It is known to many that of all the jewelry that people used for adorning themselves in different parts of the world, the necklace is probably the oldest of them all. But what is the reason behind this affiliation in time and space? Simply put, “Why do people wear necklaces?” Although there are quite a number of evidences that show that people in the prehistoric times had been wearing necklaces, any theory of why people at that time wore them can only be just mostly speculations. Many thousands of years later, but still in ancient times, archaeological findings show that in many areas of the World, necklaces were usually worn by the noble and the royalty. They represented the social status of the one wearing them. Even when one dies, the necklaces of those types of people were, at many places, buried along with their deceased wearers. Those early necklaces were made of stones, animal fangs and teeth, feathers and claws, and shells strung onto a piece of string. In those times, both men and women wear necklaces. But today, it became more common for women to wear them. But still a large portion of men still do wear necklaces. They wear them as a fashion, to hold a religious or an important medallion or a crucifix or a pendant with a certain sentimental value, as a lucky charm, or just as a keepsake. For the women, it is for all those stated above plus for beauty itself.
Giving a necklace as a gift had been done even by famous historical figures. In 1811, Napoleon Bonaparte presented a magnificent diamond necklace to his second wife, Marie-Louise, Empress of France, as a gift. The necklace contains 234 pieces of diamonds and has the total weight of 263 carats. Giving necklace as a gift can be seen also in literature, like the story “The Necklace” written by the famous French writer Maupassant. As much as giving a ring to someone may be very symbolic, the giving of a necklace may be very romantic.
So it seems that many people savor wearing necklaces throughout history to the present day. Just by turning on the TV and switching to a music channel, one could see the huge necklaces worn by some rap singers and rock stars. But the reason why they are wearing necklaces may not be to show which tribe or class they belong to or their royalty, but for pure fashion.This reason for wearing the necklace may be missing during the ancient times… or was it? Will not a cave-woman feel like wearing something around her neck when she saw women from other caves wearing them… I guess we can never know.
So whatever the reasons may be, we can be pretty sure that mankind though out history, and even before that, have been very keen about the wearing of a necklace as well as the giving, and surely, the receiving of one.