The basic forms of jewellery vary between cultures but are often extremely long-lived; in European cultures the most common forms of jewellery listed above have persisted since ancient times, while other forms such as adornments for the nose or ankle, important in other cultures, are much less common.Jewellery may be made from a wide range of materials.Alternatively, jewellery has been used as a currency or trade good Jewellery can also symbolise group membership (as in the case, of the Christian crucifix or the Jewish Star of David) or status (as in the case of chains of office, or the Western practice of married people wearing wedding rings).
The British crown jewels contain the Cullinan Diamond, part of the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found (1905), at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g).
Now popular in engagement rings, this usage dates back to the marriage of Maximilian I to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.
The silver used in jewellery is usually sterling silver, or 92.5% fine silver.
In costume jewellery, stainless steel findings are sometimes used.
Beaded jewellery commonly encompasses necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belts and rings.
Beads may be large or small; the smallest type of beads used are known as seed beads, these are the beads used for the "woven" style of beaded jewellery.
These may take the form of symbols (such as the ankh), stones, plants, animals, body parts (such as the Khamsa), or glyphs (such as stylised versions of the Throne Verse in Islamic art).
In creating jewellery, gemstones, coins, or other precious items are often used, and they are typically set into precious metals.
Both are used in Canadian English, though jewelry prevails by a two to one margin.