Outside of Africa, the Cro-Magnons had crude necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth and stone hung on pieces of string or animal sinew, or pieces of carved bone used to secure clothing together. In some cases, jewellery had shell or mother-of-pearl pieces. In southern Russia, carved bracelets made of mammoth tusk have been found. The Venus of Hohle Fels features a perforation at the top, showing that it was intended to be worn as a pendant.
The first signs of established jewellery making in Ancient Egypt was around 3,000-5,000 years ago.The Egyptians preferred the luxury, rarity, and workability of gold over other metals. Predynastic Egypt had Jewellery in Egypt soon began to symbolize power and religious power in the community. Although it was worn by wealthy Egyptians in life, it was also worn by them in death, with jewellery commonly placed among grave goods.
In conjunction with gold jewellery, Egyptians used coloured glass in place of precious gems. Although the Egyptians had access to gemstones, they preferred the colours they could create in glass over the natural colours of stones. For nearly each gemstone, there was a glass formulation used by the Egyptians to mimic it. The colour of the jewellery was very important, as different colours meant different things; theBook of the Dead dictated that the necklace of Isis around a mummy’s neck must be red to satisfy Isis’s need for blood, while green jewellery meant new growth for crops and fertility. Although lapis lazuli and silver had to be imported from beyond the country’s borders, most other materials for jewellery were found in or near Egypt, for example in the Red Sea, where the Egyptians mined Cleopatra's favourite gem, theemerald. Egyptian jewellery was predominantly made in large workshops attached to temples or palaces.
Egyptian designs were most common in Phoenician jewellery. Also, ancient Turkish designs found inPersian jewellery suggest that trade between the Middle East and Europe was not uncommon. Women wore elaborate gold and silver pieces that were used in ceremonies