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About medieval jewellery in Cornwall

When looking into medieval jewellery in Cornwall you will find that there is a great deal of mysticism connected with the work and connection to the land of Cornwall.

The dark medieval ages were called that for very good reason. Climate change actually coincided with the fall of the Roman Empire in around 500AD and the Northern Europe slumped into a mini ice age which lasted approximately 1000 years.

The jewellery which was made in this time, therefore, had a degree of magic, or black magic, attached to it. Gem stones and crystals were used in many pieces in the belief that they helped provide good luck and good health, or warned off evil spirits.

Other jewellery, the type more often warn by nobleman, used the most valuable materials known in the day - gold, silver and pearls - to create very brash designs which acted as exclamations of wealth and status.

Today, medieval jewellery in general is very hard to come by, let alone that which came specifically out of the Cornish region. This is because the jewellery used such valuable materials that over the years it has been melted down and reused for other items that were more in-vogue at the time.

Medieval jewellery in Cornwall can realistically only be found in museums in the modern day.

Medieval dress, even amongst the wealthy, allowed little room for jewellery - despite what Hollywood might lead you to believe. The two main-stays of medieval jewellery were the brooch and the belt. The brooch was often the centre-piece of a person's jewellery and could carry with it deeper meaning. For example, in the later middle-ages Cornish folk would have either their family coat-of-arms included in the design or, alternatively, some form of religious meaning.

The belt was also an opportunity to show-off your wealth, family emblem, or religious beliefs.

Jewellery in medieval Cornwall is hard to come by these days and can realistically only be observed in museums. Wearing jewellery from that era as a fashion accessory today is certainly not advisable as the piece could be fragile and worth a lot of money.

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