The history of Irish Jewelry is long and colorful, dating back to before Christ, at least 300 BC. Its first incarnation was simplistic in its design and in the materials used but the creative nature of the Irish people was clearly there to see. Something that would result in some of modern-day jewelry’s most treasured pieces.
From meagre beginnings of Wooden animals and emblems in Stone Age times, our true creative flair took shape with the emergence of the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Now we had the resources available to make more visually attractive and intricate pieces. This only intensified with gold, silver and precious stones becoming the materials of choice for the wealthy and so came an array of stunning creations.
It was this that spawned the distinctive familiar Celtic design that we know and love today. The famous Tara Brooch, Cross of Cong and even the Book of Kells which features many classic traditional Irish Jewelry, documented meticulously by Irish monks who as it happens were also responsible for many of our famous Celtic designs of today.
With the arrival of the Vikings around 795 came a time of plundering of Irish treasures, towns pillaged and destroyed for their gold and jewels to trade or bring back to Scandinavia. Although the Irish suffered far less plundering compared to the English and Scots. Despite this Irish Jewelry continued to flourish and today we still cherish the famous Tara Brooch, The Celtic Cross jewelry, Claddagh rings, Saint Brigids Cross, Ogham jewelry and many more now world-famous pieces. Modern-day Celtic jewelry still owes it’s wonderful designs to the original creations. Many of the stunning gifts you see in shop windows or online are nearly identical to the ones you would have seen all those years ago.
It really is clear to see why these masterfully crafted pieces of traditional Irish Jewelry are still as desirable today as they were all those years ago. They may have come from a time when high kings and monks celebrated their beauty but its the modern-day society that hold them so dear.