If you have ever travelled to India or been to an Indian wedding, you would have no doubt been impressed by the way Indian women wear jewellery. There is nothing understated about it, jewellery is worn boldly, beautifully and with pride. And it seems that just about every body part has its own special adornment – from toes to nose – jewellery can find a place to fit.
And there’s a very good reason for this. Historically, women were unable to own property under Indian law and so they relied on their jewellery as their only real asset to take care of them in the event of divorce or widowhood. However, ancient customs attribute more than just financial value to jewellery. In more traditional circles, there has long been a myriad of other reasons to wear jewellery – from supernatural powers, to promoting emotional wellbeing to good physical health – even if most of those reasons are related to being a good and fertile wife.
Also both silver and gold jewellery have their place. While gold is often preferred, anklets and toe rings tend to be silver as gold is associated with the goddess Lakshmi and so it is considered disrespectful to wear gold on your feet. Additionally, silver is considered to be a very good conductor with strong health properties, so although gold is good as a sign of wealth, silver is considered to be good for energy and health.
Here’s a snippet of some of the ancient beliefs associated with various jewellery pieces.
Earrings are considered good for overall wellbeing of the body as well as aiding a happy married life. As the ear is considered to be connected to the cervix, brain, kidney and bladder, wearing earrings is thought to help maintain the good health of these organs.
Nose rings are strongly associated with fertility and reproduction both physically and emotionally. The nose is believed to be connected to both the romantic and sexual health of woman – assisting with her ability to bear children as well as helping prevent her from being seduced.
Toe rings are meant to keep the menstrual cycle regular based on the belief that the nerves in the toes are connected to the uterus and heart. If a married woman wears these rings while doing housework, it is believed that the friction will help revitalize her reproductive organs. One can’t help but think of the old Western equivalent of keeping a wife “barefoot and pregnant”.
Similar to the toe ring, friction associated with wearing a finger ring is thought to aid good health as well as provide the wearer with self-confidence. The wedding ring is worn on the middle finger which is believed to be directly connected to the heart and so helps control the wearer’s emotions.
Necklaces are associated with good luck and love due to being worn close to the heart. Perhaps due to the movement of necklace chains, they are also believed to offset efforts by others to hypnotise or seduce the wearer as well as ward against the evil eye.
The sound and movement of bangles are thought to improve a woman’s circulation and balance her energy thanks to their circular shape.
Silver anklets are worn by married women to help energise them and bring positivity. Similar to the toe ring, it is believed that the more friction and more movement, the better the energy.
While many of these beliefs may not be as strong now as in the past, the fact remains that jewellery everywhere has an ancient sense of magic to it. And although Brave Edith jewellery doesn’t purport to have such transformational properties, we do hope wearing our jewellery does help lift your spirits.
When it comes to making a fashion statement, you should always dress in a way that makes you feel fantastic. It's also lovely to get compliments on how wonderful YOU look rather than on just the pieces you are wearing.
So how do you choose items that bring out your best features? When it comes to statement earrings, the best way to create an impact is to ensure that you choose earring styles that suit your face shape and features. Find out your face type and tips on earring styles to complement you.
Why choose precious metals? Many of us wear our favourite jewellery day in, day out. This means that it needs to be constructed of materials that will stand the test of time and will be comfortable to wear. Silver and gold are particularly prized for their durability as well as their hypoallergenic properties. While jewellery made from base metals such as brass may be cheaper, these metals are less durable and much more likely to create an allergy. That's why it's important to look out for hallmarks, or metal "fineness" or "quality" marks when buying jewellery.