Chinese Jewelry — History, Tradition, Culture, and Artifact
Chinese Rings in Ancient Culture — Informative Origin and Love Representative
Since the Neolithic era, the ring had been used as decoration, as well as protection of fingers from drawing bows.
Turquoise Decorated Ring of Dawenkou Culture (around 4500 BC — 2500 BC) — Shandong Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)
In ancient China, an emperor would have an honorable queen and many imperial concubines in his palace.
If one was during menstruation or pregnant, she would wear a gold ring on the left hand, to imply that she's inconvenient to serve the emperor. When someone was available, she would wear a silver ring on the left hand, and move it to her right hand after having spent the night with the emperor.
Gradually, this implicit method spread to nobles and officials, then to the civilians' world.
Meanwhile, rings that were mostly made of valuable materials, such as gold, silver, and jade, became awards to accomplished officials, and love token between couples.
Since Southern Song Dynasty (1127 — 1279), the ring has become one of the most important betrothal gifts to the bride, till today.
Earring — From Self Introspection to Beautiful Decoration
Earring, or ear decorations, originated in the Neolithic era and used as decoration or amulet.
No later than the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 256 BC), two little jade pendants were hung on crowns and hats, to be used as earplugs when they needed to rest.
Soon, the earplugs were regarded as a representative of self-discipline and introspection, a highly required characteristic in Chinese culture, for being a good way to avoid hearing and believing anything before careful consideration.
At the same time, they were also reminders of being humble and willing to listen to brilliant suggestions.
Gradually, this pendent earplugs spread from emperors and officials to scholars, then to women who would hang them on their hairpins.
During Song Dynasty (960 — 1279), royal women started to pierce ears and wear earrings, especially those were made of valuable pearl and gold.