Jewelry is as old as the human civilization and evolution. In the early years, body jewelry was used as an emblem of cultural and spiritual influence of the people who wore them. It was also used as money with the attribute of
means to store wealth, as evidenced by the unique pieces of jewelry passed on as inheritance. They were used by some communities as dowry or transfer of wealth. Some tribes used them to modify their bodies. Neck rings were slowly added on a girl's neck until it grew to an irregular length, thereby relying on the neck rings for support. The women saw this as being in a position of prominence as well as a decorative piece as women with
longer necks were considered to be more beautiful than their mates with shorter necks.
Despite the diverse cross-cultural perception and utilisation of jewelry, the most fundamental use was as a means to convey a message; be it beauty, power or status. The current generation of people do not use jewelry in the
traditional manner as was done by our ancestors which supports the fact that it has evoled over the years and more changes are expected in the future.
Nowadays, body jewelry is not limited to conventional items such as earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets. It presently stands for any type of decoration that can be worn on the body expressed through more than body
piercings like belly rings and so on. Secondly, jewelry no longer have to be made of precious materials. Modern ornaments are often made of partly-precious or even non-precious materials.
Some of these jewelry are made of plastics and other non-precious metals, while others are just imitations of precious stones that can be glued to chosen parts of the body in given patterns. An example includes kits with premade patterns to follow when attaching to the body which is a short-term display that either falls off after some time or comes off when washed.
A great attribute of this kind of ornament is that just anybody can wear them regardless of age or sex. In the ancient times, only a privileged few could formally wear jewelry, while at present even children or individuals of any sex, age or race can freely display these body ornaments. Now they are used to emphasise personality as evidenced by the way they are worn. Some people choose to go extreme in their use of jewelry and at times displaying flagrant and "care free" behaviour which is becoming popular especially among the younger generation of the population.
It is now normal for gangs and gang members to use jewelry to display their wealth. However since popular artists, rappers and pop singers have always displayed the same fashion, it has become part of pop culture. Rather than promote exclusivity, it is now a fashion statement to adorn oneself with this particular type of ornament. Whatever the case, it is here to stay and this generation is ready to challenge the old on how jewelry is worn and who can wear them.