A Brief History of Jewelry

The very beginning
110,000 – 73,000 B.C. – Decorative sea shell beads are found in the archeological digs in Morocco which were most likely used as amulets.


Introduction of gold jewelry
4400 B.C. – Ancient Thracian civilization produced the oldest known jewelry made from gold.


Copper & Gemstone Era
5000 – 30 B.C. – Copper is introduced as a material. Gold arrives in Egypt around 4000 BC. Many jewelry designs based on scarab beetles, scrolls, winged birds, tigers, jackals, etc were widely made artifacts of jewelry.


Religion brings widespread ceremonial jewelry adoption
1066 – 1485 – With the help of religion, Medieval jewelry prospered throughout Europe. Hair and clothing were popular choices for jewelry during religious ceremonies. Many of these pieces were adorned with gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, pearls, emeralds and diamonds.


Roaring Twenties & Art Deco
1920 – 1935 – The Roaring Twenties brought the rise of the Art Deco. This introduced jewelry filled with geometric shapes, vibrant colors, intricate designs, cubism, modernism and oriental art. It also popularized wristwatches.


Post World War II
1939 – The influence of World War II brought widespread embargoes on gemstones. Metal based designs soon become the popular choice of jewelry. Diamonds soon solidified its spot as the most popular gemstone with powerful marketing campaigns, “A diamond is forever”.


3D printing and the internet of everything
Now – 3D printing technology along with sites like (which is now offering gold as a material choice) are once again changing the way jewelry is manufactured and customized. In the future, these accessories will have sophisticated technology built into them allowing one to be connected anywhere in the world.


How will 3D printing revolutionize the jewelry industry?

If you have not heard of 3D printing then shame on you! Haha, no really it is changing the world. 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing in which a digital model of an object can become a  solid, 3D dimensional object. Nowadays just about any material can be used as 3D printer food Рplastics, ceramics, metals and even chocolate. 3D printing is a mainstay in the Maker/DIY Movement and considered a wave in the wake of the next Industrial Revolution. But that is a topic for another blog. Our focus here at Mocci is on 3D printing and jewelry.

How will 3D printing revolutionize the jewelry industry?

jewelry collection

A couple ways.

  • First, anyone and everyone has access. With 3D printing the power of manufacturing is put into the users hands. No longer does it cost thousands of dollars in investment capital for the necessary molding equipment. No longer does it take months of apprenticeship to learn how to sculpt and mold molten metals at dangerously high temperatures. 3D printers can be had for as cheap as $300 and are only going to get better and more affordable. If $300 is not available, one can always use someone else’s printer with 3DHubs, Shapeways, ponoko, etc!
  • Second, the greatest design is now in your hands. The power of CAD (computer aided design) modeling software has progressed to the point where the only limitation in what you can create are the 3D printers themselves. Think of CAD as the architect and the 3D Printer as the civil engineer. The architect dreams up the vision while the civil engineer is there to tell the architect it can’t be done. The technology for 3D printing however is advancing at a rapid rate and soon enough the quality, rate of production and material choice will rival traditional manufacturing methods. Numerous companies and 3D printers have been popping up all over the world, so it is inevitable that growth will lead this technology into sophistication. The greatest advantage of the 3D printing age is the ability for customization.

The biggest challenge is disrupting the precious gem portion of the jewelry industry. With current technology, it is impossible to 3D print highly coveted fine ores such as diamond or gold. In this case, jewelry is molded from 3D printed wax castings by the lost wax casting method. Synthetic gems like sapphire and emerald are possible to recreate but will people even want them? Perhaps an amazing highly coveted composite material will be made in the future or scientists will find a way to 3D print gold.

But before that happens makers everywhere are still able to design and create beautiful, complex jewelry with 3D printing.