jewelry and religion
The values and traditions associated with Islam have had a big influence on the traditional jewelry of the region. The Qur’an mentions jewelry only in passing, focussing on its function as a reward for the faithful when they arrive in Paradise. It is from the Hadith that we learn of the preference for silver over gold; this stems from the fact that the Prophet himself wore a silver signet ring.
The use of gold is also linked to punishment delivered on Judgment Day, when bracelets and earrings of gold are said to turn into ‘jewelry of fire’.
The Bible and the Torah also shed light onto the significance of jewelry in the region. It is interesting to note that where an abundant display of jewels is often disapproved of in western Christianity, the Bible does not explicitly forbid the wearing of jewelry and even uses it repeatedly as an analogy for the good deeds and love that God bestows on his people. One of the most revealing passages is found in Isaiah and concerns the women of Sion. It reads like an inventory of all the jewelry that was worn around 750 BC.
There are many other references to jewelry throughout the Bible and the Torah that reveal the integral part that jewelry played in society.