Byzantine jewelry can be a style, a tradition,
and a statement. It is also part of an ancient story.
I was asked... "Why is Byzantine jewelry
so busy?" My answer is... some is ornate, some is understated, and some is
When speaking of Byzantine jewelry, many
people bring to mind a jewelry piece made of interlinked metal rings that form a neck chain
or bracelet. This produces a piece that is rounded rather than flat when viewed
in cross section. The interlinked ring technique is said to be a variant of the
method of making chain mail armor being manufactured for soldiers during the
Byzantine jewelry was also produced in other
styles as well.
Filigree (fine wire over a metal
Open filigree with wire wrapped stones
Rings with raised
shoulders flanking a center stone or metal table with a carved design in
Jewelry pieces with bezel set stones
Byzantine jewelry was originally produced
during the time of the Byzantine Empire.
Byzantium was a Greek city state founded in
667 BC, and named after their leader, King Byzas. When the Romans took the
region and the city in 330 AD, it became Constantinople. This was the time of
the (Christian) Greek speaking Roman culture, and Byzantine jewelry..
This period came to an end in 1453, when the
Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople. and made it the
capitol of their Ottoman Empire.
Constantinople and the Ottoman Empire
remained until after World War One. In 1930 Constantinople became Istanbul when
the Ottoman Empire became modern Turkey.
This is a unique city, in part because it
sits astride the Bosphorus Strait. The Strait is the geographic feature that
separates Europe and Asia.
Byzantium - Constantinople - Istanbul is the
only city that is situated on two continents. This strategic placement and the
varied cultures that came to this place give it enduring cultural influence.
Byzantine jewelry, architecture, cuisine, and
other cultural features contribute to the history and to our modern world.
A Google search using keywords such as byzantine jewelry can return some very interesting information.
Gem Industry News...
Economic Indicators... and Mexican Food
I wrote this economic observation item last month and published
it in the April
newsletter.. Since then several similar national news stories have appeared
in print and on television. They must be reading our newsletter!
Is an economic
recovery underway? I really cannot tell. I see some small signs, but I hope for
Last Friday night my husband and I went out to our neighborhood Mexican Food
restaurant. We found a number of patrons waiting to be seated. To me, this is a
practical, positive sign of an improving economy.
We eat out almost
every Friday night, and for at least a year, we have not encountered waiting
lines. I have talked about this with restaurateurs on several occasions. We all
concur that fewer people eating out at their local restaurants is a sign that
folks are being very cautious with their money.
I'm also seeing other hopeful signs. Last year we began stocking CZ melee
because our jewelry and art customers needed to reduce their costs. We're still
selling a significant amount of CZ melee, but we see the demand for small white
gems (diamonds, sapphires, topaz, and natural zircon) growing again.
The Las Vegas
Jewelry and Gem
Shows Are Coming
The Las Vegas jewelry and gem shows will begin at the end of
May and continue into June. If
you're going, let us know. We may be able to get together for
Day and graduation
season are right around the
corner... plus, anniversaries and birthdays are always coming up.
are good reasons for your customers and their friends to buy
Are you rewarding your customers with discounts or
freebies when they send you a new customer?