Article Written by : Fashion News
The Long Journey of Jewelry Design from Ancient Africa to Gangsta Grillz
Jewelry design has held fast to traditional forms and styles for several millenia, however modern jewelry designers have begun to greatly expand the concepts, definitions and uses of jewelry.
Most notable is the invention advent of a wide array of new materials, such as plastics, (PMC) Precious Metal Clay, and advanced modern colouring techniques. These new materials have opened the door to a much more wide selection and variety in style, which has greatly expanded the boundaries that have kept jewelry designers limited in their scope and ability in times past.
Additionally, other advances, like the creation of greatly superior pearl harvesting; as well as, the advent of higher quality artificial gemstones like as moissanite, have made certain jewelry within the financial reaches of a greater range or a wider diversity of people. Naturally, now that more and more people have access to and can now participate in the “Wearable Art” movement, a great Influx of new styles and application has emerged. An extreme instance of this result is the birth of what the modern generation has named “Bling” Jewelry. This style jewelry, was originally made mainstream by modern day hip-hop and rap artists. “Bling” jewelry is composed of silver with rhodium plating to create and mimic the more rare and expensive properties of platinum. Moreover, Cubic Zirconia’s or CZ stones are typically used in place of genuine diamonds, however CZ’s achieve the overall goal, which is to produce maximum luster and brilliance. This Jewelry design style has birthed a plethra of brand new vocabulary words in order to accurately describe the trend and style to the world. One such term is the word “Iced Out”. “Iced Out” is a word used in to describe “wearable art” and jewelry pieces displaying an inordinate amount of diamonds or diamond substitutes. (“ICE”) The words and the style evokes a bold attitude and an external display of wealth, style and status. This Jewelry design style has been applied to a diverse and ever increasing range of products from Necklaces, Crosses, Belts, Watches, Purses, Shoes and even “Grillz”, which is a type of “wearable art” that is inserted in the mouth and worn over the teeth.
The “Bling” Jewelry design motif doesn’t just stop with “Gangsta Grillz” it goes further into products like Azature Black Diamond Nail Polish at $250,000 per bottle, Iced Out Laptops, Iced out Cellphones and most notably a set of “Iced Out” car rims. Luxury Rim manufacturer, Asanti, offers a set of 110,000 carat “bling” rims at a cost of $1,000,000. Last, but certainly not least, the CoolPacifiers.com’s $17,000 “bling” pacifier that features 278 white diamonds.
“Jewelry Design has come a Long Way; from Necklaces in Ancient Africa Made of Bone, to “Iced Out” Gangsta Grillz”
What began as a trend limited to the Urban American culture quickly began to catch on and became a global trend that has infiltrated the highest ranks of the Jewelry and Fashion world internationally. Major designers both in the Jewelry and Fashion industries have begun to produce “iced out” products, accessories and related costume jewelry pieces to serve the massive demand created by the powerful trend-making hip hop culture. Though the new technologies and processes were the initial catalyst making such design trends possible by creating affordable alternatives; because of the demand even the worlds very wealthy have started creating more expensive jewelry designs based on the more urban “imitations”. Jeweler to the Stars “Jacob the Jeweler”, born Yakov Arabov, later adopted the professional name of Jacob Arabo. Jacob Arabo is a Bukharian-American jeweler and founder of Jacob & Company that serves a host celebrity clients. Ironically Jacob, began initially selling very low priced and affordable, mainstream even traditional jewelry. However, Arabo’s unique Jewelry designs met in a timely manner with the rise and popularity of the emerging “Iced Out” design movement. Soon his work began to catch the eyes of world famous celebrities, singers, and hip hop artists. Some of his more prestigious clients have been Sir Elton John, Bono, Rudy Giuliani, Madonna, and even David Beckham himself. One watch listing we reviewed had a price tag of $900,000. Well the verdict is in, we have solid proof that the “Bling” Jewelry Design motif may have had it’s origins in the low cost Urban market, but it has made it to the Upper echelons of society in a “Big” way!