.


The lower social classes usually wore jewelry made out of copper or bronze. Bronze would often have gold leaf on it. Other types of stones that were popular include: lapiz, turquoise, silver, alabaster, garnet, beryl and quartz. Most of the stones used to make jewelry could be found in Egypt, but some were very rare and had to brought into the country from places such as Afghanistan.

All Ancient Egyptians had access to jewelry, but the wealthier an Egyptian was, the nicer and more elaborate their jewelry.

There were many different types of jewelry. The most common being the wide collar necklace. The necklace would stretch from the breast to the collarbone. It was made with rows of beads with animals decorated inside of them. These kinds of necklaces were often favored by nobility.

Many Ancient Egyptians of different social and wealth classes wore amulets. Amulets were believed to protect one or give a person magical powers. Amulets were carved into many different things such as: animals, humans, gods and symbols. Also Ancient Egyptians wore bracelets and anklets. These were popular with everyone, especially the lower classes since they wore more affordable pieces of jewelry. Bracelets and anklets were often made out of gold or copper, and had beetles carved into them.

Finally finger rings were very popular. These were large rings made out of gold, silver and copper. Often on top of the ring would be some kind of animal such as: a turquoise, beetle or a scarab. Jewelry was so beloved that workshops were attached to temples and palaces. In this way, fine jewelry could be made under the supervision of officials.

Jewelry makers were known as neby. This is translated as ‘jewelry maker.’ These men shaped, carved, tapped and chased semi-precious stones into jewelry that we still find today in modern times.